When I sat down to think about what this album felt like, what it exuded from a food perspective, it took me back to high school. Perhaps because this album played non-stop during those years and also, if you think about the biggest song from this album The Middle, it was all about high school.
My friends and I got into the usual mischief in high school. Being in Tokyo however, there was a few unique standouts. It was well known that T.G.I.F. would give you a free sundae on your birthday. Long drawn out lunches at T.G.I.F. became the norm fairly quickly and somehow, it was always someone’s birthday. I don’t think this was a unique experience but the more often we did something in high school, the sooner we started to push the boundaries and make it that much more exciting or daring. At T.G.I.F.s, this meant moving to ordering a mudslide or two. (Mom, feel free to skip a head a few sentences.) Breaking the rules one beverage at a time. Tokyo didn’t really card, especially for gaijin (foreigners). I don’t think I ever got carded once. Its probably no surprise that ordering mudslides became normal. Its funny in hindsight. Not that we were trying to feel drunk or even a buzz. We felt so grown up, sitting in that restaurant for hours, pretending to be older than we were, drinking dessert cocktails. I’m know we were nightmares for the staff. I remember straw wrappers everywhere and plates of cheese fries destroyed.
For us, it was amazing memories and full bellies and a place where it almost felt like you weren’t in Japan. For a split second, it was almost like we were normal high schoolers, who lived in a normal town in somewhere, USA. I’m not sure any of us ever said this desire out loud. High school has this way of making you want to be normal. To not be unique, to be like everyone else. Why else would we go hang out in an American restaurant that celebrated and promoted its American-ness? With the themes of Bleed American, especially in the music video of The Middle (see here), it is no wonder that this album resonated so strongly with me and many other high schoolers in the early 2000’s. Here’s to enjoying those years, surviving them and getting to the point where I’m thrilled to not be normal!
T.G.I.F. Style Mudslides
Makes 1 drink
- 6 ice cubes
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 1.5 oz coffee liquor
- 1.5 oz irish creme liquor
- 0.5 oz espresso
- 1.0 oz half and half
- 2 scoops chocolate ice cream
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
- Optional – chocolate syrup to decorate glass. See recipe below.
- Blend ice cubes in a blender.
- Add the next 7 ingredients and blend until well mixed.
- Using a straw, use the chocolate syrup to make a pattern on the outside of the glass. Traditionally a V^V^V pattern is used.
- Pour the blender contents into the glass and drink away.
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup cold water
- sprinkle kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix first three ingredients in a saucepan until well combined, minimal clumps remaining. Add water, salt and heat over medium until boiling. Mix well. Stir in vanilla extract and let cool. Use and enjoy.