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
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?
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
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.
Home brewing has exploded in San Diego. A trip to Home Brew Mart is enough to tell you that there are lots of brewers out there, and some of them are quite serious. In spite of that, there remains a great deal of mystery about brewing, especially at home. I am surprised that the most common question I get is: “How do you bottle your beer?”. Continue reading Bottling Beer
At food lunatic central, we’ve been home brewing for the past 4 months. In that time I’ve come to truly appreciate the importance of yeast. Yeast is a living organism, without which beer would not be possible. That’s probably why it is so expensive. The yeast for a 5 gallon batch of beer can cost upwards of $30; as much as the other ingredients combined. To address this, I’ve built the tools necessary to propagate yeast. I also want to try to build up a bank of master samples I can reduce how much I have to buy in the future (possibly to zero?).
Between house-work, work-work, sleep, other minor hobbies, and various other concerns I manage to fish somewhere between 2-3 times per month to 2-3 times per week. I’ll fish anywhere, anytime, anything I get the chance to. On a recent tough day of fishing, I began reflecting on the destructive nature of the hobby. Continue reading A Fisherman’s Call to Arms
I had pickled beets for lunch today and they were one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. I don’t know how I managed to make it so long in life without knowing how great beets are.
A quick search on the internet reveals multiple pickling recipes, but all have some commonality: Boil, steam, or roast beets until tender. Boil a mixture of 1 c sugar, 1 c water, 1 c vinegar, and 1 tsp of salt, along with whatever spices you like (scale up depending on how many beets you’re pickling). Jar and wait.
The actual details vary a bit. Some recommend white vinegar, others cider. Some people can, whilst other just put it in the fridge and eat it quickly. Soak times vary from 1 hour to 1 week. Continue reading Easy Pickled Beets
In 1999 I hiked San Elijo Lagoon with my physics TA. When we arrived back at the cars, one of his friends produced a bulbous brown glass jug and asked, “Who wants some delicious beer.” That was a shocking and revelatory moment for me. Before that day I had never seen beer stored in a such a large vessel, and I had never heard anyone describe beer as “delicious”. More importantly, I had never tasted real beer. My life was forever changed. Continue reading Stone Brewing Media Blitz