Sunday, October 28, 2012

Apres Moi, Le Deluge!

This morning, as Nate went around unplugging the small electronics, putting valuables on higher shelves, closing the windows and taking pictures of our apartment to remember it by, the guys helped me pack.

Go Subaru

As I told a friend on Facebook, putting together the gear for a three-day flee for two babies is a sort of shockingly item-heavy proposition: our essentials, which last year I consolidated into a “go bag” were this year better characterized as a “go Subaru Outback.”

Home Sweet Evacuation Home

After parking our Fiesta on the top of a hill, we drove into the city and checked into a hotel in Midtown. Nate immediately headed out to deal with the crazed water-and-bread seeking hordes (among whom I count myself, for the record, since I texted exclamation-heavy demands for more water and nonperishables to his retreating back). The boys and I got settled in our room, then went out to experience the siren call of the Big Apple while the getting was good.

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

First we walked to 10th Avenue, which Elliott found less than impressive, if his sustained stink-eye was to believed. We maneuvered awkwardly around a Duane Reade buying essentials (dish soap, iced tea and a Cadbury fruit and nut bar, in this case) and then hit the street to search for some lunch for Mum.

Unimpressed with Duane Reade

Even in jaded Manhattan, twins are a draw. On our walk, we had ma ny admirers: the Russian bellboys, a little old lady, several families, a gay couple in the window of Empanada Mama (one half of which came out to tell me he and his partner had been staring at us out the window because they couldn’t imagine anything so cute. They waved at us as we left), and a woman standing on the corner who said, “Oh, twinsies! I’m a twin! But I’m smoking a cigarette, so stay far away from me.”

The babies met their first crop of truly sketchy street loitering dudes: you don’t get your most authentic “creepy guys just hanging on the street” outside a major metropolitan area. I was more wary of them then I would have been pre-Wombats. I gave many a stink eye, to convey the message, “Oh don’t you look at my babies!”

Eventually both babies succumbed to Broadway’s sweet lullabye and slept, and I bought a chicken roll, a delicious delicious calzone like product I have never had outside New York. It was delicious and I would have enjoyed it just as much even if it hadn’t been the only thing I could buy because it had an order window on the street.

Dan Smith!

I realize why the boys drew so much attention: clearly, no one else is dumb enough to try and get a double stroller in and out of retail establishments in Manhattan. Most restaurants I had hoped to visit had steps, ramps or sharp internal turns that made them a no-go. And clearly I have become soft and suburbanized, because it only occurred to me after the nice man at Empanada Mama complimented the guys ,and went inside that I should have said, “Oh, you think they’re cute? How about you bring their mom a roast pork empanada and a spinach arepa since we can’t bring the cuteness up the stairs?”

Holiday Inn Boppy Time

Now the dudes are catching a few hours of the dreamless, which gives me time to enjoy what may be the only enjoyable part of natural disaster prep in NYC: watching Mayor Bloomberg give emergency announcements en Espanol. Informative AND delightful.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Coming Storm

Last year we had a storm. A hurricane. Much of the Northeast laughed it off as an overblown rain event. We had a slightly different experience.

After having this hurricane do severe damage to us financially we are not prepared to take any more risks in the future. It seems silly now that there was a time when we were perched in the upper hallway of the apartment looking down and wondering if we would make it out alive. Knowing what we know now it seems crazy. However, if we'd known that last year things would have turned out a lot differently.

We have a hurricane, Sandy, which is threatening to pick up where Irene left off over a year ago. Apparently it's teamed up with a nasty winter storm and is headed straight our way. Much like last time we're preparing a plan. Last time I was most interested in a plan for how to use up the food in the fridge to minimize spoilage in the event of a power outage. I laughed at Jen when she prepared a "Go Bag" for the emergency. Luckily things were too dire for her to say "I told you so" as we dashed out the door with the "Go Bag" on our way to a police rescue boat.

Martin and Elliott Nap Time

Things are a bit more complicated this time around with the Wombats on board. Since the last time ended so poorly we are in the midst of formulating a plan where Jen can escape with the babies and I can be left behind to hopefully not go down with the ship.

Even if this storm is only 50% as bad as the last one we really don't want to be stuck here with the Wombats.

Of course this doesn't mean I didn't snap into action to start clearing out the fridge!

Full Fridge

The problem is, like usual, the fridge is fairly full. We're going to have to burn through some serious food to have it empty of all perishables by Sunday.

I started by cooking some onion and garlic from the farm in some butter than adding in chopped cauliflower that we'd purchased at the farmer's market last week. I cooked it down until tender then added milk and cream, cooked it some more, and then pureed the mixture to make essentially a thick cauliflower soup.

Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Sauteed Collard Greens and Cauliflower Puree

I poured this into the plate then topped with the collard greens which were cooked in rendered bacon, olive oil and onion with a splash of lemon juice. I served these both along with chicken breast which I butterflied, pounded, and quickly pan roasted.

Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

For beer I cracked open this Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Samuel Adams. After having all of these pumpkin beers this season I've come to the following conclusion: I don't really care for regular pumpkin beers. The Imperial Pumpkins are really good. I Imperial Pumpkins both as a beer and as the name for a band. The regular pumpkins are just always a little weak to me. A little thin, and uninteresting.

This one, however, was toward the top of the pack for the "regular" pumpkin ales. It was a bit heavy on the molasses taste and had some of that strange acidity that comes along with most pumpkin beers but it was decent.

2012 Pumpkin Beer Standings
  1. Shipyard Brewing Company Smashed Pumpkin - more pumpkin than spice
  2. Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale - rich maltiness
  3. Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking - fresh pumpkin muffin batter
  4. Long Trail Brewmasters Series Imperial Pumpkin - dubbel-style malt
  5. Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n - nicely balanced
  6. Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale - creamy head and molasses
  7. New Holland Brewing Company Ichabod Ale - heavy spice
  8. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale - slightly sour
  9. Fire Island Beer Company Pumpkin Barrel Ale - too much cinnamon
After dinner we are into full storm-preparation mode. This meant plotting out our course of action should the storm take the one of fifty-seven predicted paths and slam directly into us. Unfortunately for us we are exactly in the middle of all the predicted paths so the likelihood of it hitting us is fairly high.
hurricane sandy 1
After the prospect of clearing out the basement and packing up stuff for us in the babies became coo much Jen remembered the the World Series was on! So it was that the boys got their first taste of Major League Baseball.
Martin Watching the World Series
Martin was transfixed.
Elliott Not Loving the World Series

Elliott seeemd to hate it.

Elliott was able to bring Martin over to his way of thinking and they erupted into a frenzied fuss which lasted from the second through the sixth innings. They calmed down considerably the seventh inning stretch and after a bath and additional feeding. I can only assume they didn't like the call they made on Prince Fielder.

Sorry guys, he was clearly out.

The storm plans continue.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Power of Television

The day before Jen went into labor I made some elk burgers. After the babies were born I came home to grab a few things and threw the leftover burgers in the freezer.

Elk Burger on Pita with Avocado

Today, I thawed them out and made them for lunch! It was the taste of a long-lost time, that time before the majority of my day was spent performing baby-wrangling duties.

Today I spent a good portion of the day playing with and feeding babies. While I was tempted to feed them the elk burgers I opted to stick with milk and formula. On the occasions that I need to feed them simultaneously I often set them up in their Bumbos, or similar baby-seating devices we have lying around, and put something on TV to watch while they eat.

I am always careful to face them to me as I don't want them staring at a television screen. However, this has proved harder lately as their neck muscles have strengthened. Because, here's the thing . . .

Elliott Transfixed By TV

. . . they love TV! No matter how you hold them or where you position them they will crane their necks as much as possible in hope to grab even a quick glimpse of the mesmerising images.

Martin Transfixed By TV

I've started holding my hand by their face so they don't watch but it's really hard. I can understand why parents would park their kids in front of a television. I always thought, mistakenly, that it was because the television entertains them while you can do other things. That isn't it at all. At least not for me.

To me it's hard because how can I look at this face and all the wonder in the eyes of my son and deprive him of this? Look at him. He doesn't look at anything with that level of captivation. Not me, not his mother, not his bottle, not his food. Nothing.

Pear and Aged Cheddar Salad with Pepitas

Martin slept for about four hours this afternoon. I woke him up after an hour of playing with and feeding Elliott. I fed him and after he took the last drop out of the bottle he immediately went back to sleep for another three hours. This does not bode well for a good sleep this evening.

Roasted Pumpkin with Sausage Pretzel Stuffing

Warning: the following has a lot less to do with babies.

For dinner I made a new version of the stuffed pumpkin. I made a variation on the pretzel dumplings I made for Oktoberfest to use as a stuffing. I cooked some garlic, onion, and collard greens in olive oil and butter, added some sweet Italian Sausage, then put it over some stale soft pretzel and sourdough bread. I then added scalded milk and an egg, mixed it all together and stuffed it into a pumpkin that had been roasted for about an hour. After about another hour in the oven it was ready.

Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking

For beer tonight I picked yet another pumpkin ale from this year's haul: the Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Co. I've had this only once before on tap so I was delighted when Jen brought a bottle home for me as a special treat. It's considered by many that I've talked to to be one of the best pumpkin beers out there.

The beer smells like the batter for a pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffin. Despite that description it is not super sweet. It's probably better suited to dessert than a main course but still quite enjoyable.

2012 Pumpkin Beer Standings
  1. Shipyard Brewing Company Smashed Pumpkin - more pumpkin than spice
  2. Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale - rich maltiness
  3. Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking - fresh pumpkin muffin batter
  4. Long Trail Brewmasters Series Imperial Pumpkin - dubbel-style malt
  5. Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n - nicely balanced
  6. New Holland Brewing Company Ichabod Ale - heavy spice
  7. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale - slightly sour
  8. Fire Island Beer Company Pumpkin Barrel Ale - too much cinnamon
Before Jen got home Elliott was starting to fuss so I decided a great way to distract him would be to call up the movie Animalympics on the iPad and watch with him on the bed until she got home to feed him. It turns out I was right. The power of video wins again.

So it begins.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rainy Day Wombats #12 & 35

The Wombats have not spent a great deal of time acknowledging each other in their lives thus far. They spent almost 100% of their day within a foot or two of each other but the most interaction they have really had is just when they occasionally kick or swat at each other with their wild, flailing, seemingly uncontrollable appendages.

Usually Martin is the swatter with poor Elliott being relegated to the swattee position. Yesterday morning, however, things took a different turn.

First Brother-on-Brother Attack

Elliott somehow located Martin's ear and grabbed onto it so tightly I thought that when we finally pried his grubby little hands off of Martin's ear I thought there may be a diamond in his palm like that scene in Superman III.

Elliott's Ear Grab Close Up

Strangely Martin didn't seem to mind that his brother had a pincer-like grip on his ear. Let's face it though, even if he was crying we would have had to take a moment to get some pictures before coming to his rescue. We're like photojournalists that way.

2012 Stone Ledge Farm Share (Week 20)

After I headed to work Jen picked up the weekly share. This week we got a bunch of mizuna, four pounds of potatoes (we were able to swap a head of cabbage to double our allotment since the boys don't seem to tolerate cabbage particularly well), a bunch of parsley, a bunch of collard greens, a bunch of radishes, a head of celeriac, two cobs of pop corn, Bosc pears, Golden Delicious Apples, Spartan Apples, and some ornamental gourds.

Today was a rainy day but the Wombats took a terrifically long mid morning nap, ate, then fell asleep on our afternoon walk and slept again in their car seats on the couch for three hours. It's always a mixed bag when they sleep for that long. On the one hand it gives me a tremendous amount of time to get things done. Yet still I was not happy about it and after an hour wanted them to wake up so that I could play with them. Tomorrow it will not be rainy and, perhaps, the babies will be awake and fussy all day and I will long for the sleepy afternoon we had today.

There is no satisfying the amateur parent.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage Leaves

For dinner I made this soup with onion, garlic, butternut squash, potato, and onion, all from the farm. I pureed it all with some vegetable stock and topped it with fried sage leaves.

Long Trail Brewmasters Series Imperial Pumpkin

For beer I cracked open this Imperial Pumpkin from the Long Trail Brewing Company Brewmasters Series. It had a malty flavor reminiscent of a Belgian Dubbel, a first in this season's pumpkin offerings. We've got quite a few more pumpkin beers to go but here are the standings so far . . .

2012 Pumpkin Beer Standings
  1. Shipyard Brewing Company Smashed Pumpkin - more pumpkin than spice
  2. Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale - rich maltiness
  3. Long Trail Brewmasters Series Imperial Pumpkin - dubbel-style malt
  4. Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n - nicely balanced
  5. New Holland Brewing Company Ichabod Ale - heavy spice
  6. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale - slightly sour
  7. Fire Island Beer Company Pumpkin Barrel Ale - too much cinnamon
Seckle Pear Tart with Walnuts, Crystallized Ginger, and Boubon Caramel Sauce with Vanilla Ice Cream
For dessert I took some old tart dough out of the freezer, rolled it out, then made a sauce with butter, brown sugar, Lyle's Golden Syrup, and bourbon. I cooked the halved Seckel Pears in the sauce, added it to the tart dough along with crystallized ginger and walnuts. I served it up with some vanilla ice cream. The end result was pretty tasty. However, after a sleepy twelve hours or so, the Wombats decided that they would pick dinner time to kick up a tremendous fuss. Much of this evening has been (and will be) spent feeding the babies tiny amounts one-by-one while watching old episodes of Scrubs. While the babies fuss it is comforting to be reminded that Scrubs was once actually a very good show. And the cries of the babies help to drown out my own sobbing during the Ben Sullivan episodes. Damn, those episodes are so real!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Boo at the Zoo

For years Jen and I have found us at many special events that were definitely designed with kids in mind. For years we were the weird couple wandering around some outdoor event, wading through seas of waist-high children. We were definitely outcasts but luckily we were together. If I had been doing this sans Jen there probably would have been police involved.

Today we got a chance to go to Boo at the Zoo at the Bronx Zoo and we even had real children with us! For once we were not outcasts. We purchased tickets to get in but the babies were our real tickets.

Martin and Elliott in Costume Ready For Boo at the Zoo

This was a convenient occasion as it is the Wombats' first Halloween and they have about half a dozen costumes. We were able to dress them in their first costumes, these extremely terrifying and realistic skeletons, and bring them to the zoo. They were quite excited about this trip.

Jen and the Wombats at the Bronx Zoo

Elliott has started teething and we suspect Martin has as well. They've had an extremely fussy week starting on Tuesday when Jen went to work. As far as Jen is concerned they've been little angels but their time spent apart from her has been mostly spent fussing and crying between me and their Nana STIM.

Today, however, they were unbelievably well behaved. Even after a routine-smashing trip to the zoo.

Martin is Worried About Tiger Attacks

Martin got a little worried about tiger attack but that is a perfectly normal fear for a trip to the zoo. Other than that incident this may have been their most well behaved afternoon of their lives.

The Wombats Sleeping by the Passenger Pigeon Gravestone in Skeleton Costumes

They mostly slept through large portions of the zoo. Here they are clearly bored stiff by the plight of animals who have been removed from our planet. This picture was taken in front of one of the many tombstones in the Graveyard of Extinct Animals. This is a grim spot in the zoo where children can climb all over the tombstones of animals that have been eradicated from Earth completely whilst giggling.

It's kind of depressing.

The Biggest Attraction at the Bronx Zoo: Dora the Explorer in 4D

On our way out we hit the biggest jam of zoo patrons at the Dora the Explorer exhibit. It made me sad that this was the biggest attraction of the zoo but happy that the Wombats are just too young to care about going inside. Our lives are infinitely better not having seen whatever horrors lied within that building.

When we got home I began playing with the guys in their bumbos and making a motorcycle sound when I discovered that they loved it. Martin, in particular, made a crazy expression that he's been pretty fond of lately. This is the only activity that will make him make this expression on command.

Shipyard Brewing Co. Smashed Pumpkin

After a lot of feeding, sleeping, and playing we had leftover Italian for dinner and the latest pumpkin beer, this Smashed Pumpkin from Shipyard Brewing Company. This was a very nice, rich, malty beer that actually had more flavor from the pumpkin than from the spices. It was beautifully balanced and not very heavy on the cinnamon like some of these beers tend to be.

I think I'm growing rather fond of the imperial pumpkin beers this fall while the regular pumpkin beers are just leaving me a little flat.

2012 Pumpkin Beer Standings
  1. Shipyard Brewing Company Smashed Pumpkin - more pumpkin than spice
  2. Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale - rich maltiness
  3. Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n - nicely balanced
  4. New Holland Brewing Company Ichabod Ale - heavy spice
  5. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale - slightly sour
  6. Fire Island Beer Company Pumpkin Barrel Ale - too much cinnamon

After a ninety minute nap around 5:00 PM and a nice dinner we were feeling pretty good this evening. We were going to attempt a new technique tonight whereby we wake the babies to feed them around eleven or twelve to feed them in an attempt to sleep until 7:00 AM tomorrow morning. Given that it is 10:30 PM as I write this and they are still frantically playing and laughing I'm thinking we won't get a shot at this plan just yet.

Since they slept so beautifully at the zoo we may be in for an active evening.

Who needs sleep when you can play the Wombats' favorite game of pretending to be hungry then chewing on their bottles without eating anything while smiling and laughing?

It doesn't get much more hilarious than that.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fussy Pumpkins

Monday we returned to our normal Monday farm share pick up schedule. Jen picked up the produce with the boys while I was at work.

2012 Stone Ledge Farm Share (Week 19)

This week we got carrots, collard greens, spinach, butternut squash, radishes, garlic, celeriac, beets, Golden Delicious Apples, Rome Apples, and Seckle Pears. The shares are dying down a bit as we near the end of the 2012 season. But let's face it, no one that reads this blog anymore really cares about the vegetables. You only care about babies.

You are so fickle.

On Tuesday I had the day off with the guys while Jen worked. I finally caught Martin rolling over on video. I also set myself an aggressive to do list and was able to get all of it done. I replaced the faucet on our sink, cleaned the kitchen, did all the dishes, made a giant vat of applesauce with all the accumulated apples, and set up my new Raspberry Pi.

Then at 4:00 PM the babies began what would be an eighteen hour mega-fuss that rendered us unable to do anything but boil some frozen raviolis to shove down our gullets before returning to their care. Even with my mother and father dropping by it was difficult getting to bed before midnight.

New Holland Brewing Company Ichabod Ale

Last night was another late night so we ordered Chinese food and had this Ichabod Pumpkin Ale from New Holland Brewing Company in Holland, Michigan, a brewery/brewpub we visited back in 2009.

It was pretty good though a bit heavy on the spices. I typically like my pumpkin beers to have the spice levels so low that I can't tell they're even there. I think this is the first pumpkin beer I've had from a brewery not located on the East Coast. I'm sure within the next year they'll be making pumpkin beers in San Diego breweries to further mock the idea behind the style. It's not like anyone is using fresh pumpkin anyway. We should just make these beers year round since it just requires opening up a tin of pumpkin puree.

Martin and Elliott Tummy Time

Today it was just me, Nana STIM, and the babies. They continued their new found love for eating tiny amounts multiple times an hour and also had a great round of tummy time where Elliott destroyed his older brother in five straight rounds of "Let's See Who Can Roll Over First." Not to worry, we sent Martin home with a case of Turtle Wax and a copy of the home game.

Pear and Walnut Salad with Parrano and Honey

As we attempted to soothe Elliott in the absence of his mother I made this salad with mixed greens, farm pears, Parrano cheese, walnuts, olive oil, and a drizzle of honey.

Vidal-Fleury 2007 Cotes du Rhone

I also poured this Vidal-Fleury 2007 Cotes du Rhone for the ladies while I served up the main course.

Roasted Vegetables

Since there hasn't been a whole lot of cooking going on lately I decided to use up a huge chunk of the vegetables by roasting them and serving them in a light broth. I roasted the farm carrots, celeriac, potato, radishes, garlic, onion, and butternut squash along with some fresh sage. I also toasted some old bread cubes and finished it all together in the oven with a little chicken stock and grated Reggiano-Parmigianno.

Roast Vegetables with Bread and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Additionally I added Chiogga beets to the dish. It was nice to be able to add beets and not turn the entire dish purple. This dish was inspired by that delicious vegetable dish we had last summer in Dijon. I opted not to serve it with a piece of veal the size of my head.

Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n

With dinner I had yet another pumpkin beer, this Punk'n from Uinta Brewing Co. This was a very well balanced pumpkin beer. It did not knock me over with the spices but it did have a slight heat coming from ginger or cinnamon. It was extremely a very low alcohol beer so drinking two -- something I would normally consider a wild night -- was a piece of cake.

And here we have the updated standings for this year's crop of pumpkin beers:

2012 Pumpkin Beer Standings
  1. Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale - rich maltiness
  2. Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n - nicely balanced
  3. New Holland Brewing Company Ichabod Ale - heavy spice
  4. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale - slightly sour
  5. Fire Island Beer Company Pumpkin Barrel Ale - too much cinnamon

Tomorrow we return to the world of pumpkin beers and see what is next on this wild, foolish crusade. One thing is sure: it will be nice to have a regular garden variety beer after all this.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Babies and Beer: Pliny the Elder

Last night the babies slept for seven straight hours! This was an amazing feat which should have resulted in a great night of sleep for the whole family! Unfortunately our upstairs neighbors decided that starting at 3:00 AM they were going to begin a shouting match that went on-and-off until 7:00 AM. I don't know what they were arguing about as the argument did not take place in English but one thing cannot be argued: they are jerks.

This week I spent this week in San Francisco on a work trip. While it was nice getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep I did miss Jen and the Wombats pretty badly.


One good thing about visiting San Francisco if you live in New York is that you get the opportunity to be constantly reminded of home by being stuck in traffic on bridges. It's just that the bridges are different so it keeps things fresh.

Grandma with the Wombats

While I was away Grandma came and watched after the Wombats while Jen was at work. She took advantage of this time by sending me constant updates of what the babies were up to. Mostly they were giggling, sitting in their Bumbos, and bonking each other on the head with their poorly controlled fists.

2012 Stone Ledge Farm Share (Week 18)

Jen picked up our last Thursday farm share pick up of the year while I was out of town. This week we got two tiny butternut squash, a bunch of leeks, beets, sage, celeriac, black radishes, apples, pears, and a jar of apple butter. We also got what they said was kale but looks almost exactly like collard greens. Jen opted not to pick up the cabbage and took another bunch of the kale. This was for two reasons: one we are pretty sick of cabbage and, two, it gives the Wombats tremendous amounts of gas.

Adam with Martin

Heather with Martin

Anne and Martin

We had a nice Saturday afternoon visit after a trip to the local school's bake sale and barbecue. Heather, Adam, and Anne came to visit the babies in a more controlled environment after the guys ruined Heather and Adam's wedding last month. They were able to repay the favor by snuggling and feeding them.

Finally they were able to enact their harsh and exacting justice on the Wombats.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Delicata, Stewed Kale, and Celeriac Mashed Potatoes

For dinner I cooked up some of the farm potatoes and celeriac which I mashed together with butter, salt, pepper, and sour cream since we were out of milk. I also roasted some of the farm Delicata squash and apples together with farm sage. I also rendered a little bacon, caramelized some of the farm leeks, threw in the farm kale, and cooked it all down with a touch of cider vinegar. To accompany all this I pan roasted a duBretton pork tenderloin which I seared with a dry rub and sliced into thick medallions.

Russian River Brewing Company Pliny the Elder

I had one non-work related mission in San Francisco: get some beer from Russian River Brewing Company. On the second day, after striking out at several locations, I was able to find not only a beer from Russian River but the beer from Russian River: Pliny the Elder!

For those of you unfamiliar with the lore of Pliny it is considered by many to be the best beer in the world right now. It is also warned on the label to be consumed fresh. This was bottled on October 4th and I consumed it originally seven days later on October 11th. Was it good? Extremely. Was it the best beer I've ever had? Probably not but it was definitely in the top ten or so. I think it would be hard for any beer to live up to the hype surrounding this beer.

Pliny the Elder x 8 (Bottled October 4th, 2012)

Like I always do when I find a rare beer I overreacted and purchased every bottle they had in the store. I shared four of the bottles with coworkers then decided to risk the journey home, packing up the remaining four in dirty socks and paper bags. Miraculously they all survived and we were able to have two more with dinner last night, a mere nine days after bottling. Jen also enjoyed the beer quite a bit. It was a nice treat. Who knows when we'll ever get a chance to have a bottle of this again?

So it was that we broke with our pumpkin theme as I was too terrified to ignore the warning on the label of the Pliny to drink it fresh. Pumpkin/seasonal beer tasting will resume promptly next week.

More vegetables to be picked up tomorrow so I will need to kick it into overdrive to use up everything we have. The farm share is nearly done for the year but this may take a little pressure off as we race toward winter. Cooking time is at a premium these days. Pretty soon this blog will simply be about beer and babies and I will simply not bother mentioning the dry pasta I make for dinner on a nightly basis.

Beer and babies. What else is there that's really worth mentioning anyway?