As usual Mark Bittman is dead on. Healthcare costs are eating this country alive. Controlling healthcare costs is what will get us out of this mess but nobody seems to be really interested in solving the problem (not based on where the $38 billion in cuts are coming from). And that is where the fault lies with Bittman’s ideas.
Corny as it is to say so, if we can put a man on the moon we can create an environment in which an apple is a better and more accessible choice than a Pop-Tart.
But the Pop-Tart has a huge lobby behind it who’s interest is keeping the Pop-Tart more accessible than an apple. Sad but true. We’re not interested in public health in this country nor in the long-term health of our citizens. In the end it’s all about getting rich today and to hell with tomorrow.
Hard to describe how excited I was about a show on Discovery not only about beer but about my favorite craft brewery, Dogfish Head. The show, Brew Masters, covered the development of a brew done in collaboration with Sony Records to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis recording Bitches Brew.
Dogfish Head does some incredible things with beer so it was wonderful to see the process involved in creating one of these brews. I’m fortunate to have a bottle of the beer profiled in this show as well so having it will be a real treat. I hope the show is going to bring a lot more attention to craft beer. As noted in the show the total percentage of the beer industry represented by craft breweries is a small 5%. It would be nice to see these breweries getting the attention they deserve. There is a lot of fantastic beer out there.
This one is a group effort from Stone, 21st Amendment, and Firestone Walker. An all-California brew they decided to use many California-local ingredients including chia seeds, pink peppercorns, fennel seeds, and Mission figs.
I can say they were right on the “roasty” part. They were also right on the “black” part. I honestly can’t taste figs, or fennel, etc. There is a spice note there but to me its just big black ale. Tasty but worth the $3.40 a bottle I paid? Not so sure.
I’d definitely drink it again if provided by someone else
Brew of the day, that I’m actually having this evening, is Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock. I’ve had two bottles of this stuff sitting on the shelf in my basement for awhile now and thought it was time to open one up and give it a try. I’m actually pretty surprised at this. I thought the body would be heavier but its fairly light (to go along with a “light” 7.50% alcohol content) and the color is not at all what I expected. Appears to be a fairly clear reddish brown with no head to speak of. Flavor-wise the coffee is front-and-center. There is certainly no doubt this is an ale brewed with coffee
Overall its a pretty good beer. I don’t think I’d go out of my way to buy it again but I’m certainly enjoying this one.
The hands. The hands were the first thing to let me know that my Winter-ridden body was doing something very different, almost wrong. Given that I have two days off from work and absolutely fabulous weather in which to enjoy those two days I thought it might be nice to till under the cover crop I had planted last Fall.
The idea of a tiller is pretty easy to understand: a gasoline-powered engine moves blades that chop up the ground underneath them. Actually operating a tiller, especially when you’ve been sitting on your butt all Winter, isn’t quite so easy. It’s like trying to ride a bucking bronco. It’s jumping all over the place and you’re holding on for dear life and hoping to keep it moving in a straight line. Depending on how you’ve set up the tiller it might also bite deep into the ground and that presents it’s own problems because trying to get the heavy tiller up and out of the hole it dug itself deeply into can be an even bigger challenge than keeping it moving in a straight line.
But back to the hands. They started aching like mad because I had to keep holding up a lever to keep the blades moving…and do it for 2 hours. They’re just not used to that sort of work right now. I had to sign something soon after finishing the tilling and could barely control the pen that I was using to sign the papers. Of course now, twelve hours later, the rest of my upper body is one large ache. I haven’t used these muscles in a long time apparently because I feel every one of them now.
I’ll take it though. It was a fantastic day and I was able to get a nice head start on the garden this year. Pleasurable aches if there ever were any.
Soak overnight. Should have many labels floating in the water.
This stuff works great!
Veggie seeds have been ordered. Bring on Spring!
You’re damned right it is. It’s bitterly cold outside. Seed catalogs are showing up by the shovelful in the mail. It’s time to start thinking about the vegetable garden this year. As in the past couple of years I’ve got grand plans. Last year’s grand plans were squashed (no pun intended) by a hell of a lot of rain early in the spring that made me have to plant really late. That also meant that I wasn’t able to plant everything I wanted.
I haven’t started the planning as of yet except for one thing: I’m planning on not double digging the garden by hand this year. It just takes too damned long and I’m not convinced it helped as much as “How to Grow More Vegetables” said it would. My average yields have been fantastic regardless of the method of soil preparation. So this year I’m planning on tilling again to save time. I can’t say it will save my back or save in hard labor as those big tillers are a real wild ride but it certainly will save me a lot of time.
All of the other planning is going to start happening very soon though. Need to get those seeds ordered….
Food Network had a special Iron Chef America episode on tonight where all of the vegetables came from the White House vegetable garden set up by the Obamas when they first moved in to the White House. Protein (meat, cheese, etc.) was sourced within a hundred miles of “Kitchen Stadium”. This really was a great show and I loved the emphasis on fresh garden vegetables and local food.
The seed catalogs have started streaming in and given the near subzero temperatures we’ve had the last several days I’m really starting to look forward to the return of the warm weather and the chance to get my vegetable garden going.