September 30, 2011

2011 great american beer festival

2011.09_great american beer festival
Craft beers are AWESOME! We had the pleasure of sampling many such beers last night at the Great American Beer Festival. Apparently there were more than 450 brewers with over 2200 beers to choose from!?  Yikes.  We hardly made a dent in that spread.

My most memorable beer was the Bloody Beer from Shorts Brewing Company which is brewed with tomatoes, dill, horseradish, peppercorns, and celery seed!  I also enjoyed a very bubbly champagne-like Saison by Pelican.  Eric reports that his most memorable beers were Port Townshend's Yoda's Green Tea Gold (tasted like genmaicha), a Chai Stout, Elysian's Avatar Ale (a jasmine IPA), and MateVeza's Morpho (hibiscus, bay leaf, mate, and no hops).

September 28, 2011

utah vacation

2011.09_bryce canyon utah
We just got back from vacationing in Utah!  The scenery is so different and dramatic there... Our primary destinations were to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.  Along the way, we also stopped at Hanging Lake, Colorado National Monument, Fisherlake National Forest, Capitol Reef National Park, Boulder UT, and Goblin Valley State Park. 

Hiking Angels Landing at Zion was definitely a highlight for me.  So was eating blueberry pie in Boulder, UT.  And of course, so was spending quality time with Eric Wilson and Francois Fransqueezedoodle.

September 14, 2011

garlic rose relish

2011.09_garlic rose relish 
Whenever talk turns to garlic, as it often does, the Stinking Rose garlic-focused restaurant in San Francisco inevitably gets mentioned. When it does I tell the story of how my table finished off a whole jar of the "Garlic Rose Relish" that sits on every table, got it refilled and had some more. It is delicious. But then we all felt sick and had to go track down some ginger ale to soothe our aching stomachs.

I remember talking to the owner about the recipe. He said they use parsley (as opposed to basil) because it is cheap. It's all about the garlic anyway.

You can add some purslane for a boost of omega-3's if you're into that sort of thing. As I said, it's all about the garlic anyway.

1 bunch Chopped Parsley
1/4 c. Chopped Garlic
2 T. Vinegar
1 t. Salt
  Olive oil to cover      
plus basil, purslane, etc.

1.   Mix parsley, garlic, vinegar and salt.
2.   Add oil to cover ingredients, stir.
3.   Cover and store in refrigerator.

Recipe from The Stinking Rose.

This stuff is good on anything.

September 10, 2011

zen and the art of wheelbarrow maintenance

2011.09_wheelbarrow maintenance
The two communal wheelbarrows at our community garden plot were in need of repair: flat tires, loose and rusty hardware, and wood handles that gave me splinters just looking at them. So I took some time to fix them up today. I stained the wood to protect it, greased all the hardware and axles, and inflated the flat tires. So gratifying to get things working again!

One of the tires was tubeless, which seems to trouble many wheelbarrow enthusiasts, including me. I tried applying dish soap to the bead and a compression strap (belt, bungee cord, or rope would work too) around the circumference to press the bead to the rim, but it still didn't hold air. I ended up using some silicone adhesive sealant leftover from another project around the rim (rubber cement may work also). In conjunction with the compression strap, this worked!
2011.09_tubeless tire 
Installing a tube would have been a last resort solution.

September 9, 2011

roasted red pepper spread

roasted red pepper spread
I don't exactly know what to call this besides "roasted red pepper spread." But it is really good:

paprika peppers from our CSA, roasted on a grill or in an oven
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Just like the Baba Ghanoush, I just chopped everything up by hand and mixed with a fork.

rack that wine

2011.08_homemade wine racking
We racked our Malbec the other night (gently siphoned wine out leaving sediment behind). We don't have two carboys so we have to do carboy to bucket and back to carboy. And our carboy is 5 gallons instead of 6 so we put 1 gallon in a separate jug. Not ideal, but Julie's making it look easy with the Auto-Siphon (thanks Jen and Stacey!).