Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Kegger

Thanksgiving snuck up on this year. We were pretty sure we'd wind up as guests, offered instead to host, and in the week-long uncertainty leading up to the big event we bought a boneless leg of lamb. Complicating matters considerably, our sink was refusing to drain. There was also our newborn, and his many and diverse needs.

As every frat guy knows though, there are few party-planning complications that cannot be overcome by a keg of beer.

You may recall last year's post on New Belgium's "2° Below Winter Ale". Here's the description our friendly neighborhood Bay Area Beer Ranger provided at the time:
A bright warming blast of Sterling and Liberty hops along with tawny-roasted malts. We push 2° Below into a final, nearly freezing, state which gives its ample structure developing brilliant clarity. Dry hopping during fermentation creates a rosy, floral nose with a hint of pepper spice and subtle estery undertones. 6.6% abv with 30 IBU's.

The beer bought time for the lamb and our friend Jenny's turkey to get just done enough to serve, and side dishes were accounted for by talented friends and strangers.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Your Meal Plan May Vary

Among our friends, we've either come late to the baby-having party or are breaking new ground. So, some of the social rituals associated with having kids in the Bay Area (elsewhere too no doubt) are unfamiliar to us. One of these social rituals is the meal plan - wherein friends sign up to bring take-out meals to new parents. No fewer than three friends swore that meal plans preserved their marriage in the early days of parenthood.

I consider it a validation of our way of life, or maybe just our division of labor, that instead of take out we were treated to a crate of food. Carrots that found their way into mire poix for an oxtail braise, mangos that became sorbet, tomatoes that were blended into gazpacho. The riches of Berkeley Bowl delivered to our door step along with a bassinet - belated thanks to our friends Maya and Leo.

There would be more food gifts. Home made preserves and a tomato relish from my new boss, a pot of meatball and chard soup from our friend Jenny. We shared the soup with her as we watched Iron Chef America - just like old times.