Tag Archives: beer

Okie beer is here

Beer brew equip 2- Aric

Photo credit: Aric Nelson, 2012

Mike and Eleanor and I attended the Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival last Friday night at the Cox Center in OKC. Although I am a lightweight when it comes to beer*, it was fun and satisfying to see so many good Oklahoma beers being brewed. Coop had a huge selection, as did Norman’s own 405 Brewing Company. Prairie Artisan had a five brews, including their Bomb! There were also out-of-state breweries like Left Hand, Tallgrass, Founders, Great Divide etc. Mike had a grand ole time, especially talking to the new startups. Just last week the Oklahoma legislature passed a law that will really help Oklahoma craft breweries, and encourage even more to stake their claim. Cost of living is cheap in Oklahoma  y’all, and the OKC metro is booming. Get on over here!

*I’m not a fan of IPAs and other hoppy beers. I love the smell of these beers, but not the bitterness. And I do not like Belgians and sours. (I tried a sip of farmhouse ale and immediately spit it out – what the hell was that?!)  To each his own. I prefer unfiltered wheats, blondes, and mild brown ales. My picks from Friday night were:

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A Midsummer’s Night post

Yesterday I finished up my yearly technology workshop marathon insanity – teaching two different 3-hour workshops every day for 5 weeks. Whew! Please don’t ask me anything about Moodle, Google Apps, web pages, video editing, or podcasting for at least a month! Really, it isn’t that bad, but I do wish it could be spread out over the year instead of all crammed into June (with a little spilling over into July).

Mike and I went to Dallas last weekend and visited the Canton First Monday Trade Day (Flea Market), which is billed as the “largest flea market in the world.” This I can believe. It was an interesting experience, but Good Lord! Why do we humans seem to think we need all this crap? And as is usually the case, I only spent $10, and kept saying to myself “I’ve already got all this stuff up in my attic.

Aric and Mike seem to be in a competition to see who can brew the most beer. The boys are all about IPAs, and Aric has a Rye IPA and a dry hopped IPA going, while Mike is now drinking his American IPA, and is doing a Petite Saison session beer. Tomorrow he’ll start a Saison (Chimay-style), the next week a pale ale, and a coffee stout after that.

Garden Update:  Well, we’ve had some really wet, and relatively cool weather lately (the second year in a row that the 4th of July fireworks display has been rained out), but the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and basil are doing great. The beans are growing like crazy, but it’s been so wet I don’t dare mess with them ’cause I don’t want to spread a virus. I planted a variety of heirloom tomatoes found at the farmers market, and one of them is the enormous Pink Caspian. It is quite tasty, one slice covers a large hamburger bun, and it is meaty, rather than juicy, which means it makes a perfect sandwich/burger tomato. We also have a continuous supply of Grape and Black Cherry tomatoes. We just keep a large bowl o f  them sitting out on the kitchen table – super for snacking, and better for you than M & M’s.

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Chili time

The eggplant, peppers, and most of the tomatoes are out of the garden now. We left three tomato plants in and will pull them out when the first frost is forecasted. We have good luck in getting the green tomatoes to ripen this way: pull up the whole plant, or large stems with tomatoes still on them and hang them upside down in your basement. Check every day for ripe or almost ripe tomatoes. Last year we had fresh tomatoes into January by doing this.

poblano and serrano peppersAs you can see from the photo, we haven’t processed all of our peppers yet. I’ve made green chili stew, chili rellenos, and added chilis to about everything I can think of. Yesterday I dried some poblanos in the dehyrdator (center of photo). I ground some  of the dried red ones in my spice mill (an old coffee grinder). That’s what I’ll do to all the small green poblanos too. The larger ones I’ll char, rinse, ziplock, and put in the freezer.

The serranos I sliced and made a “refrigerator pickle.” I heated the leftover pickle juice (vinegar) and added a teaspoon of salt, mustard seeds, garlic, and a bay leaf, then tossed the sliced peppers in, heated to a boil, and put back into the jar and then into the refrigerator.

Tomorrow I’ll pick the last crop of green beans, pull the plants out, and transplant leeks, bok choi and mustard greens. The leeks and bok choi came from seed I saved this summer. The mustard is a different variety from what I usually plant – a red leafed type. Spinach and lettuce are now coming up, so I need to put some chicken wire over the beds to keep the neighborhood cats from scratching everything up.

Hey, check out Aric’s new brew blog. Some mothers want their sons to become doctors or lawyers. How boring!

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front range ramblings, part 1

Classic sampler on the Odell's patio

Classic sampler on the Odell's patio

Gosh I love Fort Collins! I need one of my offspring to move here. Some observations:

  1. Yes, there are still irrigation ditches, and still some open land in the center, although not as much (the fort has more than doubled since our undergraduate days).
  2. Yes, it still smells like cows.
  3. And people are still laid back outdoorsy environmentally aware, and not as intensely “hip” as Boulder. The Food  Co-op is still running, in the same location, but maybe a little less funky. There is also a Whole Foods Market (meh).
  4. Great improvements since 1980 as far as coffee/bistro/beer (not that we could have affording these back in the day!) Check out Hops & Berries – great selection.
  5. And the Old Town is booming with eateries, pubs, art galleries, gift galleries, sporting goods, etc.

On Monday we went for a drive up Poudre Canyon and then back to town through Rist Canyon. Stopped at a great nursery – The Plantorium, where we bought a rhubarb plant and a tomatillo plant.  Then we went to O

Between Niwot and Boulder

Between Niwot and Boulder

dell’s and tried two different samplers and bought some six packs. Unf

ortunately New Belgium was closed. Next on to Boulder, where we tried (and bought) some meads at Redstone Meadery. Bought three varieties of Hay

stack goat cheese at Whole Foods, and then crashed at Deborah and Alan Nelson’s house.

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Lettuce be thankful (for beer)

Last fall I planted Amish Deer Tongue lettuce, which looks like another variety I’ve grown in the past  – Oak Leaf. However, I think the Deer Tongue is better (read about it here and here). Despite the crazy weather we’ve had this spring*, it has held up very well and still doesn’t show signs of bolting. I had it under cold frames until mid-March, and we’ve been eating it since January. The outer leaves are a bit raggedy, but if you strip off the outer leaves (and I’ve got so much of it that this isn’t an issue) you end up with a really beautiful little Bibb/Romaine type head that keeps well in the fridge. Speaking of which, my Bibb lettuce is bolting, so it looks like the Deer Tongue is what I’ll be planting in the future. Seeds of Change has a red variety, which I’m definitely going to get – red lettuce is so sexy!

*Too warm in January and February, then late, hard frosts; very dry until this last week, and now way too wet!

Corn poppies and larkspur are now blooming. Once again, my David Austin antique rose has been sabotaged by (too much) rain, just as it begins to bloom. I believe the variety I have is Gertrude Jekyll (great name, huh?). The wild roses that Em brought me several years ago from Ft Supply are blooming profusely. The pink ones are especially nice – double, fragrant, and very hardy – and I’ll keep them, despite their tendency to sucker and spread all over.

Mike and I are going to Ft. Collins so he can run a marathon this weekend. I wonder if we can find some asparagus along the irrigation ditches. When we were very young, poor students at CSU  one of our favorite things to do on weekends was take long walks and harvest the free asparagus. But Ft. Collins has become so urban since then, I wonder if irrigation ditches still exist in town.

While we’re  in Ft. Collins Aric has advised us to visit some of the local breweries. We may want to go back at the end of June for their beer festival. Good thing these breweries didn’t get established until after Mike and I graduated!:  Odell, New Belgium, Coopersmith’s, Ft. Collins, Conor ONeills and Big Horn. And then there are others nearby: Avery, Boulder, Lefthand, Bacchus Meadery, Walnut, Oskar Blues, Twisted Pine, BJ’s, Mountain Sun, Crabtree, Pitchers, Pumphouse, Rock Bottom, Boulder Draft House, Restone Meadery, Library,  and Altitude (ok, the last two are in Laramie, but that’s considered local, isn’t it?)

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