My New Favorite Thing: Gose (Rhymes with Rosa…)

Sips, Tuesday Revews-Day

It’s been a while since I’ve done a bevvies post, but that’s about to change: I have a new favorite thing and I just have to share about it!

It all started with a trip to Thomasville’s new watering hole: Hubs and Hops in the old Bacchus location on W Jackson…

Where I and my companion each ordered tasting flights…

Now I’ve become quite the fan of the tasting flights at Sweet Grass Dairy and have been broadening my craft beer horizons over the last several months to very pleasant results. I’ve learned that I’ll love anything that’s a Nitro; that my preferences are still all over the place as I adore both the lighter, fruitier beers as well as the heavier stouts; and that craft beers don’t give me the headache I usually get after a beer or two from the more traditional offerings. Go figure, right?

But there was something on Hubs and Hops’ menu that I was curious about, as were my companions, so we decided to order a pint of the Gose for the table…

The server was a little fuzzy on just what a gose was, so we ended up looking it up: it’s a sour beer of German origin that’s a little lemony and salty. I adored it! (So it was no hardship when my tablemates took a hard pass on it!)

A couple weeks later we were at AJ Moonspin and low and behold they had a gose on tap as well, so I had to give it another go to see if it was the three mini-beers I’d had prior that were confusing my taste buds or not.

Nope! I still loved it! So much so that I went hunting for it at Three Oaks Liquor this weekend to get some for home and–after confusing the first guy at the counter when I asked if they carried it–another guy was super helpful and pointed out the four brands they carried and which one seemed to get the highest marks (Westbrook Brewing Co), though I plan to go back and grab a couple others when I finish these.

Basically, it’s what I thought a Shandy would taste like back when I was introduced to them 4 years ago and ended up disappointed at the overall lack of flavor. (And when I said that to the liquor store gent he was like, oh, you really do like the sour… yup!)

Apparently the sour comes mainly from coriander and the salt–while usually added in the modern brews–goes back to the original brew however many centuries ago in Germany where there was a considerable amount of salt deposits in the ground, and therefore the groundwater was a smidgen on the salty side so the resulting beer was as well. The style died out somewhere between WWI and WWII, was revived mid-centuryish and faded back again, only to be revisted again during the current craft beer trend.

I don’t know how long gose will stay readily available, I can certainly understand that many would not cotton to it, but I’ll be happily consuming it while it lasts! If you like sour and salty, definitely seek some out and give it a go. Let me know what you think, too, I’m always curious!


New Feature: The Weekly Whine


Long-time followers of my various blogs might remember that for a good long while I ran a cocktail blog and, I have to say, sometimes I miss it. I miss that scheduled time to come up with something tasty and fun to share and the idea that every week I’d carve out a little time for myself to kick back with a cocktail, wine, or other beverage and share with my Internet friends.

So I’m gonna bring it back, or try to, but with a twist! Each week I will post a whine or rant for the week, attempting to find the humor in it all, and pair it with a wine or other libation. And here we go, our first Weekly Whine. Join if you’d care to; misery loves company and no one needs to drink alone!

I have a few whines to choose from this week (work, the dog, the weather), but I’m going to go with one that inspired this new feature, that of the ever-looming unexpected car expense.

I had a pretty good weekend, this one that just passed–I got up on time both days, took care of some chores that had been waiting way too long, and even made time to have lunch downtown and hang out at Fuzzy Goat and knit on Saturday afternoon. A really good weekend.

So Monday rolls around and Todd, on a rare occasion, leaves for work before I do because he and his boss had to head out of town for the morning. So not only is Todd not there, by the time I go to leave he’s supposed to have been on his way out of town.

Do you see where this is going?

Of course my car wouldn’t start. The battery was stone-cold dead because I, in my haze of self-satisfaction, completely forgot between the time I pulled through the Chick-fil-A drive thru for a Frosted Lemonade and the time I pulled into our backyard, that it had rained a bit and, like the good motorist I am, I had turned on my lights and wipers in the midst of our little sun shower.

And left the lights on.

Sadly, this happens more than I want to admit, and usually I’m careful to the point of paranoia, but my mind was completely elsewhere that day, to the point that I walked in and asked Todd if it had rained while I was away, because I noticed the street was wet. Yes, I’d driven through it and completely forgotten in in the space of 5 minutes (because that’s about how far it is from the aforementioned stops).

Anyway, Monday. I did message Todd, even though I didn’t expect him to be able to rescue me, and I used the Progressive app to schedule service and messaged my boss to tell her I’d be late. Fortunately, Todd was able to swing back by as they hadn’t left yet and I was able to make it to work only 30 minutes late. End of story, right?

You do realize we’re in a Mercury Retrograde, right?

I was only a little surprised that my car, once again, would not start when I went to leave for the day. I’d worked a tiny bit late to finish up a daily task and was the only one left in the office, so of course the battery was dead again. This time, though, it wasn’t totally dead, I got that super-scary clicky noise that everyone who drives dreads, because the clicky noice with no engine turnover so very often means your alternator isn’t working. And replacing alternators sucks!

For the second time that day I used the Progressive app to schedule a service and went back into my office to wait for the gate to ring through. I thought about actually working (I had plenty to do), but opted to scroll through facebook instead. The Pop-a-Lock dude arrived on schedule and was able to get my car started right up (yay!) and suggested I drive straight to an AutoZone or similar and have them check my battery.

He also said there was no way I still had my original battery, but I’m 99% sure he was wrong. Yes, Electra is still sporting her original battery from when I bought her with 16 miles on the odometer in October 2006. Well, was, because after going to two auto parts places in Thomasville, I was given the definitive news that the alternator was fine, but the battery was done for. Considering their relative cost, yeah, I was okay with that!

This week’s wine in Knockout from Farmer’s Daughter Vineyard, a local winery that, contrary to many in the southern Georgia, northern Florida wine set, does not use Muscadine grapes! While I have nothing against muscadine wines, I’m really loving what the Pelham, GA, vineyard is turning out!

Knockout is their sweetest red. It’s very jammy and practically succulent with lots of berry notes. It’s also so smooth–all of their wines are–that you can down two glasses without realizing just how potent it is, only to stand up and realize just how knocked-out you are!

I picked up this bottle at their tasting room in downtown Thomasville when we were out carousing after the First Friday concert this month. You can taste their full flight, from the Bro’s Cider to the Knockout for $11 pretty much anytime, and they have cheese plates and other goodies, too.

Cheers to another week done and dusted, my friends! Anyone else have a whine to share?

What to Make for Dinner When You’re Absolutely Uninspired


It doesn’t happen often (thankfully!) but every now and then I’ll sit down to make out the next week’s menu only to find that nothing sounds good. It’s not a matter of not being hungry (planning hungry means everything sounds good, right?), just of being disinterested.

Sure, I could have decided to go to the store without a list or a menu and pick up what looked okay and figure out the details later, or pick up enough for the first couple of nights and wait to decide on the rest, but I know where that leads: no plan means nothing defrosted adhead of time and a marked increase in the chances of us going out or getting something delivered. And that’s neither good for the wallet or the waistlne!

So I pulled what I could from Pinterest and magazines, listed basic components needed for a meal to be discovered later or two, and eventually filled 5 of the 7 days. Good enough–I at least had the week down and the weekend could be dealt with when we got there.This worked out surprisingly well, it turned out, as we had a couple of occasions to go out come up and my mystery meal nights were both successful experiments.

While I certainly hope the ideas flow easiernext time, I guess it’s good to prove even the uninspired weeks don’t have to be culinary black holes.

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Monday: BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

While we’re certainly no strangers to savory sweet potatoes, I saw recipes for stuffed sweet potatoes in at least 2 magazines this past month, so it must be a new trend. Todd had roasted a chicken over the weekend and we had plenty left over to make a second meal. This worked well for both my lack of inspiration as well as economics, and the recipe came together quickly for a Monday night meal.


Tuesday: Sandwiches, Chips and Grapes

What are we, kids? Every time we get or make sandwiches for supper I always say we need to do it more often, so it was an easy choice for the second day’s supper. Sometimes I need to remember that not all meals must be gourmet or even inventive, classics are cool. And by planning for the sandwiches I was able to remember to have lettuce and toato on hand to elevate it from the quick snack a simple sandwich sometimes is.


Wednesday: La Fogata Mexican Restaurant

My coworker kindly reminded us that Wednesday was National Margarita Day and even if I know it’s a made-up holiday, most likely by the tequila industry, we were happy to celebrate with dinner at a local Mexican place. Their Presidente margarita is my happy place, and the food is always reliable. I went with the House Platter (and half went home to be eaten later), but it was a good, spontaneous night out.


Thursday: Mystery Meal 1: sausage + pasta + carrots

While it would have been a perfectly acceptable meal to grill the sausages, boil the carrots, and dress the pasta with olive oil and Parmesan cheese and call it a night, what I ended up doing was adding a can of artichoke hearts from the pantry to the sliced sausages, boil the carrots along with the pasta, and combine it all with some chicken base (a step up from bouillon, try it!) and the solid portion of a can of coconut milk. The smoked sausage and the soup base had plenty of seasoning between them, and the coconut milk solids made for a rich, creamy sauce that was still light and easily clung to the other ingredients.


Friday: Eggroll In a Bowl + Teriyaki Chicken

I’ve had the deconstructed eggroll dish in my Pinterest file for a while and decided tonight was as good a night as any to try it out. I worried about how substantial it would be (rightly so) so I picked up a package of chicken thighs and baked them in a mixture of soy and teriyaki sauces with a bit of brown sugar and lemon juice tossed in. I should have paid a touch more attention when I was shopping, though, as I picked up hot sausage rather than medium or mild–oops! Todd enjoyed it just fine, I needed to doctor my portion with a healthy dose of yummy sauce to lessen the heat.


Saturday: Liam’s meat and cheese board and crab dip (to-go)

Saturday night, downtown Thomasville was showing Frozen on an outdoor screen and since Todd and I are just big kids pretending at being grown-ups (and we hadn’t seen Frozen yet–I know!) we decided to partake of the festivities and actually go this time (we say ‘that would be fun’ a lot and end up tired or otherwise engaged and miss a lot of what we intend to do downtown; we’re working on it). The email from the visitor’s center mentioned Liam’s Lounge and Cheese Shop would have items for take-out available; we thought that meant they’d have a booth or table out at the movie site, but that was not the case. The three blocks uphill were totally worth it, though, as the cheese, crackers, charcuterie, crab dip, and giardinere made a wonderful picnic as we got settled into our spot in the open lot and let our inner children enjoy the movie fully. (We were getting some major side-eye from the grandmother next to us for laughing along with the rest of the kids. In her defense, she’s probably had to sit through the movie so many times that she’s more than over it by now, but still!)


Sunday: Mystery Meal #2 ground beef + rice + peas

After emptying the pantry of all its contents at 7 something in the evening (a sortie of ants decided to check out that corner of the kitchen, much to our dismay–it’s an ongoing struggle in this house but, thankfully, they didn’t get into any of the food, just were being a nuisance), at least I knew exactly what pantry items I had to work with!

I cooked the brown rice with water and coconut milk (when in doubt, add coconut milk is my motto this week, I suppose) in the rice cooker. Meanwhile I browned the ground beef, added a pouch of frozen peas, and stirred in a healthy dollop of beef base, some cumin, coriander, celery salt, and pepper, and let it simmer for a while. The coconut milk and water make almost a porridge of the rice, sort of like a congee, but went well with the not quite a curry beef and pea mixture (which was thickened with a cornstarch slurry). It was a good comfort meal type of dish.

Not surprisingly, the things that saved us from a surfeit of take out this week were a well-stocked pantry and a willingness to experiment. This probably goes for any week, really, but it’s more so on the uninspired weeks.

Cooking the Books


The fact that I’m a bookkeeper makes that phrase rather loaded, but have no fear–nothing nefarious is afoot, merely the past week’s menu. One of the following meals was inspired by a book I was reading. If you can guess the meal and the book, you’ll win absolutely nothing but I will wonder if you’ve been peeking in my windows at night.

Let’s review the suspects:


Monday: Pumpkin Soup with Almonds and Sage + Cheesy Biscuits

A good Monday-night supper, not too taxing after getting back to work. The soup was good, but I would prefer a creamier version (this used only stock) so milk or a can of coconut milk would probably improve it for me.


Tuesday: Shrimp Salad with Coconut Green Goddess Dressing

I had a little trouble locating unsweetened coconut cream, so I had to go with the sweetened stuff intended for cocktails. This made for a slightly sweeter dressing, of course, and Todd wasn’t as thrilled with it as I was. I also blended the avocado into the dressing rather than leaving it in chunks since Todd isn’t a fan of avocado until it’s mixed into something (guacamole not included).


Wednesday: Forbidden Rice Ramen with Eggs

Yes. that soup is purple. Blame it on the forbidden rice ramen (purchased from iHerb). I made a pot of ginger chicken broth and then split some to leave as is (Todd had to be on clear liquids for a night for a medical thing–everything’s fine!) and then I added the ramen and egg to the remainder for me. The color reminded me, tangentially, of the blue soup in Bridget Jones Diary (which I’d just watched the week before), but otherwise was a bit of a novelty.


Thursday: Grazing tray with Garlic Herb Tomato Goat Cheese Dip

After the aforementioned medical thing, I wasn’t sure how hungry Todd would be or how much energy either of us would have, so I planned a snack night but took the opportunity to make this goat cheese dip I’ve had pinned for a while. It was so good, I didn’t regret putting it together after my 3 hour nap (waiting rooms take the stuffing right out of you!).


Friday: Corn Fritters with Maple Syrup and Sausages

A slightly different take on our frequent breakfast for dinner nights. The fritters are 1 cup each of gf Bisquick and self-rising corn meal, plus a can of corn (drained), and egg, and enough milk to get everything to the right consistency. (Oh, and a pinch of salt for good measure.) They cooked up pretty quick on the griddle and were very tasty.

Saturday: Chinese take-out (use your imagination)

I did precious little this past weekend that wasn’t laying on my chaise longue knitting or watching Star Trek. I just wasn’t feeling up to much else. So when dinner time came around I gave in and ordered Sesame Chicken and Egg Drop Soup. Todd was kind enough to go fetch it.

20170212_200127Sunday: Beef Enchilada Nachos

The twist on these nachos is cooking the ground beef with enchilada sauce and diced green chilies instead of the usual taco seasoning. The homemade nacho cheese gets a kick from a bit of beer and ancho chilies.

Any guesses?

What if I told you the book in questions was a detective novel set in the 20s. It might actually be considered pulp, I can’t really be sure, but I used to read this series when I was a kid and ran out of my other books to read.

Give up? The book was And Be a Villain by Rex Stout (part of the Nero Wolfe series) and the meal was Friday night’s Corn Fritters and Sausage.

I usually enjoy when authors include picayune details like what the characters ate at a given meal, for instance, because it creates a more complete world to step into. Granted, some focus a little too much of the food to the detriment to the story, but I think Stout strikes a good balance. Unfortunately, looking at his prose with an older eye, I now see the rampant sexism (maybe correctly reflecting the mores of the day, but still) and the overuse of slang. Reasons that Todd–who is a fan of Poirot and Homes–never really warmed up to Wolfe.

At any rate, the lunch was described and sounded like a good idea. Have you ever about a meal in a non-cookbook and decided to use that as your dinner inspiration?

Tripping Hard on the Nostalgia (and this week’s menu)


Twice in the last week or so I’ve told a story about somebody that I used to know, only to have them pop back into my life a few days later. Does that ever happen to you?!

I used to say that if I had a dream about someone, it was a signal to reach out to that person (because I seldom dream about people I know who I interact with all the time, it doesn’t happen that much). Just my brain’s way of helping me keep up with people. Of course, with Facebook that’s a lot easier, and we can lurk in peoples lives without actually having to talk to them. Or something like that.

If friend #3 (who I dreamed about this weekend) pops back up from wherever in this far-flung world he may be, then I’m definitely buying a lottery ticket or something!

Whether this is a cause or effect of the nostalgia trip I seem to be on is anyone’s guess (along with my sudden and unquenchable need to listen to My Chemical Romance’s Black Parade multiple times), but it definitely feels like old times cooking from the pages of Cooking Light this week.

(Do you see what I did there? Moving along…)

Here’s what the week looked like on our table.


Monday: Creamy Carrot & Herb Linguine + Salad

Lemon-Dill Quinoa Chicken Soup w/Ricotta Sweet Pea Toasts (link & link)

Tuesday: Lemon-Dill Quinoa Chicken Soup w/Ricotta Sweet Pea Toasts

Roasted Pork Chops with Beets and Kale (link)

Wednesday: Roasted Pork Chops with Beets and Kale (via Southern Living)

Upside-Down Shepherd's Pie (link)

Friday: Upside-Down Shepherd’s Pie

Sunday: Sweet Potato Home Fries with Eggs + tangerines (link)

Sunday: Sweet Potato Home Fries with Eggs + tangerines

We had a coupe of no-cook nights: Thursday we had a leftover night because they were stacking up in the fridge and it was getting a tad bit ridiculous. On Saturday we spent a good part of the day celebrating Duncan’s bark-day and I predicted we’d be a bit tired after going to the dog park, two pet stores, and a froyo stop, too (and I was right) so we headed to a local Chinese buffet in honor of the Lunar New Year (a far cry from last year’s homemade feast, but I was not up to a repeat of that this year).

Not much to say about any of the recipes themselves (the Cooking Light ones aren’t available on their website, yet, hence the lack of links), just a good solid week of menus. I’m happy to turn the reins over to Todd for the coming week–I’ve got to get caught up on my video editing (again)!