Monthly Archives: November 2010

Brew

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So its been about a week since our bubblin and brewin began. We have been trying to read through lots of books and online directions to make sure we did it right, and so far it is looking good. After we added the yeast the first night, there was really no signs of action. The next day, same, no bubbles no nothing. I was getting a little worried. Then on the third day, the bubbles and magic started. That lasted for a few days and now the brew has calmed itself again. I think by next week we will be botting some beer, then its only a short wait after that.

I was told a few days ago that the initial brewing and wait is for the creation of alcohol and the wait after the bottling is for the carbination… so hopefully I can wait long enough to not have flat beer.

HOP HEAD IPA

  • Extracts: 7.5 lbs light liquid malt barley
  • Grains: .5lb crystal malt, .5lb carastan malt, .5lb special roast malt
  • Hops: 2oz Centenial, 2oz Golding, 1oz Cascade
  • Hopping Schedule: 70 minutes Centenial/Golding, 20 minutes Centenial, 10 minutes Golding, 5 minutes Cascade
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Can you smell it?

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Ah the sweet scents of autumn are permeating through the walls of my kitchen in my apartment; apples, cloves, nutmeg, and… malted barley?

Recently, I recieved the most coveted of all recipes… my mother’s wassail. It is often asked for, almost begged for, during the holiday season. The sweetness of the apples, the tartness in the citrus, and the smooth nuttiness of the spices make this warm winter drink a heavely treat. The moment the cider steam reaches my nostrils and the sweet and tangy warmth passes by my lips I am reminded of holidays passed and am immediately uplifted. I am notorious for altering recipes though and altered the recipe slightly to make it my own.

I have baked two local chickens in the weeks passed. The first I did in a typical country manner: smoothered the chicken in rosemary and added salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and a touch of dill. The rosemary I sneaked from the urban farm and dried in my kitchen. I served the chicken with mashed potatoes and cauliflower and some steamed veggies. The second chicken I went with a bit of thai flavor and used a red lentil curry sauce, with local wild rice, and veggies.

The most exciting news of the night is only two words: Home Brew. Shane and I attempted our first brew tonight, a super hoppy IPA (not my favorite, but a fun one to start on). It was definitely a new venture and no directions are the same. So fingers crossed we will have something tastey to sip on in about three weeks!

Feelin the cold rush in…

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Its been difficult working on the garden lately- no car, no sunshine, no time. A lot of the work can wait until the spring time now, but would have liked to get some more brassicas in the ground (like kale and maybe some spinach). There are a lot of good resources here for buying local food though, so I guess I’ll stick with that.

There is a silver lining of these soggy Eugene winters: with the rain and cold brings warmth from the kitchen. I have been working on perfecting my spicy chai recipe. I am using green tea and have experimented with cloves, lavender, anise, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I think I want to get some cardamon and ginger today maybe.  Also trying to get a wasil recipe together that is even a tiny bit comparable to the nectar of the gods that my mother makes.

I have been a little bake crazy as well. There is nothing I love more than to work hard during the week and spend time with my boyfriend Shane on the weekends, eating good rich food, drinking wine,  laughing, and hanging out in our pajamas all day. I think these days are what keeps me sane. On the baking list for the past couple weeks: pumpkin spice cupcakes (decorations turned out great!), chocolate mint swirled cookies, pumpkin walnut cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and bread bread bread.

Today I am working on baking a whole chicken that I got from the local exchange. I made a mix of course salt, pepper, fresh picked rosemary, local garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, and olive oil and rubbed in between the skin and the breast of the chicken. Its been marinating all night and I am excited to bake it tonight for my honey to come home to. I am thinking of making some mashed potato with purple cauliflower.

The leaves are absolutely beautiful, makes me appreciate the sun so much more. My goal this winter is to work on finding the beauty and embracing all things sweet and comforting winter brings.