October 26th, 2011

palate

Water of the Gods. (107)

Beer Craft by William Bostwick & Jessi Rymill.

Raise up a glass to
Hathor in the labyrinth,
minotaur goddess.

This is billed as a "How-To" book, but you really should think of it as a "How-Come?" book. The subtitle reads "A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer," but the book should have huge appeal to anyone who has any interest in drinking great beer. It is like a little Alton Brown-esque, explaining the simple science-- well, sometimes not-so-simple-- behind brewing, giving any dilletente a chance to peek behind the curtain & reverse engineer their favorite beers. I don't have any intention of making up a batch of beer in my apartment any time soon, but I still want to know how mashing works, what exactly wort is, what hops bring to the table, what kinds of flavors are the results of additives & what are just a weird result of chemical interaction with the malt or the hops or the water or the type of yeast. Heck, just finding out that what makes a stout a "Russian" stout is lots of hops was good to know, but knowing that the antibiotic properties of hops where used to ship beers to far away places-- like Russia or the eponymous India of those famous pale ales-- is icing. Cantillion keeps everything they make, even if it seems bad? They just wait till it turns a corner? Interesting to know, given how much Jenny & I liked their Gueuze & Iris. Beyond the "funfacts" aspect of the text, chapter three-- "Drink"-- is just straight up intended for those of us with parched throats. How to pour, for instance-- turns out, if you are tilting the glass, you're doing it wrong. A guide to aromas & tastes, as well as the chemicals creating those smalls & flavors, extensive notes on cheese & meal pairings, a discussion of what type of glass you should use along with the all important why...all simple pieces of valuable know-how. Like Lauren Salazar of New Belgian Brewing Company says, it is like crayons. "As kids, we start out with a box of eight Crayolas: this is red, this is blue. Then you got to sixteen, & you're saying, this is magenta, this is periwinkle."
ringwraith

Blue Moon, Red Room.


(Frank Silva as Killer BOB, last day of filming Twin Peaks, photo by Richard Beymer.)

Yesterday...er. Well, there were stairs; I climbed the twenty-two floors in about five minutes & ten seconds, which is respectable but hardly setting any records. I also ate a ton of bagels & then Terra & I walked over to Bellvue South Park. No wait, that was Monday; yesterday Terra & JJ & Jasmine & I walked down to Union Square Park to see a granny flashmob, running into Elizabeth & Kat & Pamela along the way. Then after work, Terra came over to my apartment-- while Jenny worked the CSA shift I was supposed to work, because Jenny is the best!-- & we watched two episodes of Twin Peaks; "Arbitrary Law" & "Dispute Between Brothers". I forgot how effing handsome Dale Cooper is when he's soaking wet under the fire sprinklers & his hair is in his face, & "Dispute..." is the one where Agent Cooper & Major Brigs go fly fishing & the owls are definitely not what they seem. Terra left & Jenny served up some dinner-- chicken with mashed potatoes & gravy with broccoli. Yummy, & then Castle-- a ghost story! That show, man, yes. I am always happy when shows slip the bonds of plausibility. "Hey, I'm making a narrative over here, who cares if it is silly?" Then tumble down, bed time. I was sleepy, & I guess I'm a little bit tired right now! Today has been a bit of a mess; not in a bad way, just in a fuzzy, confusing way. Jenny came by though & we hung out, walked around. So exciting right? Ugh, I am totally a half-zombie half-robot. Definitely a Deathlok style Universal Soldier situation over here.