Tag Archives: cider

Bomb Lasagna

11 Dec

Mozzerella is a great thing — it makes pizza happy and caprese a perfect snack — but I feel it’s a misplaced addition to lasagna.  I’ve never been a fan of lasagna because I never found the combination of mundane ragu and a relatively flavourless cheese that thrilling.  So, over this Thanksgiving break I gave it a try with very slight variations.  For my ragu I started off with browning up some garlic, shallots and chopped andouille sausage in a little olive oil with some splashes of Beckwith cider and a can of whole, peeled tomatoes.  The cider gave it a mild sweetness to counter the spicy sausage, yielding a frankly delightful meat sauce.

A casserole dish was buttered up, layered with the kind of lasagna you don’t have to boil before you bake, then the ragu, ricotta blended with a little heavy whipping cream/cayenne pepper and then slices of creamy havarti on top and halved grape tomatoes.  The havarti was neither too sharp nor too mild and worked it’s quasi-spiciness with the andouille ragu.  The most common reaction from friends was, “this is a BOMB-ASS lasagna!” and then some fighting over bites.  I suppose it was a success.

p.s. it went really nicely with Alesmith’s Grand Cru

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The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum

11 Nov

Last weekend, while visiting my brother in Williamsburg we took a detour into the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.  It was an interesting place with some quirky collections, boss Revolutionary/Civil War muskets, mansion-sized dollhouses and some pretty sweet beer paraphernalia.

beer mugs

The old man river motif is of German origin as is the shape of the ware.  According to the handy museum placard the “Bartmann Bottles were produced in different sizes from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.  The small specimens shown here that feature a round or globular body date from throughout the 1600s.  They were used as storage containers for beer, wine or cider and may even have been pressed into service as drinking vessels. […] The salt glaze on stoneware was impervious to the corrosive effects of these preservatives, making it an ideal choice for maintaining a well-stocked household”.

Of course, these are things I have to have as is this next hilarious little vessel, a miniature keg.

kegerator deluxe

Makes modern day kegerators look pretty crass and unrefined, huh?

ALS Beer Dinner Fundraiser

19 Oct

I’m coming up to the last few days before my ALS Beer Dinner Event goes down and things are getting down to the wire in a fun and slightly overwhelming way!  Luckily over the summer I secured awesomely generous donations from three incredible local Ohio microbreweries:  Thirsty Dog, Buckeye Brewing and Hoppin’ Frog.  These guys really blew me away with their donations, encouragement and enthusiasm not to mention they are my favorite Ohio microbreweries.

From Thirsty Dog: Raspberry Ale, Labrador Lager, Lunar Lager and Old Leghumper Porter

From Buckeye: Zatek Old Ale, 76 IPA, Old Mammoth Stout

From Hoppin’ Frog: Wee Heavy Scotch Red Ale, BORIS Oatmeal Impy

As for the menu, I’ve been striving for all local and all donated which is a little tough as it turns out but I’ve had some great feedback and donations from local businesses in terms of food donations and raffle prizes.  Sometimes I feel like I need a permanent assistant to follow me around while I dictate my insanely long To-Do Lists and navigate the web of email responses.  Luckily I have a great team of volunteers selling raffle tickets, helping prep food and awesome friends keeping my brain from becoming an addled mush.

To the meat of the issue, here’s why I’m doing this fundraiser: this dinner is for the benefit of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (aka Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis) research. This is a cause I’ve supported for 5 years since the disease claimed my father. In memory of the 5th anniversary of his death, I thought he’d especially appreciate an event featuring our two favorite things, beer and food. Funds raised will go directly to Project ALS in the hopes that continued, proactive research will find a cure for this terminal, neuromuscular degenerative disease.

The event features a 5 course meal paired with samples of 9 different beers.  There will be a raffle where you can win prizes like a Pumpkin Beer gift basket donated by Rozi’s Wine and Liquor House, a custom made cake from local baker extraordinaire Liz Keeney, gift certificates to the Village Deli and Middle Ground, beer steins and a Kenyon blanket from the College Bookstore.

The Menu:

Fettunta

Grilled hot italian sausage with lemon and cilantro

Sweet potatoes Anna

Osso Bucco

Local cheese plate with local chocolates, Beckwith apples and cider

Mini BORIS pancakes with honey

*sorbet palate cleanser in between courses of Thirsty Dog’s Raspberry Ale

me and Poppie

the whole reason

Apple Fam

30 Jul

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a family that has owned a working orchard for 5 generations.  At Beckwith Orchards we grow peaches both red haven and white lady, apples, pears and yellow plums and bring in corn and potatoes from another local farm.  There is not one picture to be found where a Beckwith baby isn’t holding, gnawing or drooling on a Beckwith apple.  My first picture happened to be me nestled in a picking bag full of apples strapped to my Grandpa Charlie.

baby in a bag

I’ve often asked why we don’t produce the hard version of cider since we produce the regular nectar of gods.  The answer I got was pretty vague, but my guess is we already put a lot of work into harvesting, pruning, killing destructive deer and ground hogs, sorting, selling, the list goes on — there’s just not enough time to add another facet.  So this October when the cider comes in I’m going to try my hand at some wild yeast fermentation and see what comes of it.  The closest I’ve gotten to turning our cider into hard cider is leaving it in the fridge for 2 weeks, watching the plastic jug bloat like a dead body and drink the stuff with a bite.  Advice is welcome!

beckwith apples

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