What? No wine but beer?
It's Oktoberfest! So Cork Poppers decided to give the wine a rest and go to the hop. Or, more precisely, the hops! (And a little dancing in the kitchen!)
Everyone was suitably dressed for the occasion. Lots of orange and Roger outdid himself!
OK -- unlike the wine posts, no photos of bottles. Instead, interspersed with a few photos of the day, the beers we tried and a few comments.
We did this in flights -- light to dark (like wine), starting with four. They were Michigan Brewing Company's "German Style Wheat" -- a local brew where every batch will be different. It felt watery to me and roasted to Meredith. Next was Sapporo, a Japanese beer available in most places. Barb felt it more refined and many wanted second tastes of this one. Beer 3 was Warsteimer, a German bottled beer that had more malt and was slightly more bitter than the first. The fourth was Dundee Bewing Company's "Original Honey Brown," brewed with pure clover honey. This was my favorite of the lightest beers.
There were three medium flights. Erdinger Oktoberfest is a German beer that I liked very much. By the end of the day it was my favorite. (Manufactured by Erdinger Weissbrau). Charlotte Bewing Company Red Eye (local) had a coffee tone. Someone asked someone else "Why do you like it," and they replied, Ït has flavor." "But," Meredith acknowledged, "Not good flavor." Anne, agreed it had "more bad flavor."
(You can tell how sophisticated we are in our assessments.)
We also had Hofbrau Munchen Hof Duncel, whicih was on the darker side. Not my favorite.
And at the end, four darks.
Here's where we separated the woman from the men. Most of the women were not fans of the darks. We had Eaglemonk Delta Porter (local). I wrote "Not as bad as I thought it would be" and someone responded, Ït didn't make me puke either." But Cheryl (who loves dark) said it was her favorite so far.
Michigan Brewing Company (local) Chocolate Stout was way too strong. "Beer that tries too hard," I wrote. Then we had "The Winey Bastard"which was aged in Pinot Noir Oak Barrels and was from Frankenmuth (regional). It wasn't as strong as expected and I liked it, but Rick felt it was kind of desserty.
Each pour was probably between 2-3 oz. in small cups. Every couple was to bring 48 oz. of one beer and some brought more than one. And of course, we had our usual cheeses, crackers and breads with it. Rick outdid himself with this one. (He is now officially on notice to have this for all harvest meals.)
And yes, there were a lot of smiles!
When all was said and done, we moved upstairs to Barb's lovely fall table! (She even let us take home the centerpieces.)
Keeping with the German/Oktoberfest theme (though not all beer was German), clever place cards.
Our dinner included brats and saurkraut, applesauce, cabbage and what was left of Rick's gorgeous bread. I wish I'd taken a picture of my dessert, an Altkuchen Berliner cake (Berlin apple cake) which was more like a tart than a cake. Here's one of a left over piece from the first burned crust batch that kind of collapsed after being in tin foil in the fridge!
And here I must extol the pleasures of blogging. Many of you know Jean of Delightful Repast (and if you don't, you should because she posts marvelous recipes with very good instructions each week). I was stumped on this one (which was not Jean's recipe) -- I didn't have the right size pan, for one thing and the first one I made (which I sort of burned), I read the directions wrong and put ALL the sugar in the sweet crust rather than half there and half sprinkled on top. (I did sprinkle, as I realized that before going in the oven -- which made it over-sugared.)
I was confused on baking times, especially so I emailed wonderful Jean and she sent me back a great email that helped me solve boatloads of problems, including her recommendations that might vary from the recipe a bit (this recipe was not one of hers).
All I can say is Danke, Jean!
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