Of course I didn't simply make Velveeta Shells & Cheese. I doctored it up with dried basil and hot sauce. That's what an education in the culinary arts does for you!
Thursday night all I could get accomplished was to crack oopen this Corne du Diable from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! This was another gift from Jen's father on his last visit. My experience with Canadian IPAs is that they are only about 25% as intense as the modern American IPA. American IPAs have gone for such extremes lately that what was considered a hoppy IPA ten years ago now seems like a barely hopped carbonated mineral water.
That being said it was a very enjoyable beer, one of the best from my recent collection of Canadian gifts.
Last night we gave the babies their first taste of carrots. They were pretty excited about carrots. It may not have been quite on the same level as sweet potato or avocado but it did not earn me disgusted looks from Elliott the way the Great Pea Debacle of 2012 had.
To wind down after a wild night of carrot-feeding I settled down with this Winter Lager from Sam Adams. Jen had to have dental surgery earlier in the day thanks to our youngest son and his rock-solid head. On doctor's (or dentist's) orders she had to abstain from any alcohol consumption for a couple of days.
I've had this before but it's another beer I haven't actually had since the 1990s. I spent most of the 2000s convinced that I didn't like Sam Adams beers all that much, particularly their Boston Lager. As my tastes have developed over the past few years I find most of their beers to be pretty enjoyable. The Winter Lager was a nice accompaniment to some quickly-cooked pierogies. Jen put the pot of water on while she watched the babies and there was about 10 ounces of water left boiling by the time we finally got a chance to make dinner.
We topped it off with some delicious ice creams from Steve's Ice Cream in Brooklyn. Apparently this company was founded by the guy who invented the concept of adding things to ice cream and was the person responsible for bringing us Heath Bar Crunch.
I have to admit, I felt a little starstruck being in the same room with his ice cream. What could be more important to American food than putting ingredients in ice cream? The only thing more American would be cheese in a spray can.
After dinner, while I fell asleep on the couch five minutes into a TV show, Jen took the camera into the babies' room to take a picture of Martin's remarkable 180° rotation in there mere ten minutes since being put to bed.
Today while I was at work Jen entertained the Wombats including having the ever-risky nude time. While she took a huge number of pictures this is the least NSFW picture I could find in the batch.
Our friend Gina came over and Elliott was quite taken with her. Martin, perhaps, was even more taken with her as he didn't want to go to bed at all and hung out with us until about 10:00 PM, hours after his bedtime. In fact he had little interest in sleeping for much of the rest of the night either, long after we'd managed to order some Chinese delivery.
While Jen and Gina entertained Martin on the couch I sat down to enjoy one of my stocking presents this Christmas, this Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company. I would say this is a pretty good closer for a meal. It has the most pronounced vanilla flavor of any beer I've ever had as well as some winter/holiday spices thrown in. I don't think I've tried any other beers from this brewery before but I look forward to trying more. I always thought their logo was just a moose while I passed by bottles at the beer store. Upon further inspection it appears to be a bear with antlers wearing sunglasses.
Clearly I need to pay more attention because that's one of the truly great logos/mascots in the beer world. Well done, Anderson Valley!