Am I alone in thinking the water in the goldfish bowl is slightly Pilsnerian? That’d make for some super-satisfying soused sushi subsequently! Even Rover, Polly and the Baby are happily sucking down a pint; wait, was this taken at Miley Cyrus‘s house? It would explain an awful lot.
Looks like somebody wasn’t content with a stocking full of coal this Christmas!
Perhaps it was simply an Oregonian grinch, overcome by Christmas spirit, and determined to provide hostess gifts to a whole town of thirsty Whos.
In any case, we’ve got an APB out on WHOever borrowed an unsecured forklift and used it to bash through the wall of a general store, then burgled the store. The entire take: Beer. Nothing else. Just beer.
From the comments section of the original report comes a clue:
merlyn December 27, 2010 at 12:13PM
I guess they needed the forklift because they didn’t like lite beer. Must have had an eye on the dark porters or stouts.
So, on the one side: Crime = Bad. On the other side: Oregonian beer = very, very good. If the take turns out to be Bud Light or some swill, however, I say we throw the book at them.
Although Mr. Henry slightly preferred Murphy’s, a blind taste test between them might fool even the most seasoned pub crawler. (After the first two pints no one cares, anyway.)
Following a day riding around the Blaskett Islands on ten-foot North Atlantic swells, for dinner you need a hearty dish that won’t upset your queasy stomach.
Traditional Irish stew is lamb with potatoes, often prepared with carrots, leeks, onion, parsnips and rutabaga. Unlike other savory stews the meat is not first browned and therefore the broth is not dark.
Having eaten it daily in Ireland, Mr. Henry had a good idea of what it should be. You can use shoulder but Mr. Henry bought lamb neck, the tastiest and least expensive of cuts, but one that takes a bit more trouble.
Traditional Irish stew
three lamb necks in one-inch pieces
six potatoes, Yukon gold
two large carrots
two large parsnips
one medium white onion
two cloves garlic, whole
bouquet of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme
zest of lemon
splash of Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper
Have your butcher cut the neck into one inch pieces. Bring lamb to a boil in chicken stock with garlic cloves and simmer until tender. Let cool so you can skim the fat. Remove the meat and the marrow, and cut into bite sizes. Discard bones and garlic.
To broth add diced onion and leeks you’ve first wilted in a sauce pan. Dice one potato and add this right away so it’s starch will thicken your broth. Then add potatoes cut in larger shapes as well as the other root vegetables.
Seasoning is mild. Like the song says, use “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” tied in a bouquet. For a richer aroma add ground pepper, a little grated nutmeg, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
You can cook on stove top (low) or in the oven (350º). When your vegetables are nearly done, about one hour, combine the meat and salt. As with any stew, prepare it ahead of time and let it rest so flavors may combine.
Never afraid to fiddle with her husband’s kitchen creations, Mrs. Henry tasted the broth and pronounced it redolent of osso buco, perhaps, therefore, in need of a gremolata at the table, which in this case turned out to be a simple mix of finely chopped lemon peel and parsley. Brilliant.
Next came the question of what to drink. In an Irish pub the black brew on tap is without question the drink of choice. Light in body, dark in color, richly malted, toasted to a crisp, nutty finish, Irish stout porter is divine.
Contrary to general expectations, red wine was too strong for such a mild dish. Wine drinkers at the Henry table chose a sauvignon blanc.
Striving for a more traditional pairing, Mr. Henry enjoyed his stew with the superb new Manhattan Rye whiskey from Hudson Valley, the first distillery built in New York since prohibition. Sláinte.
In the Irish village of Dingle,
the Henrys decided to mingle.
When three pints of Guinness
had settled within us
we sang out the following jingle:
In Dublin fair city
where streets are so bitty
we side-swiped a girl named sweet Molly Malone.
She whirled her Pierce Arrow,
through the streets broad and narrow,
crying “Jaysus, you eejits are a menace on the roads!”
In Ireland while driving
your hopes of surviving
depend on how close you can drive past the hedge
When a big bus comes at ya’
and threatens to splat ya’
you’d better stay left or you’ll never go home.
Road signs in Kerry
make locals quite merry
for they’re written in Irish and Irish alone.
When befuddled tourists
confront language purists
the tourists stay lost on these windy small roads.
In Utah the pairing of beverage with dinner hangs principally on which one gets a buzz moving quickest.
If you happen to be in the mood for a beer, Utah restricts you to 3.2% alcohol, an odd brew lacking body or bite and utterly bereft of buzz.
If like Mr. Henry you were looking for a Côtes du Rhone at the State Liquor store, the only place you can legally purchase wine, spirits, or beer with higher than 3.2% alcohol, you’re going to fail. Wine here is arranged by varietal in ascending order of price. Since Côtes du Rhone is a blend of grapes, within the caverns of the State Liquor store a Côtes du Rhone simply cannot be found.
In grocery stores checkout people are overwhelmingly cheerful. The produce man abandons his lettuces to help you find the Meyer lemons. Smiles spring forth without hesitation or guile.
But State Liquor store personnel, working as they do among sin and shame, have a hard edge around the eyes, more like blackjack croupiers than adherents to the Book of Mormon. Jostled in the aisles by predatory drinkers on dark and secret missions, a casual shopper gets roughed up.
The last time Mr. Henry stood in lines this long was at Disneyworld, a place that, come to think of it, resembles Salt Lake City, architecturally as well as culturally. The treacle-sweet songs sung by calico-clad greeter girls at Temple Square is pure Disney pageantry, and so are their ankle-length pioneer dresses.
From the New York Times:
The Economist is, almost inarguably, a great magazine.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t make the occasional mistake. Consider this lead from a recent article about a huge Mexican mining company called Fresnillo, which was recently listed on the London Stock Exchange:
In the hills north east of Mexico City it is not uncommon to find Cornish pasties for sale.
They meant to write “pastries” but, considering that miners work really hard, they might also be hoping to encounter the kind of people who go shopping for pasties.
Yesterday the famed Freakonomics writer stepped right in the middle of his very own pie. Responses and corrections to this howler make very good reading. One true disciple wrote that Dubner could not have really meant what he said and instead was proving his own point about “the occasional mistake.”
The Cornish pasty (pass-tee) is yet another British savory pie, one designed to be held in a sweaty, arsenic-dusted, tin miner’s hand. You eat the pie and toss the hard, folded crust that serves as a handle. It’s the first hot pocket sandwich, an inventive adaptation for a worker hundreds of feet down in the ground.
To really appreciate English food, Twistie says “Have a hearty, flaky, utterly delectable Cornish pasty.”
The savory pie is the very soul of British cooking. It is a preparation suitable to an antique hearth rather than a modern stovetop, a dish prepared in the morning and left out all day, perhaps two or three days. Incorporating meat and vegetable, it constitutes a complete meal.
According to the OED, “pasty” and “pastry” are both derived from the French pasté, but pasty is the older coinage.
Pasties are first mentioned in the 13th century, before Chaucer, before Piers Plowman, before the modern language known as English. It seems British cooking has changed less in 800 years than the English language itself.
Perhaps because they couldn’t afford finely ground pastry flour, the Scots employed a sheep’s stomach to house their national dish, the haggis. There is nothing airy-fairy about those Scots. In haggis no morsel of offal is too humble to include.
Why are English eating habits so conservative when their language is so dynamic? Isn’t culture bound up in language and vice versa? If so, why is the English menu stuck in the Middle Ages? Surely tradition can bend to accommodate a few improvements, the stovetop, for example, or the refrigerator.
Indeed, it was the traditional absence of refrigeration that sustained the tradition of bitter ale. Lager needs to stay cooler than bitter ale. Though he tries every decade or so to appreciate English bitter, Mr. Henry finds it consistently revolting. Thank the glorious angels for Guinness – rich, palate-cleansing, draught Guinness.
Did the medieval French plate look like the quintessential French plate today. That is, was there a meat with a sauce (butter based), a separate vegetable, and a starch? Unlikely.
Was medieval Japanese cuisine composed of fish or fish stock? Yes, probably. Like Britain, Japan is an island kingdom. Like the Brits, the Japanese drive on the left. Like English, Japanese is a dynamic language that appropriates foreign words. (Does this seal the argument? Probably not.)
Mr. Henry is no pasty man. He takes little pleasure in the genre of savory pies. Even the South American fried empanada holds no allure. Granted, Beef Wellington, the aristocrat’s pasty, is a pleasant diversion, but almost inarguably a filet of beef is tastier when baked without crust.
Floating amidst a new season’s hatch of ski bunnies and buckaroos, Mr. Henry found himself distinctly out of place. At the entrance to the Mangy Moose bar, they carded him, a courtesy and a compliment he accepted very graciously.
Seeing that no one among the beer-swilling mob had been born before the completion of Mr. Henry’s undergraduate education, however, he retreated to the mammoth pine log fireside to read Jane Austen’s Emma.
He was surely the only person reading for a radius of many miles.
A hard day of falling down on slick, packed-powder moguls had left his body humming all over. He was thrilled that each of his knees still retained most of their function. He was thrilled that he had not perished on the slopes, flattened by a snowboarder on energy drink. He was sure the glass of Moose Drool Brown Ale was the finest he had ever tasted. The high-hipped, blond waitress of peach complexion, ready smile, muscular thigh and genuine unenhanced American bosom served him with such graceful enthusiasm that all of Mr. Henry’s resistance against empty-headed, slacker youth began to melt.
Mr. Henry chose his position between the fire and the door with care. The afternoon’s beany lunch of vegetarian chili and ‘everything’ quesadilla served mid-slope in the Casper restaurant was working away at his vitals. To best protect the Moose’s good patrons as well as to protect Mr. Henry’s personal honor, a windy corridor was needed. To its credit, the Moose is appropriately drafty.
The Mangy Moose at Teton Village in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a paradise for skiers as well as for meat-eaters. Although the roast beef and pork chop are the toughest he has ever eaten, resistant enough for alpine outerwear, once your teeth manage to soften them Eskimo-style they taste quite good, especially the chop. The real treat comes with the salad course – a genuinely old-fashioned, crisply delicious, iceberg lettuce wedge topped with crumbled blue cheese dressing. Mr. Henry was so moved he tasted Mrs. H.’s ‘Ranch’ dressing, a surprisingly toothsome buttermilk mixture.
The Moose’s finest features, apart from the sunny and robustly beautiful waitresses, are the walls and rafters. All manner of frontier detritus hangs there: bathtubs, tractor seats, stuffed raccoons, bedpans, baseball bats, scythes, arrow points. The Moose is the most interesting museum in Wyoming, the only collection that captures the genuine spirit of the old West without a double slathering of hokum. After all, nothing is phonier than the Old West.
Mr. Henry has a healthy appetite.
His invariable breakfast routine begins with a banana, a small piece of which he offers to his noble hound, Pepper, despite a strict household injunction against such departures from her regular diet. Since the rest of the Henry household lies asleep at this hour, however, this little transgression remains his little secret.
Sometimes mixed with raw rolled oats, raisin bran, and a touch of Grape Nuts for crunch, yogurt is a breakfast staple, as well. The intestines approve whole-heartedly. Coffee, that great Arabian contribution to world culture, is required for the well-being of Mr. Henry’s disposition. The buoyancy it imparts to Mr. Henry’s morning mood ensures that whatever horror the New York Times may report about national policy will not upset the intestinal balance achieved by banana plus yogurt.
Soon after returning from Pepper’s morning run, however, Mr. Henry begins casting conspiratorial glances towards the refrigerator and speculating about lunch.
Lunch is without question the pivot of Mr. Henry’s day, its central alimentary event, the Henry organism’s very purpose and mainstay.
An Arabic proverb declares: “Eat your breakfast, share your lunch, and give your dinner away.”
This is the soundest advice Mr. Henry has ever heard on the noisy subject of diet, and he did in fact hear it from a bona fide Arab gentleman many years ago in Tangier. In embracing this wisdom he lost the thirty pounds gained during Mrs. Henry’s pregnancy and has maintained a waistline that remains the envy of his peers. In casting downward glances Mr. Henry has a nearly unobstructed view of his feet. Indeed, so long as he doesn’t exhale, when wearing his racing Speedo at the J.C.C. he can make it from the stairs to the pool without compromising his dignity one iota.
There are, however, boundaries to his discipline. In this world there are temptations of many types — worldly pleasures of such fragrant intensity that no man, not even a man of Mr. Henry’s character and breeding, can long resist. Mr. Henry is speaking, naturally, of the cheese course.
The St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage party, an annual Henry household event, terminated with two divine Irish cheeses provided by Dr. Lorna: Cashel blue, a creamy not crumbly one, and Cahill porter cheddar, a nice farmhouse cheddar shockingly marbled with brown veins.
Bottles of cold Guinness draught brought smiles to our faces. Inside each bottle you will find a curious little ceramic whirligig which when you pop the cap expels a jet of gas into the brew. The result is as light as the old standby stout is heavy, a surprisingly gentle, refreshing, and apt accompaniment to corned beef.
Leave it to the Irish to create a cheese laced with brown ale. When thinking of cheese, one’s imagination does not leap to visions of Ireland, and, frankly, Guinness stout does not call out for cheese, either. And yet a slice of cheese washed down by draught Guinness drunk cold from the bottle provided the perfect close to the meal.
At Mr. Henry’s house the cheese sits out.
It sleeps on the countertop like a tranquil pet.
Mrs. Henry is dismissive of cheeses left out to achieve “room temperature.” Harsh words have been exchanged on the subject. For Mrs. Henry cheese is an invitation to mice. For Mr. Henry cheese is a work of refinement and high craftsmanship, a binding tie to ages past, the highest achievement of animal husbandry, and the one completely irresistible food.
At long last, low-fat diets have beaten a retreat. Granted, those Henry friends and relations who have suffered heart attacks are forbidden to participate in round-table cheese tastings, but even that may be needlessly cautionary.
For Mr. Henry cheese is appropriate after most meals. The nineteenth century habit of an obligatory cheese course needs re-invigorating.
Let a thousand cheeses bloom!