Sunday, August 7, 2016

Made a minor purchase yesterday and then went to Chef's Central in North New Jersey. Picked up some Cherry Bitters and molds for spherical ice cubes. The final product is 2.5 inches in diameter and slightly elongated but I portrayed the cube sphere in its best light.
 Now to build a launcher.

Beers in the Fridge:
Harpoon UFO RAZ, Excellent, smells of raspberries, tastes of raspberries. Reminds me of a Belgium fruit ale. 4.8% ABV, 10 IBUs

Purchased a sample 6 pack from Saranac Brewery. The brewery is located in Utica, NY and they have tours.
Saranac American Pale Ale. 5.5% ABV 32 IBUs. It was fine.
Saranac Legacy IPA.  6.5% ABV 60 IBUs. Too hoppy,  too bitter.
Saranac Black Forest.  5.5%ABV 27 IBUs. Went well with the bratwurst at lunch. Just OK.
Saranac Lager - did not try yet, but looking at the label made me think of one of our vacations in the Adirondacks. In 1988 we stayed at Lake Vanare which is south west of Lake George on Rt 9N.

We visited Lake George, Fort William Henry, did some fishing and some swimming. The photo above was taken one morning when the Eldest and I were out for an early morning stroll.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Farewell July

Now it's really summer, in the 90s and humid. Le Tour has finished, what excuses will I find not to get things done now? In the garden tomatoes are being harvested, squash and cucumbers too.

Looks like my summer tradition of reading Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene may be broken this year. The tradition seems to have started in 2004, though the Summer Read looks like a more recent trend. My favorite Summer Read of it was on the River boat on the Peruvian Amazon above Iquitos in 2015. Just like the main character Henry, though he was going up a river to Paraguay and there were no 2nd or 3rd class passengers on our spartan ship.
Just too many books to read for the first time. A whole slew of Inspector Maigret to catch up on and piles of books surrounding the bed and getting higher every week.

Current Blooms:
 A Dwarf Heather,  Glenmorangie, Calluna vulgaris, few pale lavender flowers, foliage turns orange in fall.
 A heath, but I don't know the name, from a big box store. There is also another similar, but with lavender and white flowers with the same upright form as this.
 Phlox, I try to remember to cut them back earlier in the season so they don't get too tall.
Dwarf Coreopsis

Beers in the Fridge:
Nothing new this month. Still have Sam Adams Porch Swing left over from Father's Day get together, that's how much I like them.
Also have Sixpoint Sweet Action, Sixpoint C.R.E.A.M., Boddingtons pub ale, Long Trail Mostly Cloudy and Brooklyn 1/2 Ale.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Ramones at the Queens Museum

Was dreading the drive and the hunt for parking, but there were no problems at all that day. It was another Grand Day out.

 Got to see the Uni-sphere from the 1964 World's Fair and we all had ice cream.

Saw the Ramones Exhibit.
 and Johnny's Marshall Stack, contract and riders specified straight cabinet  Marshall stack. The riders were interesting, but not as crazy as some other groups.

There were lots of photos and shirts and paraphernalia. This little 3D diorama was neat.

The museum also had a collection of Tiffany lamps.

And finally got to see the Panorama of the City of New York. This scale model of  NYC was also built for the 1964 Worlds fair and has been updated from time to time, though not since 9/11 since the World Trade Towers still stand.
Central Park in the photo above.
  Our house is in the lower right third in the photo above
 And here is the family farm, showing greenhouses #1 - #5 and #6 the largest.
The museum has an Adopt-a-Building program to help maintain the project.

Beers in the Fridge:

Boddington's Ale, a perennial favorite. 4.6% ABV, owned by these guys.

Long Trail Mostly Cloudy. 4.7% ABV 12 IBU. Unfiltered Belgium Witbier style, pleasant. Would purchase again.

Sixpoint C.R.E.A.M. 7.2% ABV 25 IBU. Brewed with coffee, has just enough coffee aroma and taste. Reminds me of cream soda. Would buy again to have lying around. A good way to start the day.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Start

Summer started earlier this week, no big plans in place, most of the staff is on holiday, don't expect much to get done. Only plans so far are to watch Le Tour de France, from July 2 till July 24. First leg starts near Mont-Saint-Michel and the race ends in Paris. It is more interesting than you may expect, the commentators are very knowledgeable, the scenery is beautiful, the spectators are a spectacle and the racing itself is fascinating. Watch it on NBC Sports.

Harvested 93 bulbs of garlic Saturday from the 95 cloves planted last October. Very odd since there are about 12 small heads that I replanted cause they were on the small side. Also did some weeding and pruning and did some re-potting as well.

Tomatoes, squash and herbs growing nicely.

Current Blooms:
For some reason, the Gentians have not bloomed. Very sad.

 Dwarf Hosta
 Red Twigged Dogwood
 Calluna Vulgaris "Alex Warwick" a heather.
Day Lillys are at their height

Beers in the Fridge:

As I said here, I have added Brooklyn 1/2 Ale to the rotation when I can find it.
Brooklyn 1/2 Ale:  3.4 % ABV, 33 IBUs?
    cloudy in the glass (yes a glass, I'm not a savage)
Sweet Action: 5.2 % ABV, 34 IBUs
    another returning favorite
Samuel Adams Porch Rocker: 4.5% ABV, 8 IBUs
    Their take on a Radler, a mix of beer and lemon aid flavors. Not horrible, but I won't need to buy this again. I would rather buy a Stiegl Radler. The shop near work sells this brand or maybe it is another from brand. I had bought a few bottles after our trip to Austria, but did not photograph the bottle.  Next week my mission will be to buy a bunch of Foreign Radlers.

A Nostradamus Moment:
After Britain's exit,  others will follow for the same poor reasons [Does the sentiment "Make Britain Great Again" ring a bell?],  Russia will grab additional small countries in an attempt to return to the good old days of the Soviet Union and then at some point war with a Reassembled Grabby Evil Soviet Empire will be inevitable. Or possibly war between EU states instigated by Russia's leaders.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

June Gardening

This week planted;
3 Squash
1 Thai Basil in herb garden
5 sweet basil in herb garden
1 sweet basil in a large pot
1 rosemary in a large pot
2 more tomatoes, 1 in blue tub

Harvested Garlic scapes and more lettuce this week.
It was too hot for the spinach and it got pulled and composted.

Current Blooms:
Some Lewisia
Cotyledon "sunset strain"
 This one is on its second batch of flowers
 A new Lewisia purchase, I think Cotyledon and am guessing "alba"? It came with the wrong tag so I was not able to update my Flower excel document.
 Hardy Geranium Cinerum 'alice'
 Peony 'bowl of cream'
 Sedum, Japonica senanense. Sedum, not my favorite genus, but I like this one. It takes a beating and keeps on coming back.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day
Sons and Daughters died fighting
Are we safer yet

Saw Greg Proops Friday May 13 at the Bell House in Brooklyn and he read some Haiku which were very funny.  Just recently Chef read me a very funny Haiku from The Oatmeal website(comics) methinks, it was along the lines of
    Haikus are easy
    But sometimes they don't make sense

Current Blooms:
Peonies, they have been getting smaller each year, they shared their garden with other plants and that it seems is incorrect. I removed most of the other plants and added well composted mulch and we'll see next year how they do.

Also in bloom Roses, herbs, Sweet woodruff, coral bells, perivinkle, Campanula Saxifraga.

Started picking lettuce, garlic is almost ready. Need to plant squash and more basil.

Beers in the Fridge:
 Bought the Mint JulIP(sic) Ale (get it...  IPA) before the Derby. Bottle says brewed with mint leaves, Honeysuckle and bourbon flavors. Tasted the mint and that was it. Just OK, but never need to get that again. Flying Dog Brewery 6% ABV 20 IBU.
 Harpoon's Unfiltered Offering, White UFO, 4.8% ABV 11 IBU, very refreshing. They have a whole UFO range including a HefeWeizen, and some seasonal beers, a shandy and a pumpkin.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, 5.5% ABV 10 IBU, another refreshing Wheat beer for the summer.
Montauk Session IPA, Just OK 4.9% ABV 42 IBU, none of their other offerings appeal much to me. Luckily there is no lack of Beer choices. We are in a second Golden Age of Beer.
Brooklyn Brewery Pilsner 5.1% ABC 33 IBU. Liked it, but would easily try other pilsners. Rather prefer the Brooklyn 1/2 Ale, it might be my favorite Brooklyn Beer.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Past Trip: London April 2016

London April 16 to April 25, 2016.
The purpose of the trip was to attend The Eldest's Wedding in London where she lives. It may have all started here, in 1993.
The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales theater, some foul language.
Wellcome Collection, Saw 2 exhibits, This is a Voice and States of Mind. Both were good, I enjoyed This is a Voice better.
Royal London Hospital Museum, Small museum, but well laid out.
Old Spitialfields Market. I don't know how some of the vendors make any money. Bought a new Barbour jacket.
V and A Museum of Childhood, A collection of toys kids would have had throughout the ages. We made the visit for the St George's Day concerts, playing were Beacontree Brass Band, a group playing Swedish tunes and a group singing sea chanteys. Could have lived without the Sea Chanteys.
Schott Music, store sells sheet music and books about music. Saw a Contemporary Guitar concert, 3 different artists. Howard Alden was the headliner. Events are listed here.
London Fields Brewery Tour and tasting. Small brewery, good tour, good beer.
Murdock, not really a sight. Had a wet shave here. Was quite enjoyable and relaxing.

Busaba, Thai food.
Andina, Peruvian. Excellent. Had my first Pisco Sour the national drink of Peru in London.
Chop Shop, on Haymarket in St. James. Not far from the Prince of Wales Theater. Very good.
Bela Vita Broadway, South Hackney London, Italian. Tried to get Sunday Roast at the Dove, but it was packed. Got to hear about the MiniMoon to Cornwall.

The Owl and the Pussycat, Shoreditch
Young's  bitter 3.7%
 The upstairs room set up for the reception.
The upstairs bar. I had one beer here before I realized some were heading downstairs for some real ale. I had a bitter that I can't recall, but the Young's Bitter was a much better Bitter. The Bartenders made some nice drinks, we ran into one of the bartenders on another night and he remembered us.
The Wedding Cake. One layer white, one layer Red Velvet.

Bree Louise, Euston.
We had 4 great pies and some excellent real ales after the Wellcome Collection visit, just a few blocks away. The Young One got a cider/perry. A CAMRA award winning pub, the food was better than I expected after walking in. I'll keep this place in mind for our next visit, we usually visit the Wellcome Collection.

Approach Tavern, near Victoria Park
Oatmeal IPA and a bitter and lunch after the Museum of Childhood visit. A very nice place.

London Fields Brewery, Hackney
Tried 2 cask conditioned ales and 2 keg ales.
White IPA, Shoreditch Triangle IPA 6%, Red ale 4.2% and another I can't recall.
Flight Home


Our first AirBnB experience was good, the flat in Shoreditch was clean and spacious, though the table and counters were black and showed every finger mark. We had 2 bedrooms, and 2 and a half baths. Close to a bus stop, an Overground station and there were lots of restaurants in the area.

4 adults, 8 days
1USD = 0.66GBP