All posts tagged “food

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Live Blogging: Thanksgiving Getting Ready to Go!

Tomorrow’s the big event, and it takes a lot of prep to get Thanksgiving ready. Last year, I was hosting it and days in advance I had made several different things (like cranberry sauce, which didn’t gel).

This year, I am not hosting it. I’m going to someone else’s holiday dinner. At this point in my life, that is exceptionally weird. But, hey, life changes. So I got to thinking about it, and I realized, I should share what it looks like to get ready to go to someone else’s holiday dinner. That’s perfect, right?

So, my first somewhat in-real-time “getting ready to go” event!

It started with rolls. We’re the ones in charge of bringing rolls and cranberry sauce to the family. Which wouldn’t be hard, but there’ll be 18 diners there, 8 of whom cannot consume gluten but do want rolls. Bill’s been testing recipes for a few days now, and I think we have it down. We’ll find out tonight. But these rolls were damn tasty, even without gluten.

Two rolls nestled in a red and white pinstriped towel.

I planned the beers I’m taking, which are some from my MetaCookbook post about ruling the beer fridge and some from my general recommendation guest post at The Kitchenista Diaries. And, since I just found out I PASSED, you can bet I’m going to use that if I have to to show my expertise on beer and food. It’s good to be a Certified Cicerone® on Thanksgiving. This year, at least. But I just put them in the fridge. I’m trying to figure out right now how to keep them upright in the cooler, as the two big bottles have still got yeast in the bottom that I don’t want to kick up.

Five beers lined up in a row. Names: Troublesome; Tank 7;The Kimmie, the Yink and the Holy Gose; Gillian; Blood Orange Gose

Ok! It’s 11:04 am PST, and I’m going to hit “publish” and I will edit throughout the day to show you guys what else we do. Like make the cranberry sauce! Or go see if I can find good Ground Breaker beers for our loved ones who cannot eat gluten!

1:43 pm: I’ve forgotten breakfast and had a doctor’s appointment. I attempted to go to the grocery store.

My list:
Unsalted butter
Delicata squash
Gluten free flour blend x2

It’s a short list, but it’s all over the store. The store nearest the doctor’s office had a 100% full parking lot, and no street parking many blocks. I decided to go to my favorite grocery store, because 1) I know where everything is and 2) they have a giant empty lot nearby that I bet I can park in if needed.

I also decided that the headache from the doctor’s appointment was probably also a lack of food and a lack of hydraytion. So I paused for fortifications of the fast variety. I am typing this over a lunch at Wendy’s. The fries are fresh and salty.


3:31 pm: I’ve been to the grocery store. Twice. My list was supposed to include instant yeast, but I didn’t manage to add it, so I forgot it and turned around and went back. I got the last packets of instant yeast on sale.

At the store the first time, I gave very fast directions to a nice woman who needed gluten-free rolls for her family. Luckily, since Bill and I had just figured out what to do, it was easy to help her. That’s a nice feeling.

A small shopping carte filled with groceries: beer, butter, dog food, gluten-free flour mix, and kombucha.

I nixed Delicata Squash. I didn’t like the looks of any of the squash, but this means I cannot bring a surprise custard to the party. Oh, well!

On the plus side, I found gluten-free beers for our family. Better yet? I found a gluten-free dubbel; which is one of the styles I recommended as general good beers for Thanksgiving! That felt pretty darn awesome, and I can’t wait to try it with our family.

Two Bottles of St. Denny, the dubbel from Ground Breaker Brewing Company.

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A Big Exam

Almost a month ago, I discussed over on MetaCookbook what I was doing to prepare for a big exam. It took most of my energy for the weeks in between then and now.

But not so much I didn’t remember to document a bit of what it took to get ready to go tackle the exam.

I wanted quiche for breakfast the day of the exam. A really tasty caramelized onion, goat cheese, sun-dried tomato quiche. I love quiche, and I really wanted a solid protein-filled breakfast before a four to five hour exam that ENDED on samples of 13 beers.

I like to blind-bake the crust, so it’s extra crispy. For those who don’t know what this means, the basic gist is prebaking the crust with some sorts of weights to keep it from cracking, bubbling, or pulling away from the sides of the pan. I usually use beans, because that’s what I always have enough of on hand.

In which I attempt to blind-bake a pie crust with beans. And just beans. No parchment paper. Totally forgot it. To say I was distracted and stressed would be accurate. Of course, until I pulled this thing out of the oven, I'd convinced myself I was chill.

I also usually use parchment paper between the beans and the crust to be able to pull the beans back out, but apparently I wasn’t running on full capacity the day before my exam. Thus, instead of having a beautiful crust just waiting to be filled with delightful food, I had as one friend put it “Panic Bean Pie.”

After running back to the store and buying yet more pie crust, then trying again, I did manage to make a quiche, but it was more work than expected. Still, it smelled delightful.

Bill and I also made comfort food: Green Chile Cheeseburgers (with added bacon). It was a great evening to sit outside and just not think about the upcoming exam. I’d thought I’d be doing last minute cramming, but my brain rebelled. That was probably for the best.

Grilled burger patty, grilled buns. Crisp bacon. Hot green chile and some smoked cheddar cheese? This is homemade heaven on a bun.

The next morning I was up a bit earlier than average. Bill was awesome and made sure to get me a slice of quiche and made my tea while I showered. The tea was a gift from my friend, JP. Not only is JP fantastic, she’s also a Certified Cicerone® herself and a tea person like me. She’s also the person who told me about the style of mug I used to brew the tea. It helped. Hey, if she’s a Certified Cicerone® and I’m trying to become one, this is like channeling her awesome, right?

(I’m very scientifically-minded, but little rituals that soothe the inner lizard-brained, superstitious self have got to improve exam performance. Not because they call to anything out there, but because they calm you the fuck down.)

No, I did not manage to clean the table before sitting down to tea and a slice of quiche. But I HAD tea and a slice of quiche, which is far more important.

Then, after I had half a second helping, I made sure I had three very fine point black pens in my backpack and, because he is super awesome, Bill offered to drive me to my exam so I could stay a bit later and finish my tea. I did that while filling my favorite water mug (previously seen waiting for a wine party). Which I promptly forgot. Of course.

Luckily, they had water for us. So I was prepared when I arrived.

The instructions said to bring a black pen. I brought three. What if one had run out of ink? Or exploded? No chances to be taken here! (They supplied the water.)

Or as prepared as I could be. I guess I’ll find out in about five weeks how prepared I actually was.

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