Category Archives: food

Six summer beers that elicit smiles

hell or high watermelon wheat beer

There are things that I slurp and chug, and then there are things that I sip and savor–  a summer beer is some where in-between. Not watery swill, but a bright and drinkable (less drunkable), easily refillable consumable.   Enough to quench one’s thirst without inducing dizziness.   Here are a list of beers that to seem to best answer the question, what is a summer beer?

  • HELL OR HIGH WATERMELON WHEAT BEER {can; 21st amendment brewerey; san francisco, ca} “We start by brewing a classic American wheat beer, which undergoes a traditional secondary fermentation using fresh watermelon. A straw-colored, refreshing beer with a kiss of watermelon aroma and flavor.”
  • FESTINA PECHE {bottle; dogfish head brewerey; rehobeth beach, de} “A refreshing neo-BerlinerWeisse fermented with honest-to-goodness peaches to (get this!) 4.5% abv! Because extreme beers don’t have to be extremely boozy! Available in 4-pack and draft during the sweaty months. Sadly, there are only a few breweries left in Berlin still brewing the BerlinerWeissestyle which is characterized by its intense tartness (some say sour).”
  • BROOKLYN LAGER {can; brooklyn brewerey, brooklyn, ny}  “Brooklyn Lager, the Brewery’s flagship label, is New York’s “hometown” beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Brooklyn Lager has won numerous awards.”
  • NATIONAL BOHEMIAN {can; eponymous; milwaukee, wi} “A treasured mid-Atlantic brand since 1885. National Bohemian, or Natty Boh is Baltimore’s signature beer and a legend among American beers.  In the late ’40s, canned beer started becoming popular and National was the first brewer in the U.S. to put six-packs of cans on the market. In following decade, National Brewing continued to proudly represent Baltimore and the Maryland shore, adopting the now famous slogan: “From the Land of Pleasant Living.”
  • THE LOVE {bottle; starr hill brewery; nelson co, va} “The Love is an unfiltered wheat beer, also known as a hefeweizen. It is distinguished by its extremely light body and flavored with hints of banana and clove. A slice of lemon can complement this refreshing brew.  A friend of mine would smuggle wheat-beer yeast back from a brewery in Germany, and he won the National Home Brewers’ Competition one year with this yeast that he’d smuggled. I asked him if he would ‘share the love’ and let us borrow the yeast, and 10 years later he finally did.”
  • DALES PALE ALE {can; oskar brewery; lyons, co} “America’s first hand-canned craft beer is a voluminously hopped mutha that delivers a hoppy nose, assertive-but-balanced flavors of pale malts and hops from start to finish. First canned in 2002, Dale’s Pale Ale is a hearty (6.5% and 65 IBUs), critically acclaimed trailblazer that has changed the way craft beer fiends perceive canned beer.”

Truffle hunting dogs article by Laura McCandlish

Great article in The Oregonian newspaper by Laura McCandlish (of BaltimOregon blog) on truffle hunting dogs:

Until last year, Gusto, a 6-year-old search-and-rescue black Labrador retriever, didn’t know a sumptuous truffle from a poisonous puffball mushroom. While she had sniffed out crime scenes and searched for cadavers since she was a puppy, her Eugene-based owner, Jean Rand, found it difficult to go out on those 3 a.m. calls. Wasn’t there a more regular daytime pursuit for Gusto’s keen nose? (full story)

I wish my dog Oyster could do this!  How can I train him to do more than sniff out treats in my pocket?  Are there truffles to be had in Maryland? not sure, but maybe ginseng hunting hounds could be another alternative.

Create Consumer Demand for Local, Organic Foods

reposted from

” After visiting our Saturday Baltimore, MD farmer’s market teeming with local produce, I know that seasonal supply is not a problem.  America is still very much an agrarian country; I can measure my degrees of urbanity in “minutes-traveled-before-seeing-a-cow.”  How then can we create demand for fresh, local foods in the most pedestrian food venues like grocery stores, food carts, and chain restaurants?  On an individual level, this year I resolve to do something different…  and ASK where my food comes from.”  (continue reading at

Return from the Woods


After coming home from a week backpacking trip in Kings Canyon National Park and eating dehydrated meals, gorp, and granola, all I wanted was something fresh.   After looking over the CSA box that arrived this morning I decided on a kinoa-pinto bean salad with rosemary-white wine sauce, organic brown rice in butter, and a peach-heirloom tomato salsa spread over a bed of arugula.    For desert I made a pie with  sauteed pears (to soften them), fresh figs and strawberries.  To retain the  flavor of the contrasting fruits, the only other ingredients were 3 Tbsp of sugar, 1 Tbsp butter, and 2 tsp of corn starch.     The meal was light and filling, and good enough to cause Wendy to conk out shortly thereafter.

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quiche cupcake thingy

Christy, what is this called again?  It tastes like a quiche cupcake.


Here’s how I made this impromptu meal (6 pieces):

  • paint muffin tin with olive oil
  • paint one sheet of filo dough with olive oil and fold lenthwise, then into thirds. push into recess and snip off excess. repeat 5x
  • saute 1/4 onions, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 finely diced asparagus in butter
  • mix 1/4 c feta, 1/4 c Parmesan, 2 eggs, splash milk, large pinch flour, and veggies. salt and pepper to taste.
  • pour in mold and bake 375 F for 25 min  or until egg is cooked

i meant to put leftover salmon but forgot.  bacon, chipotle, mozzarella may be good too.

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Good news for US eaters

The National Organic Program administers the O...
Image via Wikipedia

Those who eat food can enjoy the fruits of President Obama’s recent selection for deputy agriculture secretary.  Look for more stringent laws about how food can be labeled, especially organic and antibiotic free labeled foods.

“President Obama has tapped Kathleen Merrigan, an academic and former congressional aide who helped write federal organic food-labeling rules, to be deputy agriculture secretary. The White House announced the pick yesterday, drawing cheers from food-safety advocates, who have pushed for more stringent labeling regs.”

– from Scientific American, 60-second science blog

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Does this look like a man who eats McDonalds every day?


“(The CEO) continues to eat there every day, favoring a quarter-pounder with no cheese or condiments. He was named chief executive after one chief died and the successor became ill. (Mr. Cantalupo died of a heart attack in 2004; Charlie Bell of colon cancer, in early 2005).” full NYT article + image

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