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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Bye, bye, MoMo

Deluxe flying car

That, in November 2019, became this, in December 2019.

Bye, bye MoMo

From sold to razed in three weeks, a long-time, one-stop combo junkyard, used car dealer, auto repair shop, tax preparer, and money services firm —in English y en Español—is no more. Bye, bye, MoMo.

Urban displacement in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA.


Saturday, February 08, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Third Man postern

Third Man postern

The side stairs, gate, and door to Third Man Records, in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo taken 2 February 2018.

The southern digs of Detroit-based musician Jack White (of the White Stripes), Third Man Records serves as a
record store, novelties lounge, photo studio, live venue with direct-to-acetate recording capabilities, label offices, and distribution center.

...with quite the cool postern.

"I'm gonna fight 'em off.
A seven nation army couldn't hold me back.
They're gonna rip it off,
Taking their time right behind my back.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Beer-Cheese Dip

Beer-Cheese Dip

There's something to celebrate — beer isn't just "beer' anymore; it; a delightful beverage to share with family and friends who appreciate quality ingredients in cooking and a new experience in American cuisine. There is nothing "common" about beer anymore.

Written in 1989 by Jack Erickson, Great Cooking! With Beer is a snapshot of American beer 'culture' in the 1980s, when 'craft' beers were called "microbrews" and beer 'culture' was a nascent thing to be coddled. 1 Of course, it was also a cookbook: a useful beginning point for learning about beer IN food. And it remains so today (though sadly out-of-print).2

Mr. Erickson lived in the northern Virginia area through the early 1990s, where he evangelized on the goodness of the new-fangled microbrews. I met him there on a few occasions. I never gathered up the nerve to make his recipe for "Beer Syrup" for pancakes (for which he admonished me), but I have prepared (and enjoyed) other of his recipes, including Beer-Cheese Dip.

Today, the Sunday of Super Bowl LIV, it might be a good day to post about that. So, here's the recipe, but with some personal adaptions. 3



  • 2 cups (6-8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 tsp (vegan) Worcestershire sauce 4
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) light lager (e.g., PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon)
  • 1 dash smoked Spanish paprika
  • scant handful spring onions, chopped
  1. Combine cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, pepper, turmeric, onion powder, cumin, garlic, vinegar, cayenne, and Worcestershire in a food processor or blender. (No salt needed; the cheese will be salty enough!) 
  2. Process/blend 30 seconds to blend. 
  3. With processor/blender running, add the beer gradually, blending until the mixture is 'peanut-butter' smooth, not runny. Add more, only if necessary. 
  4. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors blend. 
  5. Before serving, bring to room temperature. Garnish with chopped spring onions and a dash of paprika. Serve with raw vegetables. 

Great Cooking! With Beer

Great Cooking! With Beer
  • Author: Jack Erickson
  • Paperback, hardcover: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Redbrick Press (February 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941397017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941397018
  • 1 American beer writer Vince Cottone is credited with first using the term "craft brewery" in print in 1986, although it didn't enter the common usage until more than a decade later.
  • 2 Erickson also wrote several beer travelogues, themselves snapshots of 'microbreweries' of the 1980s and early 1990s. These are also out-of-print, but you cna find them if you search for second-hand sources.
  • 3 See Erickson's original recipe: here.
  • 4 Worcestershire sauce, although fermented from barley malt, also contains anchovies. There are non-fish, vegan/vegetarian alternatives.
  • Vegan? Try this 21st-century recipe for a Beer-Cheese Dip, with no actual cheese, from blogger Rabbit and Wolves. Almond milk and nutritional yeast supply the 'cheesiness.' It's tasty.

  • For more from YFGF:

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Cask ale in light and shadow

Merriam-Webster defines the word eventide as "the time of evening." The first recorded use of the word was nine centuries ago, in the 1100s. Now, however, eventide is in the lower 40% percentile of words looked up. That's a shame. It adds an ineffable character to mere evening.

And, it seems a good word for this scene.

Winter Storm 'Category 5' cask ale

In evening eventide, a pour of a fresh, cask-conditioned ale sat on a bartop. In light and shadow, people were gathered around. Did the beer belong to the woman or to the owner of the hands grasping the bar edge or to the person whose jacket is seen to the right?

And what was that beer which was holding their interest?

No answer as to ownership but as to brewery-ship, it was "Winter Storm Category 5 Ale," a brewery-styled 'Imperial ESB' of 7.5% alcohol-by-volume (abv), brewed and conditioned by Heavy Seas Beer, a large 'craft, brewery in Halethorpe, Maryland. More than that, the ale was served cask-conditioned, fresh from a firkin (10.8-US gallon cask).

Why the 'eventide' reference?

With a capital 'E," that is the name of the Arlington, Virginia restaurant and wine bar that was serving this real ale, rather than offering an afterthought beer, say, Miller Lite or such.

A wintry beer blast-from-the-past, the photograph was taken in 2010. Alas, the restaurant is no more (not, I believe, from serving good beer). The brewery, Heavy Seas, remains in operation today.

Other than hops, the brewery had added nothing else to the fermenting beer in the firkin, no willy-nilly frou-frou, not gratuitously flavored but beer-flavored. It was brewery-fresh ale, as if the brewery had brought a beer-full fermenter —albeit on magnitude tens of times smaller than in the brewery— to this restaurant.

Real ale.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Pay here?

Pay here?

There's a sculpture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, called "Casey Standing." It's a bronze, nude, slightly larger than life-size figure of a woman, installed outside, in the Southside district of the city, in 2013.

The sculptor is Alan Lequire, a Nashville, Tennessee, native, who "specializes in work of great scale, usually large public commissions."

I snapped the photo in the rain, on the afternoon of 18 January 2020. The juxtaposition of art and mundane commerce caught my attention. Pay here?