Jamaica: The Summer Drink

As the days of summer grow long and heat starts to set in, I begin to crave my favorite summer drink: Jamaica. If you live in San Diego, chances are you’ve had it. It’s the syrupy, sickly sweet hibiscus tea drink they sell next to the Horchata at Mexican restaurants. Or maybe you’ve stumbled across the rare joint that makes it fresh and you know what an amazing drink it can be. Sweet, tart, refreshing, and incredibly delicious. If you’re really nifty you can make your own; half a gallon for less than $2. Continue reading Jamaica: The Summer Drink

Home Canning: Apricot Jam

I’ve been getting a lot of hits on my pickled beet page from people googling “how to can beets” or something similar. I think lots of people are afraid of canning. They think it’s hard, takes lots of time, requires lots of equipment, and could potentially make you sick if done wrong. I’m here to tell you canning is super easy. It doesn’t require much time or specialized equipment, and I don’t think you’re going to kill anyone unless maybe you’re canning mushrooms. I decided I needed to write something up about canning, so I began looking for a good example. Remember those 5 lb of apricots what fell off my neighbors tree? Apricot Jam. Continue reading Home Canning: Apricot Jam

Hess Brewing

I just popped in to Hess Brewing in Mira Mesa, one of San Diego’s smallest breweries.  I had a quick beer with tasting room manager Mike Skubic, who was trying to throw together a meet-up (for tonight) in honor of the American Homebrewers Association conference that’s going on this weekend.  Skubic is also preparing for next week’s Friday Afternoon Club at the brewery; food, music, and beer.  Right now they have 2 special beers on tap: Jucundus Orange Honey Wheat Ale, and Deceptio Cascadian Dark Ale.  I tried both. Continue reading Hess Brewing

A Dozen Fresh Eggs: Frittata!

We have 5 chickens.  Chickens lay an egg approximately every 26 hours.  That means each chicken lays an egg almost every day.  That means we get 4-5 eggs every day. That’s a lot of eggs.  We manage to recover some of our feed costs by selling eggs to our coworkers, but sometimes things work out where we have 2-3 dozen eggs in the fridge.  What then do you do with with a dozen fresh eggs?  Frittata. Continue reading A Dozen Fresh Eggs: Frittata!

Saturday Night Lunacy

Today we spent the afternoon gardening and letting the chickens run around.  We harvested 5 lbs of delicious apricots from a neighbor’s tree that is growing over the fence.  We visited Costco and they had some awesome looking berries at a great price.  When we got home I set up to do some beer maintenance stuff on the Bier de Garde we brewed two weeks ago.  Since I was going to be standing around the kitchen for an hour, I figured why not do something with those berries.  Today was a Saturday of B’s; Bier de Garde, blackberry sorbet, and blueberry pie.

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Beet and Goat Cheese Pie

When I was growing up, consumption of root vegetables was limited to carrots and potatoes.  I have since tried to branch out, sampling whatever roots I can find: rutabaga, radishes, beets, parsnips, and even yuca.  So far, beets are by far my favorite (though I have yet to try the parsnips).  Beets are an incredible vegetable.  In the shop they are gnarled, dark purple, and sport vibrant greens with red veins.  Scrubbed and cut they practically glow red.  Roasted in olive oil they maintain their earthiness and feel purifying to eat.  Sauteed in butter they take on a rich sweetness.  The latter is the basis for my latest obsession: beet pie. Continue reading Beet and Goat Cheese Pie

Chickens are a gardener’s best friend?

We’ve been keeping chickens for just over a year now.  I love the fresh eggs.  I love their antics.  I love their pleasant clucking.  Before we began, I read somewhere that chickens are a gardeners best friend.  It was claimed that they will eat all the bugs from your garden, mow down your weeds, fertilize your lawn, and turn over your leaf piles.  A year in, I feel I’m prepared to make a judgement on the whole ‘best friend’ question; it’s more of what I’d call a fragile truce. Continue reading Chickens are a gardener’s best friend?

Summer Fishing

Each year a huge biomass of pelagic fish follows warm water currents up the West Coast of the US.  During this migration tens of thousands of game fish migrate within fishing distance of Southern California.  The excitement starts when the fish hit the Coronado Islands, just off the San Diego coast and about 10 miles south of the US-Mexico border.  Some years fish begin arriving as early as February.  This year reports have been spotty all the way until late May.  That’s why when the sport boat San Diego nailed 100 yellowtail last Tuesday, I was on a boat first thing last Wednesday morning. Continue reading Summer Fishing

Green Flash spotted in Mira Mesa!

I just got home from a visit to the Green Flash Brewery grand opening. They have moved their operations from Vista to a more central San Diego location on Mira Mesa Blvd. This marks the latest addition to San Diego’s Beer Corridor, comprising Stone to the north, Ballast Point to the east, Karl Strauss to the west, and Hess and Alesmith in the middle. In addition to moving, Green Flash is expanding their operation from 14,000 bbls/year to 45,000 bbls/year.

Continue reading Green Flash spotted in Mira Mesa!