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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: (Non) Beef Soup

(Not) Beef Stew

I'm taking rudimentary steps toward food styling, so today:
(Non) Beef Stew, adapted from a package of Hurst's Beans 'HamBeens' 15 Bean Soup package. Animal-free, of course.

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IN THE PACKAGE

  • Actually 18 bean varieties:
    Great Northern beans, pinto beans, large lima beans, baby lima beans, blackeyed peas, garbanzo beans, green split peas, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, cranberry beans, Cannellini beans, Habichuela Rosadas, small red beans, yellow split peas, lentils, navy beans, black beans, and yellow-eye beans.

  • And one seasoning packet:
    hydrolyzed soy protein, maltodextrin, salt, artificial flavorings (including artificial smoke flavor), silicon dioxide (added less than 2% as an anti-caking agent).


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RECIPE

I followed the recipe on the package but added in suggestions from Lord Byron's Vegetarian Beefless Stew. I spruced things up by using vegetable broth rather than water and by adding potatoes, frozen peas, fresh rosemary, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Smoked paprika, Marmite, and the included seasoning packet add umami (less technically, a 'meaty' flavor); sautéd diced portabellos, a 'meaty' texture. Really, it's like Stone Soup: more about how you finish than how you begin. The yield is about 12 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 oz package Hurst Beans "HamBeens 15 Bean Soup" package
  • 8 cups low-sodium (or homemade) vegetable stock (or 8 cups water)
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 small Yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp Marmite
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 TBSP dried basil
  • 1 TBSP smoked Spanish paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste

PROCEDURE

  1. 1) Rinse the beans to remove any dirt or debris.

  2. 2) Place rinsed beans in a large pot, cover with 8 cups of water, and soak beans overnight for at least 8 hours.

  3. 3) After soaking, drain off the water and rinse the beans again. [This removes some of the raffinose, the carbohydrate responsible for beany, uh, flatulence.]

  4. 4) Place beans in a large pot with 8 cups of vegetable stock (or water).

  5. 5) Bring beans to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

  6. 6) Add tomatoes, chili powder, Spanish paprika, Marmite, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes.

  7. 7) Five minutes before cooking is complete, add frozen peas and contents of Hurst's seasoning packet. [See above.]

  8. 8) Simmer five more minutes, covered. Remove from heat.

  9. 9) While the soup is simmering, boil the cubed potatoes for 15-20 minutes. Drain. [I reserve the water and refrigerate for up to a week for use as a soup base.]

  10. 10) In a skillet, sauté the chopped onions for 3 minutes until soft. Add the chopped mushrooms. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms release their moisture and become brown, about 10 minutes. Add the diced garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

  11. 11) Add the mushroom mixture and the cooked potato to the soup. Gently stir.

  12. 12) Scoop out two cups of the soup —vegetables and broth. Purée in a blender until smooth. Return the purée to the pot and stir into the soup. S/P to taste.

Enjoy with a hunk of rustic bread and an Oktoberfest lager. Whether it's a soup or a stew is up to you. Prost!

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Saturday, September 07, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Forest allée

Forest allée (03)

Allons-y l'allée!

The Postal Pond urban forest, in the Winnona Park district of Decatur, Georgia, on 7 July 2019.

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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Bar, just Bar.

Bar, just Bar

Baltimore, Maryland is a city of bars (and churches)...and charm. Human beings live there.

Pictured: no frills. A bar, just "Bar." It's a tavern sign that said all that was needed to be said. As seen in Baltimore's Fell's Point neighborhood, ten years ago, on 7 November 2009.

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Friday, August 30, 2019

The best donut beer

Joshua Johnson of 1A

Recently, National Public Radio's weekday 2-hour public-affairs program, 1A, was broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair.

In the first hour, host Joshua Johnson interviewed the governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz. More to the point, in the second hour, Mr. Johnson interviewed a panel comprising two brewer/owners, a hop farmer, and the editor of a brewspaper, all from Minnesota. The topic was "Tapping Into Minnesota’s Craft Beer Boom."
Pop quiz. What do cotton candy, chocolate chip cookies, and mini-donuts have in common? Give up? They are all flavors of beer.

Mr. Johnson asked for listener comments. At the 25:00 mark, he was reading a few sent in via Twitter, when he said this:
And YFGF tweeted: “An 'approachable' beer is one I approach. A 'drinkable' beer is one I drink. The best donut beer is a beer in a mug and a donut on a plate.' [laughter] I mean...whatcha want me to say? If he's wrong, tell me he's wrong, but I don't think he's wrong. [...] And it's just that simple wisdom like 'an approachable beer is a beer I approach.' Boom! One of y'all is going to print that on a tee-shirt and make a lot of money.”

YFGF is, of course, the acronym for the name of this blog, "Yours For Good Fermentables," or "Yifgif," as some folks around here (not those at NPR) can be heard to pronounce it.

Approachable Beer

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Tapping Into Minnesota’s Craft Beer Boom

There was more to the hour-long episode than talk of beery nonsense. Here's 1A's program syllabus.
"Would you try a jalapeño cream ale? Maybe a cotton candy milkshake IPA? If your answer is yes, you should head to Minnesota. The North Star State has a booming craft beer industry. But that wasn’t always the case.

Not long ago, craft beer wasn’t nearly as widely available in the U.S. as it is today. Between 2002 and 2007, employment at breweries across the country declined as large corporations like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors consolidated. In 2012, these two companies controlled nearly 90 percent of beer production in the country.

But between 2008 and 2016, the number of brewery establishments — many of them small businesses sextupled. The number of brewery workers grew by 120 percent. In the same period, shipments from the five major brewers (Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken, Pabst and Diageo) fell by 14 percent.

Minnesota was no exception to the trend. In 2011, the state was home to 35 craft breweries. Today there are more than 170 breweries operating in the state. Those breweries pump out nearly 650,000 barrels of beer a year.

At the Minnesota State Fair, local breweries show off their classic brews as well as their more experimental ones, which feature a wacky variety of flavors, including dreamsicle, elderflower, lavender, dragon fruit, push pop, pumpkin seed, cake, chocolate chip cookie, dill pickle, funnel cake, maple bacon and s’mores.

[...] We sit down and sip at the Minnesota State Fair to talk and taste with the state’s craft beer insiders.

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Tiny tri-tone

Tiny tri-tone
So gradual in those summers was the going of the age it seemed that the long days setting out when the stars faded over the mountains were not leaving us...
W.S. Merwin: The Speed of Light.

A tiny tri-tone —maybe 1 centimeter wide— was nearly hidden in the underbrush. By the following day, it had withered.

DeKalb County, Georgia. 20 July 2019.

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