Sunday, November 11, 2007

Walnuts and mulled beer

Ethel Mae helps with the walnut harvestThere's a walnut tree at the corner of the property. It produces an annoying lot of walnuts every year: annoying when you have to clear the lawn of them, annoying when your head receives the painful plop of a walnut. The two dogs love it though: the walnuts attract many winter-foraging squirrels.

This autumn, there were more walnuts than usual. Many more. So, after a lengthy afternoon round-up, we rewarded ourselves with a special delight. We mulled beer, mulling a Quelque Chose beerspiced and heated in a crockpot.

This may sound peculiar, heating a beer, but with the right beer, the aroma can be wonderful, the taste unique, and the effect, well, warming. We used Quelque Chose, an oak-aged 8% alcohol by volume (abv) tart cherry beer, produced by Unibroue, located just outside Montreal in Canada. (Pronounce the beer: KELL-kuh shows)

Two 500-ml bottles of Quelque Chose, 1/2 stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves. Put the crock pot at low. Enjoy in an hour. Delicious! (Be sparing with spices. A little bit goes a long way.)

Quelque Chose is uncarbonated, so it lends itself to heating without bubble-over. For something else (which is a rough translation of the beer's French name),  try Quelque Chose ice-cold in the summer, and as a Mimosa for brunch.

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