Monthly Archive: March 2013

it’s about to get real around here

Sorry for the lack of posts last week.  Blame The Mr’s travels, me subsequently having a hectic week, and the power being out for two hours because of a storm on the one night I had time to work on posts.  But now, my fella is back in town, the power remains on, and all is right with the world.

So, I’m baffled. I can’t believe that I have lived in Charlotte and been a food blog reader for as long as I have and have only come across the blog 100 Days of Real Food in the last month!  I seriously don’t know how on earth I’ve been missing it.  Oh, well.  Whatevs.

For those three other people in the world who haven’t read it but somehow read this blog, the 100 Days blog is about how a family of four completely cut processed food out of their life for 100 days and the subsequent dietary changes they maintained after the initial 100 days.  I’ve found it to be really interesting…and eye opening.  In fact, it got me wondering…how much processed food do The Mr and I really eat?

Initially, I was all “I buy 97% of our groceries at Trader Joe’s.  We can’t be doing that badly, right?”

Before I can answer that question, I should clarify what Lisa from 100 Days outlined as “real food” for her family’s 100 day challenge.  Pretty much real food is just what it sounds like.  It’s food that either remains or is made from ingredients that have not been processed in any way.  So, for Lisa’s 100 day challenge here were the terms:

What You CAN Eat:

1.  Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry.

2.  Lots of fruit a vegetables (as many as possible from local farmers).

3.  Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese.

4.  100% whole wheat and whole grains.

5.  Seafood (preferably wild caught over farm-raised).

6.  Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (and preferably in moderation).

7.  Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee and tea, wine, and beer.  (WHEW!)

8.  Snacks like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and popcorn.

9.  All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates in moderation.

What you CAN NOT Eat:

1.  No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat, not just wheat).

2.  No refined sweeteners such a sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or artificial things like Splenda.

3.  Nothing out of a box, bag, can, bottle, or package that has more than five ingredients listed on the label.

4.  No deep fried foods,

5.  No “fast foods.”

 

So keeping those in mind, I started looking at the things in my refrigerator.  Here’s what I found:

Exhibit A – My FAVORITE Tru-Moo Chocolate Milk (which I typically use for my late afternoon snack)

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Daaammmnnn!  I knew it was too good to be true that chocolate milk could be good for me.  So how many “real food rules” have I broken with this one – 1) sugar as an added ingredient, 2) packaged product with more than 5 ingredients in it, and 3) cornstarch.

 

Exhibit B – The Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Links we eat with breakfast each morning. 

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This one didn’t surprise me much.  Definitely counting more than 5 ingredients on the back of the package…two of them being added sugar and added salt.

 

Exhibit C – My FAVORITE Trader Joe’s Hazelnut non-dairy creamer that I put in The Mr puts in my coffee each a.m.

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You may ask yourself what exactly I thought “non-dairy creamer” entailed.  Truth is, I didn’t think about it at all really.  I just liked the hazelnut flavor and thought it would be healthier than say Coffee Mate you buy at main stream grocery stores, you know, since it comes from TJs.  I’m betting that the fact “cane sugar” is listed as the second ingredient in it means it has a pretty hefty dose of it.  Again I say – daaaammmnnn!  (FYI, that should be pronounced with at least three syllables…)

And finally…

Exhibit D – The Trader Joe’s Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage I’ve been putting in my lunchtime quiche.

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This one is sneaky.  Conveniently lumped into the category of “seasoning” for this product are added salt and added sugar.  Hey, at least TJs was honest about it.  They could have easily left only the generic “seasoning” in the ingredients list and it would have met the “no packaged items with more than five ingredients rule.”  But…they told the truth and I’m a believer that the truth will set you free.  That’s true of many things, but in this case it’s free from added sugar and salt.

Clearly, not all is as it seems.  For the most part, as long as we eat at home, we do pretty well with these things.  But, as this little experiment illustrated, there are some hidden traps out there.  And, truth be told, I talk a good game about eating local but when it comes to my weekly shopping, I opt for convenience.  I can make a greater effort to get more of our meat, dairy, and produce from local farmers.  We’re much better about drinking local than eating local. ;)  I need to learn to shake the hand that feeds me…not just the one that makes my beer.

On her blog, Lisa encourages readers to go for a 10-day real food challenge to open their eyes about the hidden processed foods they encounter.  I don’t know that I’m ready to sign up for a full 100-day challenge, but I think 10 days might be a little too short for us, especially since we have a pretty good start.  I mean, aside from my Tru-Moo habit, our snacks are mostly things like plain Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, cheese, and raw nuts.   In ten days we could simply avoid eating out and make one run to the farmer’s market.    That’s not enough to really start to impact our habits and the choices we make about our food.

So, The Mr and I have decided to put ourselves on a 30 day challenge to follow the rules listed above and only eat real food.  We started yesterday and we’ve got two weeks to get into a rhythm before he has to go on a business trip.  I can tell you right now, I’m already missing my hazelnut flavored coffee creamer…

I’m also thankful that beer and wine are the products of natural processes which put them in the list of “allowed” foods and beverages.  Otherwise, no deal…or at least only maybe 98% deal.

Anyway, we’ve got one day down and 29 more to go.  Who knows, as we approach the 30-day mark we might call an audible and decide to go the full 100.  You never know!  Wish us luck! We’ll keep you posted as to how we are doing!

newmrssig

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://kitchendoesnttravel.com/blog/archives/1136

i stole a wall of S’s

Truth be told, I didn’t actually steal the S’s in the strict sense of the word, rather just the IDEA of them.  This blog is supposed to be about The Mr and I traveling about, eating good food, drinking good beer, and learning how to use our fancy camera in the process.  However, the fact of the matter is that, for the time being The Mr will be the one traveling about, not I.  Don’t worry, he’s just going on work trips, not doing anything fun without me.  I am perturbed about said trips because they are keeping us from doing a couple fun things that I really like to do…like say the inaugural Oxford Craft Beer Festival… I’m more than a little annoyed by this.  But I digress…

Don’t worry, though, Charlotte has enough going on in the beer scene these days to keep this blog hopping (ha, ha get it.  Beer.  “Hopping.”  am I the only one that finds that amusing?) for a while.  Anyway, because we’re (mostly I will be) hanging out at the homestead for a bit, I thought I’d feature a couple little projects that we’re doing around the house.  Which leads me back to the “stolen” wall of S’s…

We’ve been in our townhouse for 4 1/2 yrs.  Most of the decorating is done, but it is definitely still a work in progress.  Our downstairs half-bath has been one of these unfinished projects that has plagued me since day one.  It was painted and crowned with moulding within two months of us moving in here but I’ve never been able to check that tiny little room off as “done” from the decorating “to-do” list because I’ve never had an idea about what to do with the wall behind the toilet.  This has irked me every single time I’ve gone into that room for 4 1/2 yrs. And when I say “every single time I’ve gone into that room for 4 1/2 yrs” I literally mean EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.

You might be thinking “Dude, it’s a bathroom wall.  Relax.” But, you see, because it’s the only water closet downstairs, someone goes in there every single time we have people over.  The toilet directly faces the sink which, like all bathrooms everywhere, has a mirror hanging over it.  So, whether it’s a female guest who sits or a male guest who stands while answering the call of nature in my home, what they stare at is a big blank green wall. See what I mean…

 

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Call me crazy, but I like to look at something pretty when I potty.  I recently spruced up the back of the bowl with an orchid.  It helped, but it wasn’t enough.

 

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That blank wall plagues me.  It simply won’t do.  It just bothers me.  It’s blah and boring.  Despite it’s constant mocking of me,  I didn’t want to just throw any old thing up there to fill the space.  So, 4 1/2 yrs go by while I remain uninspired about how to remedy the situation.  Enter Emily from Jones Design Company.  I’ve been one of her readers for a while, but had forgotten about this particular project until recently when I came across this post from March of last year while perusing her site in search of something else.  I didn’t even have to re-read the entire post to be inspired.  As soon as I caught a glimpse of the post title I knew – this was the solution to my bathroom dilemma bathroom WALL dilemma.

I took inspiration from Emily and decided to fill our half-bath wall with our monogram like she did with the L’s.

 

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Emily said that she purchased only a couple of her L’s and that she made the rest from things that she had lying around the house.  Not being as much of a DIYer as Emily, I actually had to spend about $50 to gather the necessary supplies, but (for me at least) that’s a pretty low budget decorating project.  Also, I’m not nearly as creative as Emily, so I actually copied a couple of her monograms outright.

I stuck with neutral tones to keep it from looking too busy.  Here’s the individual breakdown (descriptions left to right):

 

KDT Wall of S's

 

1.  S sketched and painted onto a small canvas purchased from Michael’s.  I used the font from #6 as my guide.

2.  S printed on parchment paper and framed in a vintage frame purchased at the Habitat for Humanity Restore ($1).  Like, Emily, I drew in the “No. 2″ at the bottom to add visual interest.  (It was the second S that I completed.)

3.   layered scrap linen with S cutout of scrapbook paper framed in an ugly frame purchased at the Habitat for Humanity Restore (also $1) that I repainted black.

4.  large S cut out of foam core board and decoupaged with scrapbook paper in vintage frame also purchased from Habitat ($2).

5.   printed/framed photo of an S I took as part of a photo project I’m working on.

6.  plain wooden S purchased from Michael’s and crackle finished using paints that I happened to have around the house.

7.  a combination of two stolen from Emily’s wall… a S cut out of glittered scrapbook paper and glued to scrap linen with metal book plate and label with “est. 1999″ handwritten on it.  (We got married in 1999.) The frame was also an ugly $1 purchase from Habitat that I crackle painted using supplies I already had.

8.  toile fabric swatch from Calico Corners (ordered years ago and never used) layered with a printed S framed in a vintage frame purchased at the Habitat for Humanity Restore (also $1).

9.  chalkboard painted piece of scrap wood from our garage with hand drawn S and border.  Stolen straight from Emily’s wall

10.  bronze metal S purchased on clearance at Restoration Hardware for $6.

11.  small S stenciled on a piece of frayed scrap linen, backed with a scrap fabric swatch from another project, and framed in a small frame purchased at Michael’s. MY FAVE!!

 

I spent an entire Saturday sprawled out on top of a drop cloth in the middle of my kitchen floor painting, cutting, crackling, gluing, and decoupaging then let everything dry overnight.  The next day I enlisted the help of The Mr to mount/hang them.  I then added the bright pink orchid back to the top of the toilet for a pop of color and…VOILA!

 

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I ADORE how it turned out!  In fact, I now believe this to be the most interesting wall in our house.  And, I promise I haven’t been outright asking people that come over if they need to go to the bathroom and following them there to show off/talk about my S’s…I mean, that would be weird right?…honestly, who would do that?…

Moral of this story – crime DOES pay. ;)  Now, if I can just keep from murdering the orchid…

newmrssig

 

Permanent link to this article: http://kitchendoesnttravel.com/blog/archives/1049

Travel Brew

(Long stories are called that for a reason, so grab a drink and sit for a while)

So The Mr is in Minnesota this week and Memphis the next. More miles and even more bars and brews. Some less memorable, some more so, and then every now and then you hit the beer jackpot!

Last October found this traveling techie in Louisville, KY, for a trade show. On the last day, I went hunting for a beer unavailable in Charlotte — the Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA. The Mrs had this lovely libation on tap in Virginia, where the drink regulations are less draconian (the 120 is often between 18 and 24%) and she came home singing its praises.

Armed with my trusty iPhone, I dialed numbers blindly from the Dogfish Head website while tearing down our booth. And what luck, someone had my beer just a few miles away! Since I was driving back home, a little detour wouldn’t hurt anyone. I’d be in and out in minutes, then on the road for a long drive home.

I had some trouble locating Sergio’s World of Beer, which is ironic for a world of beer, but after I followed the GPS directions, there was only one bar and a shop next door with Brazilian soccer flags in the window and a general unwelcoming appearance.

I walk into the bar, finding Pabst on tap — not “hipster” Pabst but rather the sturdy array of American adjunct lagers familiar to a rugged crew of working men. I ask if they have Dogfish Head, and you could almost hear the needle scratch. The kindly barmaid suggested that I inquire next door.

I walk to the front and see no opening.
I walk to the back and see this:

Back door entrance to Sergio's World of Beer

Well, daylight’s wasting, and a wise man once said that “no mother’s son or daughter ever got anywhere by being timid” … So the Mr went a knocking.

A busy stockman opened the door and welcomed me in. I asked for the 120, as I’ve got an 8 hour drive ahead and the sun is starting to sag in the afternoon sky. Instead, he beckons me to a beer cave of mythic proportion — and the non-chilled stock area is even larger.

Behold, this is no mere stockboy, but Sergio himself, and Sergio’s is no mere distributer but instead, he has over 1400 different beers for sale! (Yes, two zeros after the fourteen)

He tempts me with rare and collectible bottles, but I cling to my four pack of the 120, both for security and because if I let go, I’ll be able to reach my wallet and spend the mortgage payment.

Resolute as I am, he beckons to the front bar. “Do you like sour beers?”
Well, I’m just getting into them … I’ve tried the Rodenbach …

“Well then, you can’t leave without trying this — I have the only keg on this side of the world.” Hook, line, and sinker … How can a beer guy resist?

Tap pull for special sour beer(Note: this beer is “Good Dog”  — hee hee)Bon Chien 2004

He directs me to an empty seat next to a older gentleman, the sort of distinguished regular that elevates discussion even if only by the asking. He’s brought beer magazines and printouts, and he’s presiding over a trio of bottles each new and foreign to this beer guy.

The beer bard fills me in on the Sergio backstory, as well as pointing out where the establishment has been listed in The Great American Ale Trail.

We talk for almost an hour, and my sour becomes more complex as it warms. I think now that I could unroll my sleeping bag in the corner … and have my mail forwarded … Except that I have to drive 8 hours home, oh yeah, I should stop drinking before I lose the will to leave :-)

So with a audible sigh, I push away from the bar, and drag my mixed six out to the rental and point its nose home.

Here’s my loot, all from Dogfish Head: 4 120 minute IPA’s, 1 World Wide Stout, 1 Burton Baton, oh my
Beers from Sergio's

When I got home (the next day), the Mrs and I popped a 120 and slowly savored each sip. The rest went I to my “cellar”, as I call the area under the guest bed. We pulled out another two brews for celebrating New Years.

And recently, after returning from Mississippi, land of past and future, where my father was in and out of the ICU, having scared me more than a little, it seemed fitting to pour a pint in his honor. (He is recovering nicely, gentle reader, and in time will be back to raising a glass of his own) Some rites of passage are distinct points in time and some are progressions along a spectrum. When you find yourself reaching out to help a parent, instead of reaching out for help yourself … Well, after a long drive home with plenty of time to reflect, it was time to raid the cellar.

The Mrs and I chose a Dogfishhead Burton Baton and a World Wide Stout.
Were they luscious beers, where each sip makes you want to curl up in the glass? … Yes. Did I wish that I had bought out Sergio’s stock? Of course!

Many travel brews are forgettable, like a few local IPA’s that I’ve tried tonight. But some watering holes turn into wells worth returning to, and every now and then, you bring something home worth sharing.

themrnewsig2xcf

Permanent link to this article: http://kitchendoesnttravel.com/blog/archives/1127

WebMistress

“It’s all about the hashtags and the doins, and the linkeys”

Wise web words, as we start round two.

The Mrs and I are having an impromptu blog meeting over beers at The Liberty. She had to go to rehab, er, work at rehab today at the hospital — and on rehab days we alway reward her with a tasty brew afterwards, ironically enough.

This week, she’s been more proactive about broadcasting her recent posts with FaceBook and Twitter, and even something called a link party — all the while I feel old and yell at the youngsters to get off my lawn.

In the past, we had a manageable detente, with The Mrs being the creative genius and I the bit-twiddling techie who is more comfortable with databases than recipes. (Astute readers will of course note that recipes and SQL are both declarative, but I digress)

So we sit at the bar, she with a succession of luscious libations that I never dreamed would tempt her a decade ago. And I with my double IPA.

And so many questions! She has opinions about plugins and themes and post types, oh my!

Recently, The Mrs has been studiously attending The Blog Class from Jones Design Company. She’s taken to it like a duck does to whatever ducks like. I would say water, but my duckie likes beer!

themrnewsig2xcf

Permanent link to this article: http://kitchendoesnttravel.com/blog/archives/1124

quickie quiche

Little factoid for  ya – I HATE eggs…but I LOVE a good quiche.  Weird, huh?  That falls along the lines of other food idiosyncrasies such as the fact that I love a good salad, but will not eat lettuce on any kind of sandwich/burger.  I can’t stand how papery the lettuce feels in my teeth between the bread.  Similarly, I love coconut flavor, but will not touch anything with coconut shavings on it. (This quirk is useful when trying to avoid various forms of wedding and German chocolate cake.) Again, it’s a texture thing.  Can’t stand how the coconut shavings feel between my teeth when I chew them.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on water chestnuts!

I’m not really sure what it is about the eggs.  My parents said I’ve hated them since the first time they tried to give them to me as a toddler.  We’re talking total meltdown here.  As in, a reschedule-an-appointment-for-those-Olan-Mills-one-year-old-portraits meltdown.  (If you were born in the 70’s you know the portraits I’m referencing.)   I’m not so sure that it’s a texture thing with the eggs because I’ve tried to eat them pretty much every way they come – scrambled, fried, poached, over easy, omelet.  You name it.  Nope. Nada.  Nothing doing.  Can’t get them down.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at brunch and watched someone order a fabulous omelet, and ask to try a bite, only to end up (discreetly) spitting that bite out into a napkin.  Classy, I know.  But for some reason a quiche works.

This baby is no exception!

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Another weird factoid – I HATE cold lunch.  Oh…and I’m the teensiest OCD about being organized.  Not that there is anything wrong with that…especially when your spice cabinet is alphabetized. :) (I’ll have to show you that one later!)

By now, I bet you are thinking – Where is she going with this?  Here it is…

I like to make one big lunch item for the week on Sunday afternoons and divvy it up into daily portions.  That way all my lunches for the week are ready at once and all I have to do each day is replenish my lunch box each evening when I get home from work.  I hate cold lunch.  So this never involves me pre-making five sandwiches or pasta salad.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine posted a quiche recipe on Facebook.  I had never made a quiche before because, for some reason, I assumed it would be this really complicated thing.  But, after looking at my friend’s recipe I realized how easy it actually was.  She posted a basic recipe and commented that you could fill it with anything that struck your fancy.   I knew that one quiche would yield about 6-8 servings, which would give me a hot lunch to take to work for a week.   That got the old wheels a turnin’.  Hmmm….

My for my first try I used broccoli, Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage, and whatever cheese I happened to have in my fridge at the time.  I think it was part Parmesan, part Pecorino Romano.  It was okay, but nothing to write home about.  So the next week while perusing the meat/poultry aisle at Trader Joe’s, I found new inspiration – Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage!

And this Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche was born!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c half & half
  • ~6 oz Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage
  • ~6 oz of Sun-Dried Tomatoes in olive oil
  • ~2 oz of goat cheese
  • 2 portabella mushroom caps
  • fresh herbs (to taste)
  • kosher salt and pepper (to taste)
  • pre-made pie crust

Preheat the oven to 375.  Slice the sausage (on the bias) and mushrooms and brown in a little bit of olive oil.

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Meanwhile mix the eggs, half & half, salt, pepper, and herbs thoroughly using a hand-held mixer.  (On my first try with this, I tried mixing the goat cheese in at this stage thinking it would blend into the egg mixture.  It didn’t. I was left with a clump of wet eggy goat cheese at the bottom of my mixing bowl. So, I don’t recommend that.)  I have some fresh herbs growing in a window sill.  So I just grabbed a little thyme and rosemary, but you can use what ever you have on hand.

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Mix browned sausage and mushrooms in a bowl with the sun-dried tomatoes.

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Place your pie crust in pie pan.  Add your sausage, mushroom, tomato mixture.  Crumble goat cheese on top.

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Pour egg mixture over the filling.  Bake for 30-60 min until firm and the middle is no longer jiggly.  (My oven takes ~ 45 min.)

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Let cool, then cut into 6 even slices.

Out of curiosity, I used this recipe calculator to figure out the nutritional stats on this yumminess.  As best I can figure, each serving is worth the following:

  • Calories 243.5
  • Total Fat 16.3g
  • Total Carbohydrate 5.3g
  • Protein 14.9g

I like to serve mine with a side salad and some fruit.

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Now, how’s THAT for brown bagging it!

newmrssig

 

Permanent link to this article: http://kitchendoesnttravel.com/blog/archives/1047

3.2 in the rearview

For this week’s “Tuesdays on Tap” post (a tradition we plan to be more consistent with this time around), I’d like to tell you about some interesting Mississippi brews.

You may remember that when we traveled to Mississippi recently we decided to bring along provisions since our previous experience had been that good craft beer was pretty scarce down there.  I have to tell you that we were pleased to discover not one, but two Mississippi breweries with offerings we really enjoyed.

Truth be told, our provisions were gone in about two three days.  Hey…we shared.  It wasn’t all us.  We don’t drink that much.  So, as we still had 9 more days to go in the Magnolia State, we had to go in search of replenishments.  While in Jackson, we found Lazy Magnolia’s Southern Pecan and Timber Beast at the local Kroger.  We had hopes of getting our hands on their Jefferson Stout (a sweet potato cream stout) and Southern Hops’pitality (a traditional IPA) as well, but couldn’t seem to locate those.

The Southern Pecan is a lightly hopped caramelly nut brown ale that, according to Lazy Magnolia’s website is the first beer in the world brewed with pecans.  While in MS, I had it bottled at my in-laws house and on draught at three different locations.  Both delicious, but the draught was obviously my favorite.  It became my go-to Mississippi brew.

 

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The Timber Beast is an Imperial Rye IPA which is the first in Lazy Magnolia’s “Back Porch Series.”  The name of this series sounds special and interesting, but I have yet to find a definition of what all it actually entails.    If I ever get down to the brewery in Kiln, MS I’ll have to ask.  Whatever it is, it got this brew a Beer Advocate rating of 90 (exceptional) and at 9% it was actually illegal to brew, own or distribute in Mississippi until last summer.  Being an Imperial Rye IPA, this one was more The Mr’s style…or so you’d think.  But more on that later!

While out and about in the Brandon area one evening we decided to pop into the local Mellow Mushroom as we were jonesing for a draught and we knew the Mellow Mushroom would have a good selection.  We were pleased to find that a new Mississippi brewery, Lucky Town Brewing Co (from Gluckstadt, MS) had a selection tapped there – their Ballistic Blonde.

 

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It’s a Belgian Style Blonde Ale that clocks in around 5.1% with notes of banana and spice.  It was very refreshing, the kind of beer you want to drink outside on a warm summer evening.  Since February in Mississippi ranges in temps from 40-73 degrees (I was drinking it on a 68 degree February day), you are pretty much good to drink it year round down there.  Lucky Town is apparently a newly opened brewery (so much so that it doesn’t appear to have an open tap room yet) and currently only has two offerings – the Ballistic Blonde and the Flare Incident Oatmeal Stout. (Lucky Town folks, if you read this and I’m wrong, please correct me.  We’d sure love to visit the next time we are down that way.)

Later that week we made the pilgrimage north to God’s country – Oxford, MS.  (Aw, I miss it…)  While in OxVegas, we were pleased to have more opportunities to enjoy these local brews.  I mentioned that I washed down my City Grocery Shrimp and Grits with a Timber Beast.

 

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I’ve stated time and time again that The Mr is the IPA fan in the family.  But, I knew from my Beer and Cheese pairing class at NoDa last October that I can really enjoy an IPA with the right smoky gouda.  I have the recipe for City Grocery’s Shrimp and Grits and, while it doesn’t include gouda, I knew that it included parmesan and extra-sharp white cheddar cheeses and had enough of a smokey quality that I would more than enjoy a hoppy Timber Beast with it.  I was right.  The bite of the Timber Beast beautifully balanced the spice and smoke of the Shrimp and Grits for me.  It was a perfect pairing.

A couple days later I discovered that Oxford’s new-to-me-Cajun-dive, Irie on the Square, had Lucky Town’s Flare Incident tapped.  My research told me that this was an oatmeal stout, which I knew would be right up my alley.  The Mr offered to go start us a tab while I got a table and caught up with old friends.  When I asked him to get me a Flare Incident, I assumed that it wouldn’t be necessary to specify that I only wanted a pint.  I was wrong.  This is what I was brought…

 

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If you haven’t inferred from context, let me clarify.  The vat-o-beer on the right is what he brought me.  Sadly, this was our third stop of the evening, so I didn’t have the capacity for 32 extra ounces of beer. (What was he thinking?!?)  I barely made a dent in this maple syrup laced baby.  But, what I did drink, I very much enjoyed.  I’m looking forward to encountering this Incident again…albeit it in a somewhat smaller delivery vehicle.

The reason that finding these great local craft beers in Mississippi is so amazing is that, until last July, it was illegal to sell or possess beer that contained more than 5% alcohol.  From our experience, though, you were lucky if you could even locate any beers that weighed in over 3.2%, much less find a 5%-er.  That also meant that Lazy Magnolia (the only Mississippi brewery that existed until recently) couldn’t even make higher gravity beers to distribute in other states.    Thanks to the hard work of grass roots organizations like Raise Your Pints Mississippi the governor signed the craft beer bill into law on April 9, 2012 making “brews that are up to 8 percent alcohol by weight, or 10 percent by volume” legal in Mississippi as of July 1, 2012.  This was our first trip back since the law changed and, boy, did it make going home that much better.

(Side note – the grass roots efforts are now working on initiatives to legalize home brewing the  Magnolia State.)

So, Mississippi, let’s raise you pints!  Here’s to keeping those 3.2’s in the rearview mirror!

newmrssig

 

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