Friday, November 24, 2006
The dust has settled. The house is clean again. The family has all left. My stomach finally feels close to normal. I actually feel a little like eating again.
Thanksgiving was a great hit this year. My kid was "on," the food was fantastic. My second attempt at deep-frying a turkey was a huge hit.
Of course, I fried it in peanut oil, heated to 365 (with about a 15 - 20 degree drop once the turkey hit it, and it only took a few minutes to get it back up to 350). The rub consisted of 1/4 cup of garlic powder, 1/4 cup of white pepper, 1 T of salt, 2 T of garlic salt, 2 T of sugar...simple, simple, simple.
But for the important part, the beer:
As an apertif, we had Sam Adams Boston Lager. Plain and simple, forward hops to tickle the tongue and a strong malt finish.
With the appetizers, we had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Big hit. It went incredibly well with the goat cheese and bakers chocolate-stuffed dates, the shrimp and spinach dip and especially the avocado and mango salsa (seasoned with cilantro and lime juice). The citrus hops and light-ropasted malt finish just cleaned-up, and the hops temselves cleansed the tonue so that each bite was like new. Perfect.
For dinner (deep-fried trukey, bread stuffing, meat stuffing, sauteed squash, sweet-potato/potato caserole, blanched and breaded green beans, carnberry sauce of all kinds and even some dishes that are a blur in the feeding frenzy), we drank Ommegang Hennepin and La Chouffe. Both of those Belgian-style Golden Ales went quite well with every dish. The 8% abv helped cut through the fats of each dish. The sweetness of the candi sugar and choice of malts for each beer blended perfectly with the residual sweetness in each dish (except the meat dressing, but the cloves in the dish fortunately made just enough of a match).
For dessert, besides for the standard pumpkin pie, we also had a pot-de-creme of very bitter, dark chocolate. We drank Rogue Chocolate Stout. The stout itself is amazing, but the chocolate flavor in it was completely overpowered by the strength of the chocolate in the pot-de-creme. Oh well. So we really couldn't taste the beer as much as we could have (or did with the pumpkin pie...that beer with pumpkin pie is like an especially beautiful marriage) otherwise. Next time, especially with such a potent dessert, I will try the Rogue Shakespeare stout. The bigger roasted malts and coffee-like flavors would probably stand out much better against such a rich chocolate.
As a digestif, as our stomachs rumbled and we drifted in and out of consciousness, we enjoyed Sierra Nevada Bigfoot barleywine-style ale. Big, robust, syrupy...quite like a port wine in every sense of consistency and taste. The perfect beer to put us into the post-dinner snooze.
All in all, the dinner and the beers were a huge hit, with the near-miss on the Chocolate stout. Can't always be perfect, but with the closeness of my family and the fun we all had, it really didn't matter.