Monday, February 05, 2007

The Bestest Day Of The Year (so far)

Pictures for you

And just why would Superbowl Sunday be such a great day, Diana? You've not followed football with any rabidity since the '80s and '90s, when the Seattle Seahawks kept breaking your heart and you and Charles lived on a dozen donuts and coffee for your entire Sunday's nutrition. (Well, donuts, coffee and beer in the evening.) You aren't one of the ones who watches for the commercials.

Ah, sillies. It's all about the guacamole.

This is the day when you get to eat all the guacamole you desire (and that's a large amount of guacamole, sweethearts). As Charles and I didn't go anywhere to watch the big game, we also didn't have to share the quart of fresh guacamole I made with anyone but each other. As I put the generous quart of guac in a wide bowl, there wasn't even the need to alternate our dipping activity, one after the other. We just put the bowl between us on the couch and dove in. To keep the guac company, I also made a big platter of nacho fillings for scooping with the chips.

I am now retaining water like a sponge from all the sodium, and farty from all the rest, but the glorious memory lingers on. (There are also leftovers. Leftovers that will spoil if not eaten in a timely fashion. Like for dinner, tonight.) Good thing I had a large green salad for lunch.

We also led off the festivities with a little taste test. Charles, 1/2 Yank, 1/2 Canuck that he is, is a fan of beer. Make that good beer. Not the stuff that looks like dilute pee. Here in the delightfully white-bread-and-neon-yellow-mustard region of the Upper Midwest, they drink Bud. And Bud Light. Sometimes a Miller. Corona if really, really being highbrow.

It distresses us greatly, especially Charles, as he is an altruistic soul and it truly pains him to see people imbibing such awful stuff.

We do not call it beer, for it is not.

He shows up at parties with good beer in hand, which sits in the fridge and, I am sure, is passed around later, after we've left the party, as a good joke. He is almost evangelical in this. Me? I'm less concerned about the immortal souls of my pals. If they can't be bothered to enrich their lives, well, their loss.

Which leads us to the collection of beers in the photo. We have 3 varieties of American 'beers'. 1 Bud regular, 1 Miller Light, 1 Bud Light. 2 bottled, 1 canned. A reasonable representation. These were given him by 2 'friends' to drink at the Superbowl, as, they reasoned in their quaint way, an AMERICAN INSTITUTION requires and AMERICAN BREW. (And by 'American' they mean 'bad'. We all know there are scads of excellent American beers.) So, we had a taste test. Not to see which was best. No, no. That would imply that they weren't all deeply flawed to begin with. I merely wanted to know if there was any gustatory difference between them.

We didn't bother to blind ourselves as to brand. We were equally biased to all. We also didn't bother to rinse the glass between brands. Why artificially add flavor by mixing our tasty well water with such offerings.

With trepidation, we took a sip, figuring that anything that looked identical to what leaves one's kidneys, should taste like what leaves one's kidneys.

And the results? Charles felt that the Bud and Miller Light were 'tasteless' and the Bud Light in the can was 'tasteless and slightly sweet'. Me? I disagreed. I thought the Bud 'tasteless' but BOTH the Lights 'sweetly tasteless'. We did try them both (literally) iced and warmed up a bit. This wasn't intentional, actually, but we'd left them in the green room, where we keep our boots and some gardening stuff and the outside toys (it's off the kitchen, sticking out on the back deck, and is barely insulated and not heated) and everything froze. Guess that's what happens when the outside temperature gets way below zero F. (Was -20F driving in to work today, with windchills of -35! Woot!) Unbeer freezes. So, I put the bottles/cans in the sink, watching as the contents foamed out the top when they were unstoppered. Seeking to thaw enough for true testing purposes, I put some warm water in the sink, which worked, of course.

I can say with definity that warming the unbeers did NOT result in any improvement. Instead, they just got nastier, and by 'nastier' I mean oddly sweeter.

We then dumped the lot down the drain, with apologies to the plumbing, and each had an Optimator Spaten. Which was neither frozen, tasteless nor oddly sweet.

So that's how we spent our Superbowl Sunday in the Casa Del Piffle. Doing our part for science and farting.

When you think about it, it really is best that we don't inflict ourselves on others, isn't it?



Blogger CarpeDM said...

You make me giggle. And that is good. Although I also think you are insane because Guac is BAD! Yuck, yuck, yuck!

If you get a chance, please, for the love of God, do not try Old Milwaukee. As fond of it as I am (and fond is a relative term), I recognize it for its true nature and that is swill. But I grew up on Old Milwaukee and it will always have a special place in my heart. In other words, I as a young preteen would go to my respective uncles and say "Uncle So and So? I've never had beer before? Can I try yours?" Do you know that it took them 3 years to catch onto this? Old Milwaukee was a staple at family gatherings.

Personally, my belief is that if you're going to drink, there should be chocolate involved so I am quite fond of Mudslides. Or Slippery Nipples. Or sweet, sweet Pineapple Upside Down Cake drinks with no chocolate but filled with lots and lots of cherries and cherry stems (yes, I eat the stem. I'm weird).

May I mention that I adore you? Because I do.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Diana, that is so funny. In our household, a Canadian one I might add, my Beloved drinks "good" beer, or red wine, I drink nothing but Bud. Although in my defence it is Bud brewed here in Vancouver, and different from the Bud I've had across the line.

As for the superbowl, I think I was doing the ironing at the time.
P.S., What's your guac recipe? We love it too. But debate over whether real guac has tomatoes in it. I say yes.

2:23 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Oh, yes, the guacamole recipe, please! I loooove guacamole (but loathe beer).

5:53 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I was so worried when I saw that photo featuring cans (shudder) of Bud Light!

I thought I knew you.

Thankfully, I read the whole post, and I am so relieved to know that you haven't gone over to the Light Side (heh, heh).

It must have been torture even to taste those things!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Salty farts are the BEST. You go, girl!

I'm an unfiltered wheat gal myself. Kansas City Boulevard Wheat, to be specific. God help me if we ever move from here, because I don't know what I will do without my Boulevard Wheat.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

I am a lover of guac (and make a pretty good one myself, would love to see how our recipes compare) AND beer, so I loved this post! Turning the watching of the superbowl into a scientific drinking experiment--is it a stretch to say you two are probably the first couple to do this?? What a riot! When I was in college we felt we were drinking "the good stuff" if we had Bud Light as opposed to Milwaukee's Best (The Beast, I believe it was called!) or some other cheap ass "brew". I am very curious, though, what you and Charles believe to be a good quality beer? You tell me yours and I'll tell you mine (and my husband's).

10:10 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Diana, what's happening to you guys? I'm worried. You should just believe that Bud Light and all that other piss water is craptastic- you shouldn't actually imbibe it, Super Bowl Sunday or not! Please, no more quasi-holiday experiments! I can send an emergency shipment of real beer from Oregon if need be.

11:33 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

As for quac and beer, I leave those to you. Glad you had a good day and experimented. Does taking a logical look at bad beer make the drinking of it more intelligent? I think in your case, it does. Your sense of humor with the experiment is great!

4:54 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Hullo all- For those who wanted it, here's what I did for the guacamole. It's sort of a distillation of what I skimmed from various recipes (internet and cookbooks):

-3 nicely ripe avocados, chopped to "a bit" mashed
-1 finely chopped small yellow onion
-3 cloves of garlic, pressed (or minced)
-juice from 1/2 a lime
-about 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
-2 smallish, seeded tomatoes, chopped

bung everything in a bowl, stir it up, taste to adjust seasonings with large spoonfuls or with chips. Lick the spoon afterward.

Anyone else with variations?

Dana- Te adoro right back atcha. I am dismayed to find you aren't a fan of the guac, but I will console myself that this would mean that I could have your share. I've never eaten the cherry stem, but now will try it. I am oddly fond of cherries. I would never hold one's childhood beer hankerings against one. I was raised on similar stuff. Don't recall the brand, but there was a rebus puzzle under the cap of each bottle and we hsed to have fun trying to figure out the puzzles while the adults had the beers and let us have sips. There should be more bottle cap puzzles.

Voyager- Yes. Canadian Bud is nothing like Yank Bud. While it won't make me hum with happiness, it is quite drinkable. I honestly prefer water to Yank Bud and its ilk and I don't care much for water. Of course real guac has tomatoes. You are completely in the right.

Listie- Maybe next year I should make a few guacamole variations. I think it would be more enjoyable.

Rozanne- Oh, you do know me, way too well. I made sure that I did not start with even a sip of good beer, so there was less of a shock to the system, and that the good beer was at the ready to cleans the palate at the end.

Cagey- I loves me a good cloudy wheat, maybe with a bit of lemon, especially in the summer. Hum. I will look for your KCB Wheat around these parts.

Colleen- Ok, now that I've showed mine, your turn to show me yours! I am a nerd, I freely admit it. I had to restrain myself from jotting the 'experiment' into a lab notebook. For us, our college 'good stuff' was Henry's (Portland's then-big brewery was Weinhard's and Henry's was their 'premium'. They even had a 'dark' that was dark in color only, not taste.) Ok, here are my favorites: Pretty much anything from one of the regional microbreweries New Glarus Brewing Co, especially their Uff Da (bock), Yokel (unfiltered lager), and most of their changeable "Unplugged" offerings. Sadly, most highly hopped beers (including most, but not all India Pale Ales), taste like bile at the back of my tongue, even thought they smell divine and taste lovely on the tip of my tongue. I'm also always fond of Optimator, especially their Spaten. I don't think I've ever turned down an Octoberfest. Back West, my favorites were Pyramid Brewery (especially their apricot ale, which is not horribly sweet, unlike most of the fruit beers I've had) Widmer Brewery(especially their Hefeweizen and Bock) and Hair of the Dog Brewery (especially their Fred, which may just be my most favorite beer to date). (Lord, that was fun to think about!)

Stace- You know, I'm betting that, were you in the kitchen with us, you'd have had a swallow, too, just because that's the sort of wild and crazy person you are. You would then have had us rolling on the floor as you eloquently abused said unbeer and compared it to Hitler's unwashed socks or something. Fortunately, the microbrew scene up here around Madison is starting to really take off (think Portland about 20-25 years ago), thanks to all the powers that be. Wineries are also coming along! Nothing to compare to the Willamette Valley, but definitely improving in quality and variety.

Beth- Yippee! More for me from you, too! Next time we meet, I'm going to insist we do Mexican, so I can steal off your's and Dana's plates. Beer is high in B vitamins, missy! That's brain food! (Urrrrrp!)

8:42 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Ah, yes, most Canadians don't like American beer...I'm the only one since it is light and I really don't like beer! Most of us like the micro-breweries like Sleeman's, Upper Canada and Creemore. They're supposedly the best. Charles will have to do a cross-border run for beer!

Guac's the best!

12:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa P said...

Mmmmm. Spaten Optimator. My fave to order at Gustav's (betcha miss that little culinary spot!).
I, also am a BIG fan of the guac. I cheat though. Usually use avo's, cumin, garlic and whatever salsa is already in the fridge.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Okay, Diana, you're going to think I'm lying or being a big time brown-noser, but my recipe for guac is almost identical to yours! I sometimes put just a Tbsp or so of olive oil, when I remember. Also, I usually blend mine in the food processor really quick--just makes a smooth consistency that doesn't fall off your chip when you dip! As far as beer goes, geez! I only recognized the name "Octoberfest" from your list!! Don't make fun of my choices, sometimes those darker ones are way to bitter for me! I like Corona (with lime) now and then; Labatt's; Sam Adam's, esp. the Cherry Wheat; there are two kinds that I can't seem to find anymore (not that I look very hard): Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde (bought it originally since the name matched my hair color and immediately fell in love with the taste) and Crooked River's (Cleveland microbrewery) Pumpkin Harvest. Guess I like the fruity beer!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

What a constructive day you had--I was actually envious of it...except the guacamole part (ewww. I feel towards it the way I feel towards the Super Bowl. I don't go there).

Yours in shared windchill--

11:14 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ruth- Yes, it is indeed light. Lighter than water, in some cases. I will not hold it against you; I'll just consider it one of your adorable personality quirks. ;) Charles definitely misses all the lovely Canadian beers.

Lisa- (Hi Honey!) Oh, now you've gone and done it. Gustav's. You evil, evil woman. There's actually alot of German and Swiss influence in the (ahem) cuisine around here. I'd have dumped in salsa, but found ours had 'turned'. Hmmm. Cumin. Must try your variation. Sounds wonderful.

Colleen- I certainly believe it. I skimmed several recipes and they were pretty much the same. I'd have used the Processor, but didn't feel like washing the damn thing. (I'd already done the weekend's dishes a few hours before and I try really, REALLY hard to not do such things more than once a day or 3.) We buy our share of Sam Adam's. Used to drink Labatts and Molsen, until we tried the real stuff from Canada and stopped in semi-protest. (Why can't they send the good stuff south?) That Crooked River Pumpkin Harvest sounds quite interesting. I'll look for it, too.

Jocelyn- Yes. That's it. Constructive. Not lazy, not at all. No siree. Having falled for Charles before I realized what a huge football fanatic he was (like that would have stopped me), I realized that I'd have to learn to love the game he loved if I were to have more of his attention than on Saturday evenings, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 6 months of the year. So, I curled up next to him and learned to love what he loved. Plus, it was a great way to procrastinate studying. And did I mention the beer and donuts and such?

Supposed to get up to 30 above over the next several days, here. That's a whole 50 degree jump in a week! And yet it's still freezing. What the hell's wrong with us?

8:38 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

I loved your post and share your sentiments re the sad state of some American beers.
We do not call it beer, for it is not.

We used to call it mouse piss.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Stepping Over the Junk said...

I'm gonna go scrounge up some beer from the back of my fridge and watch American Idol.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

You. have. no. idea. how. hard. this. made. me. laugh.

and I can't tell you why. At least not in comments here.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

p.s. re: the guac, depending on how much is made, I add tablespoon or so of plain yogurt. The rest is fundamentally the same. I frequently use salsa instead of tomatoes.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

p.p.s. Don't eat the cherry stems! Cherry bark (and leaves) have cyanide compounds in them...

10:52 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Sanjay- It is sad, isn't it, what most of America deems worthy of drinking when they have so many other lovely options. Thankfully, things are slowly improving. Slowly. Mouse piss, indeed! (Guess here it'd be deer or cow piss.)

SOtJ- Sounds like a damn good idea!

Teri- Well, now you will have to e-mail me as to why this had you laughing so much. Yogurt sounds like a good addition, like sour cream. And who knew that such a lovely thing like a cherry tree would be a lurking killer! Cherry stems I will avoid. Hear that, Dana?

7:20 AM  

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