Hop in the City

Brooke and I went to Cabin Fever at the Schlafly Bottleworks back in January and had an excellent time. The festival features 20+ beers to taste for $20. The beers were pretty malty, and pretty high in alcohol content, but they all tasted great. The weather was shockingly good and they had some fire pits set up, so we had a great time.

Every fall, however, an even larger festival is held at the Schlafly Tap Room called Hop in the City. This one features 40+ beers for the tasting for $30. While Cabin Fever could only hold, maybe a few hundred people…but Hop in the City had a thousand. I met up with some folks this time, as Brooke is not drinking much these days. I took note of all the beers I tried while I was there.  The list is 22 types long, so I won’t list them all here (but each “taste” was around 3 oz…add that up and I “only” had 4-5 pints during the 4 hour period I was there)…however this is a list of some of my favorites.

  • American IPA – This was their Festival Beer for 2009, described as “exploding with hop flavor and aroma” with “enough of a malt backbone to stand up to the intense bitterness.”
  • Spiced Porter – A “robust Porter with orange peel and coriander for a fruity, roasty flavor.”
  • English Brown – “A moderately sweet, malty brown ale with low hop bitterness and a gentle nutty character, like its creators.”
  • Export IPA – “Light amber in color, this medium-bodied India Pale Ale is highly hopped with English hops in both aroma and bitterness, with the maltiness still quite apparent.”
  • Irish Extra Stout – A “full-bodied stout” that “has the bitterness of roasted barley with flaked barley added for a smooth finish.”

Believe you me, if we would still be here next Fall, I’d go again. Sadly, however, it’ll probably be my last Hop in the City for awhile.

Maid Rites!

Growing up, Mom made “maid rites” pretty often for dinner.  They’re loose meat sandwiches made with ground beef and onions and served with pickles, ketchup, and mustard.  The Mark Twain Dinette in Hannibal serves them, as well as various Maid Rite franchises around the country, but it seems like very few people know what they are when I mention them.  So, for your eating pleasure, here’s the how-to:

porkStart with a pound or so of ground meat.  Traditionally, maid rites are beef, but we had this pork from the Columbia Farmers’ Market in the freezer.

onion choppingChop a medium white or yellow onion into smallish chunks.

cooking 1Add the meat and onions to a skillet on medium heat and season generously with seasoned salt and pepper.

cookedContinue to stir the meat/onion mixture until it is brown and the onions are a little bit brown.

mealServe on hamburger buns (the cheaper the better if you ask me….nothing fancy needed for these sandwiches).  We had homemade french fries and California blend vegetables, but I like to order onion rings and a rootbeer with them at Mark Twain Dinette!!

Thanks, Rabbi…

…so, I pick up 3 CSA shares every Tuesday for our clients so that they can get a little closer to where their food comes from and eat at least an occasional healthy meal.  Yesterday, I picked up this:

csa-63009You might not be able to see them, but there are three bags of peas in there.  While I was loading up my produce, a lady asked Rabbi Brad, who was in charge, where peas come from.  His response?  “I don’t know, a pea tree?”

Help!!

I was watering and checking on my plants that I’m growing on our 3rd story deck and noticed these tomatoes:

tomato1These are a lot more that I picked and threw in the trash because they look like this:

tomato2tomato3tomato4

There are some that look like this:

dsc_0637

…but I’m afraid they’re all headed in the gross direction.  So, does anybody have any thoughts about what is causing this?  And how to save the rest of the tomatoes?

Not bad…

…for an on-call Saturday!

I started with about $20 of these:
berries

And ended up with all of this:
jam

My kitchen looked like this (which isn’t as bad as it normally is, but still not as clean as Andy would prefer):
messy kitchen

So, I did all of these:
dishes

Amidst all of this, I also made about 150 phone calls to fill open shifts that came up at the last minute, prepped a chicken for Andy to grill, made 10 cups of broth from that chicken, made the rest of dinner, and killed some zombies.  Whew…I’ll sleep well tonight!

Yesterday was pretty uneventful….

beer

…but we did have a very nice dinner at Bottleworks with some people from church. This was my last beer of the night….first a Pear Cider, then a No. 15, then a Cherry Cider. I think I should have watched the alcohol content on my choices a little closer….but oh well!
(sorry for the terrible photo quality…my camera battery was dead so I used my phone)

Not a bad day afterall….

lunch…even after the trek to Chesterfield yesterday!  So, for lunch my coworkers took me to Michael’s in Maplewood where I had an awesome gyro samdwich!  Everyone else also enjoyed their meals, and Angel LOVED real tatziki instead of the stuff that comes from a plastic container from Shop n Save.

Then, for dinner Andy and I went to Canyon Cafe at Plaza Fronetnac, where I had this lovely “2 drink limit” maragrita, that I swear was pink the last time i had it, but oh well….

margarita

It’s so true…

Wow, two posts in a day…after a drought of a few weeks… What’s the world coming to?

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade had a nice comic up today, referencing Spore, a new game from the creator of Sim City, Will Wright, to be released later this year. I remember Stu bringing this game up a few years ago when its development was in infancy, but it’s finally coming together.

The idea is pretty straightforward: you design/create your own organism (and environment?) and watch it evolve through the millenia. As in, you can start it from the single-cell stage and watch it grow into an intergalactic powerhouse. It will be Windows and OS X compatible, but I thought I heard it would be coming to the Wii/360/PS3 in some form or fashion – just might be later than the projected early-September release date for computers…

The neat thing is that the game is fully adaptable and unscripted, so if I start up a single-cell organism the same way for two different games, it could end up evolving into two separate beings with two separate “views” on the world…which is crazy to think about, especially for people like Stu that think about the programming involved in having everything generated on-the-fly, rather than having it lined out on the DVD it comes on.

The “creature creator” piece was released a few days ago and the internet is abuzz about it, although I haven’t tried it yet. Perhaps this weekend…

Either way, I found the comic amusing… 😛

It's so true…

Wow, two posts in a day…after a drought of a few weeks… What’s the world coming to?

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade had a nice comic up today, referencing Spore, a new game from the creator of Sim City, Will Wright, to be released later this year. I remember Stu bringing this game up a few years ago when its development was in infancy, but it’s finally coming together.

The idea is pretty straightforward: you design/create your own organism (and environment?) and watch it evolve through the millenia. As in, you can start it from the single-cell stage and watch it grow into an intergalactic powerhouse. It will be Windows and OS X compatible, but I thought I heard it would be coming to the Wii/360/PS3 in some form or fashion – just might be later than the projected early-September release date for computers…

The neat thing is that the game is fully adaptable and unscripted, so if I start up a single-cell organism the same way for two different games, it could end up evolving into two separate beings with two separate “views” on the world…which is crazy to think about, especially for people like Stu that think about the programming involved in having everything generated on-the-fly, rather than having it lined out on the DVD it comes on.

The “creature creator” piece was released a few days ago and the internet is abuzz about it, although I haven’t tried it yet. Perhaps this weekend…

Either way, I found the comic amusing… 😛

Awesome Creation

Not to brag or anything, but the dinner I made up for tonight was pretty good.  I had some “Mediterranean” cheese crumbles in the fridge and some ground pork that I needed to use, so I made Greek  burgers.

1.  Ingredients:
english muffins
1/2 lb. pork (I think turkey would be good for this, too, but I’d add something else, like some cheese or apple juice to make it stick together)
Greek seasoning (find any recipe online to make your own, like I did, or buy some premade)
Mediterranean cheese (the stuff I got on sale was provolone, feta, and parmesan)
Olive salad (whatever you want to add to some chopped up olives – mine was a handful of green olives with pimento, about a quarter of an onion, finely chopped, 2 mashed cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar)

2.    Toast english muffins.  Mix together pork and about 2 tablespoons of Greek seasoning.  Form into patties (I made 4 small ones).

3.  Wait until your husband finally decides to make his way home, even though you’re super excited to get started on this endeavor.

4.  Cook burgers however you want.  Broil some of the cheese on the bottoms of the muffins, until it’s melty and a little bit brown.

5.  Put the burgers on the cheesy muffin bottoms, top with olive salad (I put more on mine than on Andy’s, since I knew I’d like it more.)

6.  That’s it.  We also had some diced potatoes cooked with olive oil and some more of the Greek seasoning in a cast iron skillet and some steamed California blend (see, Andy does eat green things!).

I’d been thinking of this pretty much all day long, since I didn’t have any inspiration for dinner otherwise and I think it turned out very well.  Hopefully I’ll be able to put it together the same way another time, but chances are I forgot to include something I did that made it good, but feel free to try it too, and let me know if you do anything differently.