Raspberry Jalapeno Wheat Beer: Throwback Sunday?

Chris is currently working on what I think will turn out to be magic in beer form: a raspberry jalapeno wheat beer.

He brewed it up last Sunday and just racked it out into the secondary fermenter yesterday, poured over four pounds of raspberries and I don’t know how many jalapenos. I’ll let him wax poetic about the process (we actually blew the lid off the primary fermenter with our first use of a yeast starter, and Chris created a flash fire and had a minor boil over – BREWING BEER IS SO EXCITING) and the end product.

In the meantime, here’s what my boys were up to last weekend. Chris brewing away:
20140420. Brewing on Easter.

20140420. Brewing on Easter.

Willem discovering the mirror on his play mat:
20140420. Willem.

20140420. Willem.

I sure do like those two. And here they are today. We have a clean baby, family in town, a Discovery show on TV, sunshine, fresh coffee, and a good day ahead of us. Happy Sunday!
20140427. The boys.

(P.S. We also discovered this past week that our baby is still a giant. He’s in the 95th percentile or above for height, weight, and head circumference. At 9 weeks, he’s 15 lbs., 4 oz. Go breast milk!).

Yo, Dawg, I Heard You Liked Earth Day, So We Took Your Car and Gutted the Engine and Made It into a Lawn Ornament, Complete with Bird Bath and Composter…

When I started this blog post, I started at the end, writing, “Finally, and unrelated to everything else in this (not-yet-written) post, [blah blah blah song that’s been stuck in my head].” But then I thought, why not start with the end as the beginning? That’s apparently what’s REALLY on my mind, so who cares if it’s unrelated to anything else going on right now? Maybe it IS the most important thing at this very moment.

So, here goes… Unrelated to everything else, I’ve had this song stuck in my head for a while, and the video makes me want to move to Jamaica and hang out with just about every person featured in it for coffee or maybe something a little stronger, a dancing lesson, a bicycle ride, a game of cards, or a boxing match.

I know you, you know me
Baby, you know me
We’re all together in the same boat
I know you, you know me
Baby, you know me
I Just wanna dream

In other news, we had an awesome, whirlwind trip to Des Moines the past several days for a surprise birthday party for Chris’ mom. His mom deadpanned, “Oh, you’re here,” as she walked in and we all yelled the required, “SURPRISE!” She was, however, very pleased to see us (so she says), and we got to spend some good time with her, Chris’ dad, and the human menagerie of his family. It had been too long.

Oh, and if you saw the previous blog post, we did NOT come home with a five-foot metal chicken. If only we’d had the trailer hooked up… We did, however, make it to El Bait Shop (I just linked directly to the beer menu, because OH HOLY F*CKB*LLS, it was amazing!). As we were with family and it was 2 in the afternoon, I only got one beer (sadly, because I wanted to try about 15 of them). It was a winner, though: Green Flash Palate Wrecker IPA. I chose…. WISELY.

Before we left, we made what should probably turn out to be an amazing APFELWEIN. Yeah, not just APPLE WINE, but APFELWEIN, which is really fun to say in an Arnold Schwarzenegger-esque accent (and even more fun if you were saying it in such an accent after two glasses of aforementioned APFELWEIN, I’m guessing). I’m pretty stoked about our entrance into brewing and fermenting delicious things. This one required nothing more than a carboy, five gallons of cheapo ghetto apple juice, two pounds of dextrose, and some yeast. In six weeks or so, we should have an amazing, dry, crisp, carbonated bevvie to sip on and share.

20130419. Apfelwein.

TOTAL BABE. Also, all of this brewing stuff is really Chris’s awesome doing. Please continue being awesome. And thanks.

20130419. Apfelwein.

20130419. Apfelwein.

EDWORT APFELWEIN! (In an Arnold accent, please).

And now it sits, bubbling away gently in our basement.

Speaking of apples, our two apple sticks trees we planted last fall in the backyard, are sending out buds. Hooray! Someday, they will bloom more beautifully than our non-native (yet totally gorgeous) Japonica. Spring… it has sprung.
20130422. Japonica in bloom.

Hoop Dreams: Pipe Dream No More

Faced with beautiful spring weather last weekend and a brief reprieve from the flu-from-hell, I managed to make my hoop dreams a reality. Meet the new hoop house!

20120218. Hoop dreams.

Nap Town Chickens shirt, hoop house, and new raised beds.

I also:

  • Attended a chicken-rearing workshop, led by Nap Town Chickens and the Fall Creek Gardens people, at which I won a super fantastic t-shirt of my very own and learned such sage wisdom as, “Look… they may change your life, but, ultimately, they’re just chickens.” A coop in every yard, a fresh egg on every plate – oh, indeed!
  • Dug up some sod and extended two garden beds.
  • Tore out the rest of the rocks in the front yard beds (ugly) and upcycled them into two new raised beds in the backyard (magic!). I got all rock-tetris on their rocky behinds, and now they just need a good layer of soil and compost (and plants, of course).
  • Bought some more seeds for the garden – including Black Krim heirloom tomatoes from the Black Sea region.

What’s the plan this weekend, you ask? As per usual, the answer is likely, “Too much.” A trip to Black Acre Brewing may be in order, though. I mean, for real: just look at their beer list. Imperial Pumpkin Ale? Saucy Intruder IPA? I’m sold, and I haven’t even tasted it yet.