Thursday, July 18, 2019

VeggieDag Thursday: (vegan) Pazzo Pesto!

Basil inflorescence (and visitor)

This sweet basil from my garden (minus the entomological protein) became this...

Pazzo Pesto, vegan-style.


Pazzo Pesto (vegan)

Pazzo Pesto is my take on the recipe by the Minimalist Baker. Truth be told, it's 99.99% Dana Shultz's recipe (although I did substitute veggie broth for the water). Nutritional yeast provides the cheesiness. It's the 'beery' connection in the recipe.

So why, pazzo? I blended it all before I realized that I had forgotten the garlic. Pazzo! (I did, however, rectify the omission).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups packed, rinsed fresh basil (large stems removed)
  • 3 TBSP pine nuts
  • 3 large cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 3-4 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt (or more or less to taste)
  • 2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-6 TBSP water or veggie stock (less, or more, as needed)

PREPARATION

  • Add the basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt to a food processor (or, in my case, a small blender), and blend/mix on high until a loose paste forms.
  • Add olive oil a little at a time and scrape down sides as needed. Then add water one tablespoon at a time until you get a thick but pourable sauce.
  • Refrigerate, but...
  • Even refrigerated, the pesto will quickly brown, losing its bright green luster. As Ms. Schultz suggests, freeze it an ice cube tray and then bag the frozen cubes for future use.
Start to finish, Pazzo Pesto will take you two months to prepare. Of course, once the basil has grown, only minutes. Resist the temptation to eat it with a spoon. Spoon it on pasta.

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on an animal-free diet and on environmental and ecological issues.

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Caladium, after rain

Caladium, after rain

Refreshed by rain, elephant ears (aka Caladium) seem to flap in a breeze.

In a garden, in Atlanta, Georgia. 15 June 2019.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

After 9 years, Mad Fox closes.

Mad Oak Bill

There's sad news from YFGF's former bailiwick. Mad Fox Brewing Company, a brewpub in Falls Church, Virginia —a suburb of Washington, D.C.— is closing its doors and spigots later this month, after a nine-year run.
Friends of Mad Fox Brewing Company
July 9, 2019

Friends, Patrons, and Supporters,

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I inform you of the closure of Mad Fox Brewing Company. Our last day of business will be Sunday, July 21st.

The decision to close has been an extremely difficult one to make. We have witnessed restaurant competition in the 2.2 square mile Falls Church City become fierce since our opening in 2010 with multiple businesses opening in the last year alone. As much as we tried to compete, there is an overwhelming number of choices for the local population. Sales have been on a slow decline over the last several years and, unfortunately, staying open is no longer sustainable.

On the brewing side of our business, we continue to see more breweries opening in Virginia with two new Taprooms setting up shop within a mile of Mad Fox in the last year. When we opened in 2010, there were 40 breweries in Virginia. Now there are close to 250. The Brewpub business model is a tough one to maintain compared to a Brewery Taproom with little overhead, lower rents, and outsourced food trucks. Our draw from the surrounding areas has dwindled in what has become an extremely competitive craft beer market, which has resulted in this final decision.

We attempted to work with our Bank and our Landlord for more favorable terms and while both were willing, we ultimately could not come to an agreement that would allow Mad Fox to be break even or better.

We plan a closure date of Sunday, July 21st; however, we plan to continue with our 9-year Anniversary Party on Saturday, 13 July to honor you, our investors, our staff, and the Falls Church Community. Words cannot express how proud I am of the Mad Fox legacy and the opportunity to be a member of such a wonderful community, if even for a short while. We opened the first brewpub in the City of Falls Church and have won numerous medals at the Great American Beer Festival as well as the Virginia Beer Cup. We have celebrated christenings, birthdays, weddings, retirements and many holiday gatherings. You, our guests, along with our spectacular Mad Fox team have enabled us to build tremendous notoriety over 9 years in business. I thank you for allowing Mad Fox to be a part of your lives. Thank you for your years of support and I hope to see you at the Pub in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,
Bill Madden
CEO and Executive Brewer, Mad Fox Brewing Company

Mad Fox awning

Mad Fox has never been known for "notoriety." To the contrary, it has achieved renown for its good beer, often, award-winning —Kölsch, Orange Whip IPA, Mason's Mild, Wee Heavy, to name only four. I —and many more— thank CEO/executive brewer Bill Madden​ for all of those beers. And for his magnificent real ales.

There are lessons to be learned, unintended consequences, as alcohol laws evolve. Mr. Madden's succinct letter points that out. Closing a business can be a visceral pang; one can read 'between the lines' of his letter.

That being said, Mr. Madden is a successful doyen of the area's 'craft' beer scene, both with Mad Fox and for a quarter-century before that. Beyond his own personal successes, he has mentored area brewers, he has organized beer festivals for brewers (beginning back when that concept was foreign), he has long advocated (and practiced) cask ale cellarmanship, and, last, but not least, he was co-instrumental in bringing good beer to Washington baseball.

His influence is beyond doubt. If past is prologue, good things await him (and beer lovers of the Washington, D.C.-area).

Real ale quintessence (02)
Unfiltered cask-conditioned pale ale, served via handpump

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Saturday, July 06, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Beer Independence Day

Beer Independence Day 2019
Independence Day drinking, in the beer garden of Wild Heaven Beer (brewery), in Avondale Estates, Georgia, on 4 July 2019.

Other than being apropos for the day, the mural's caption —"Beer Independence Day 2017"— refers to 1 September 2017, the date on which breweries in Georgia were first 'free' to sell and pour their own beers on their own premises.

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Thursday, July 04, 2019

#VeggieDag Thursday: Food & drink (and more) on Independence Day, by the numbers

Independence Day Food & Drink, by the numbers
  • $6.8 Billion: Amount Americans plan to spend on food for the 4th of July.
  • 150 Million: Hot dogs will be consumed on the 4th of July.
  • $1+ Billion: Amount Americans will spend on beer for the 4th of July, making the day the nation's top beer-drinking holiday.
  • $568 Million: Amount Americans will spend on 4th of July for wine.
  • $1+ Billion: Amount Americans will spend on fireworks in 2019.
  • $5.4 Million: Value of American flags imported annually (mostly from China).
  • 47+ Million: People traveling 50+ miles from home for the 4th of July.
    — Via WalletHub.
    4 July 2019.

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For Independence Day, three out of four Americans choose beer...

...that is, for those Americans who drink or serve alcoholic beverages.

Here are more beer-on-Independence-Day statistics, from studies commissioned by folk who sell beer.
The Beer Institute asked legal-drinking-age adults what alcohol beverage they’d be celebrating with during the Fourth of July holiday. Seventy-five percent of people planning to host or attend a Fourth of July celebration will serve or drink beer. Beer is nearly twice as popular as any other alcohol beverage, with 64 percent of people saying they plan to drink beer compared to 37 percent for wine and 32 percent for hard liquor.
Beer Institute

For brewers, distributors and retailers, Independence Day marks the height of the summer beer selling season. Much like Black Friday is a milestone for traditional retailers, the Fourth of July is a milestone for beer sales. In some states, beer distributors will be delivering double the beer of a typical week. NBWA and Fintech® got together and worked through on- and off-premise volumes for beer distributor sales to retailers across the country in 2016. The data revealed that the Fourth of July ranked #1. [...] While July Fourth takes the number one spot for off-premise sales, the rankings look radically different when just the on-premise (away from home) sales are ranked. In these channels of retail sales, St. Patrick’s Day, the Super Bowl and Cinco De Mayo take top spots.
National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA)


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Recipes

Wait! Whaaat? No watermelon on that list of foods for 4th of July? Come on, now!

Other than simply enjoying a delicious slice of watermelon, here are some other plant-based recipe suggestions for today:
  • Butternut Squash & Beets Salad
    — Via Lucy Saunders from her cookbook, Dinner in the Beer Garden (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal).
  • Watermelon Tofu Salad
    — Via YFGF.
  • The quintessential Spanish summertime chilled soup: gazpacho, 5 ways.
    — Via Voraciously (Washington Post).
  • Grilled Tofu Barbecue
    — Via Vegan Dad.

  • Carrot Dog with veggie chili
  • Carrot Hot Dogs
    — Via Kristen Pound.
  • Beer is a vegan food stuff. Grill your vegetables with it.
    — Via YFGF.
  • Twenty-seven '4th of July' vegan recipes.
    — Via Post Punk Kitchen (Isa Chandra Moskowitz).
  • Twenty-four '4th of July' plant-based recipes.
    — Via Minimalist Baker.
  • One-Bowl Vegan American Flag Cake.
    — Via Nora Cooks.

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In conclusion

Patriots of the American Revolution

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