Monday, December 31, 2007

What is better than beer?

How about a book about beer! Zoe's Uncle Alan, a fellow beer lover, sent the most amazing Christmas gift:

'86 Good Beer Guide

The 1986 Pocket Guide to Good Beer, by Michael Jackson. For the uniformed, Michael Jackson, the Beer Hunter, just happens to hold the same name as Michael Jackson the freak singer. But, they are two entirely different people.

The guide, outside of its interesting historic bookmark on the craft beer revolution of the US in the mid-eighties, held an additional surprise. It bore an inscription from Michael Jackson to Alan. Apparently Alan hosted a dinner that Michael attended. The book is timely in that Michael Jackson passed away earlier this year.

A great gift...

The guide gives an overview of beer around the world, based on either country or continent. In England, I always get excited about tasting notes of Adnams or Fullers. In the US, it was interesting to see a number of breweries that where "new" in the mid eighties. For instance, the Boston Beer Company just took Best of Show for the Sam Adams Boston Lager at the Great American Beer Festival in 1985. A number of other nationally available beers today were only regionally available then: Sierra Nevada, Red Hook and Anchor Steam.

Hey Dad is Rhomberg still available in the old Pickett Brewery in Dubuque?

This was a beautiful gift from Alan. I felt guilty about receiving it after I read Michael Jackson's inscription. Fortunately Alan reassured me that he has a second signed copy! Thanks again Alan, I look forward to sharing our next pint.

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Last night we celebrated Anne's birthday. I am lucky to have such a wonderful, smart and talented sister. Although I make fun of her a lot little. It is a lot of fun when she comes home to visit. We wished that she did not live so far away. Happy Birthday Anne!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My (k)new knife...

Global Knife, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

What was supposed to be a low key Christmas has once again turned to be something incredibly different. Zoe, my wonderful wife, surprised me with a gift card to Williams Sonoma today. After perusing the store for sometime, I finally settled on a Global Santoku knife and a new food processor (we killed the old one). I have been mesmorized by the design of the Global knifes. I can not wait to try this one out tonight.

Getting back to the gift card...while checking out, the clerk said that she was not surprised I was using a gift card for the purchase. I told her it was the season and that my wife liked me. The woman standing next to me exclaimed that her husband wouldn't know what to do with a W-S gift card and would probably just stare at it. I think the woman was probably just shocked that I was a woman.

Living in the Limelight

Needless to say, this group will be in a cage and it will not be gilded, it will be locked!

Rockbandn' It

Yes, Rockband came to our house for Christmas. We have experienced Guitar Hero, but there is definitely something about Rockband that makes the young and old smile. Bean, who is a natural and Guitar Hero veteran, picked it right up. Matt, the same. Samantha, great percussion. Anne, the singer, not so much. Just kidding Anne, you did great...really. She reminded me of a sober and drug free Liza Minnelli.

The only problem right now is that the Guitar Hero III and Rockband Guitar controllers are not interchangeable on the PS3. Activision and Harmonix, the parent companies, are having a battle over licensing terms and money. In the meantime, the consumer suffers. Hopefully the often talked about patch is released soon and we can add a bass to our Rockband group, a second guitar to Guitar Hero III and auditions for a new lead singer.

Although it is a lot of fun, the recent South Park episode poking fun at Guitar Hero did make me a "little" self conscious!

What's on the Grill #53

Turkey Dinner, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Rotisserie Turkey and Grilled Ham! Last night was Christmas Part II. Unfortunately, due to a really bad cold, Dad was unable to attend. He missed out, because we had quite the spread. The turkey, brined and "rotisseried" as usual, turned out nice. In honor of my brothers, we "grilled" a ham that was served with a spicy cherry sauce that my Mom used to make. The recipe was from an old Better Homes and Garden Cook Book.

Zoe made her always to die for Pavlova and a wonderful "American Style" Fudge Cake. I say "American Style" because it was from an English recipe. So, more or less, what you have is an "American Style" chocolate fudge cake made in America by an Englishwoman using American and English ingredients. Regardless of the lineage of the desert, it was lovely!

What to do with all of that coal I got for Christmas?

Grill, what else!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dinner Prep...

Turkey on the Brine

The entire family is gathering from the four corners of the country for dinner tonight. The preparation has begun! The turkey was placed in a brine last night, the ham is hanging out in the fridge and Zoe has been baking since this morning.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Creative Commons

The cool thing about creative commons is that your work can show up anywhere. Today, I learned that one of my pics was posted on LAist.

A few months ago, I was contacted about another picture which was used for a UK cooking software program called Cook It.

I find it incredibly exciting sharing work I enjoy with people I don't know.

Merry Christmas!

A hand me up...

Hopefully everyone has had a wonderful Christmas day. After working all day, we headed over to my folks for a little family time. Apparently Mom planned way ahead, as evident by my gift bag above. We often had things handed down, but rarely "handed up".

Christmas Roast

Dad grilled a great standing rib roast. We ate...and drank well, as usual. Needless to say, Christmas is always a time about sharing. I can not think of anything more fun to share on Christmas day than the story of my sister's conception. Fortunately, most of the details were kept hidden. I really couldn't hear much anyways because my fingers were knuckle deep in my ears. However, we do know enough to know that my folks were involved in some kind of bet. Somethings are best just left hidden...honestly. Well gotta go, The Prize Anne is calling.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Wow..., originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Christmas arrived a little early this year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ol' Specklun

Ol' Specklun, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

The Pub

The Pub, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please.... Ohio

What's on the Grill #52

Beef Medallions

Beef Medallions with a Port Chestnut Sauce!

Mike & Jen came by last night to help celebrate the season with good food and drink. (NOTE: Anytime I reference Jen on this blog, I will always be sure to make it obvious to everyone that it is: THAT Jen...thus the link) Once again, we have resorted to a pan fried dinner. Although we might claim it is because it is cold outside, it is really because the pan is the greatest base for a nice sauce. Mike, fellow beer and grill lover, is always quick to help out...shown here as he preps the chestnuts. Do note, the pinkish drink with the straw in the foreground is his. That mannish, half empty (beer glasses are always half empty, never half full) tulip pintglass in the background was just a prop.

Lunch with the Sis

Anne's Lunch

Anne's home! Along with the strange need to retain liquids. Really, a gallon of ice tea with lunch? What else has California done to you?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Weng Weng Night

No, it was not some closed door steamy window encounter, it was a night of high society and haute was a night of Manilla's most highly trained, lady kissing, ball kicking (seriously) special agent. Agent 00, Weng Weng, a 3 foot tall trained killer/lover or lover/killer depending on if you start the movie from either the beginning or the middle. I'm not quite sure how Eric finds this stuff, but he does. Along with my youngest brother and a good group of friends, Eric treated us to a night of cinematic magic, as we watched two of Weng Weng's featured movies.

As only Eric can do, we were treated to a night of smallish treats, in salute to the diminutive cinematic star of the evening. Mini quiche, mini tacos, little wieners and of course, shrimp. The food was great and the movie was well...disturbing. If anything, it made me want to make my own dubbed over foreign movie. Nonetheless, we saw 5 of the best actors that Manila had to offer in 1982 and some of the craziest fight scenes to see the silver screen since....well, I am not really sure if you can call them fight scenes, or freak scenes.

His wikipedia entry is pretty weak, but to give you an idea, check out the Weng Weng rap, circa the 90's.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Feeding the critters

It has been quite the weekend of wacky winter Ohio weather. In keeping with her usual customs, Zoe quickly filled up the bird feeders (NOTE: Although called bird feeders, in our backyard they are more of the Old County Buffet of the animal to whoever can gain access). Via webcam this afternoon, Zoe spoke with her Dad about how they should make mittens and boots for the squirrels. Apparently evolution needs some Johnson intervention to see it into the 22nd century.

Zoe is crazy about the critters, but then again she is also crazy about me...maybe that is why she is so just plain "crazy".

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What's on the Grill #51

Pan Fried Chicken, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Pan Fried Chicken - for fajitas! Not too bad, seeing that I can't stand grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I used the bonedust rub I put together a few weeks ago. Nice flavor, but I think it would work better on pork.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

First Atomic Clock

First Atomic Clock, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

After traveling to NIST last month, it was interesting to see an article on Wired about NIST and their work on the atomic clock. The first atomic clock, which was sitting in the lobby, is pictured here. I can guarantee that our group was kept as far away from the current clock as possible.

Happy 25th Birthday Commodore 64

Commodore 64, originally uploaded by jhails.

Yup, this was our first computer. It is hard to believe that it was 20 some years ago. Although looking back, I felt the software called "word processor" did not perform as expected. I figured if I wrote gibberish, it would turn my fragmented sentences and misspelled words into a literary masterpiece. A must for any junior high student. Unfortunately no, but I could change the color of the screen. How cool was that?

In honor...

of Grillguy's trip home...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A little warm out....

Wow...for December 11th, it is hard to believe that is 60 degrees outside. So, what does one do when it is so warm? Easy, put on shorts and hit the grill.

I don't know what Al Gore is doing, but he needs to keep it up. If it means flying his jet around the country to give even more speeches about the evils of global warming, than I am all for it. All for grilling in shorts in December that is...

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's on the Grill #50

Bourbon Glazed Cajun Rubbed Tenderloin! Up until this weekend, I was forbidden to grill this because it is one of Zoe's favorite things that my Dad makes. It was a one shot night and it was well worth it....but a lot of work. Truth be told, Zoe did most of the prep and I just grilled it. A team effort, that turned perfect. Good thing since it will probably be the last time I am allowed to make it!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

So, I am meeting this guy I met on the Internet...

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I said that this week and received either laughs, blank stares or serious looks of concern. No, it wasn't a topic for an upcoming Springer show and no, I wasn't meeting Chris Hansen. I met my friend Mike, aka tripletlads, from New York.

We met through eHarmony Flickr, the online photo sharing website. We both share a love of homebrew, grilling and food in general and have shared photographs and emails discussing, and documenting, our exploits. Mike was in Columbus for the weekend visiting Father Larry, a friend of Mike's for over thirty years. Father Larry, who is the Director of the Paulist Center at Ohio State, was kind enough to invite me along for an evening of food and homebrew tasting.

I had an incredible evening. Mike and Father Larry prepared an amazing spread that centered around a venison broil and braised venison. To make things even better, Mike, Father Larry and the other guests brought a wide assortment of homebrew. I was little frustrated with myself that after my bottling mishap earlier in the week, I could only bring a bottle of Chimay. I had some amazing beers. Most notably, Mike's "Glorious George" and Father Larry's Pumpkin Ale.

I must say, that I never thought I would go out of my way to meet someone I had not personally met before. However, with this amazing "series of tubes" known as the Internet, it was as if we had already met, and knew each other. It was a great opportunity and a great time. My thanks to Father Larry, who I will stay in touch with and my thanks to Mike. I hope we get together sometime in the not too distant future. I hear there are some really good BBQ places in New York...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Rub Stratification

Rub Stratification, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

I decided to try a rub in Ted Reader's BBQ Book. After I dumped in the ingredients, I found I made some kind of craft keepsake too. Nice...

Playing Around

Pardon my mess, but I am tired of the old standard blogger template. You will probably see some changes until I am happy with some updates.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

GrillGuy Abroad

Dustin, aka GrillGuy, travels to China several times a year for business. He is currently overseas now and started a blog to document his trip. He is posting pictures and video and I already find it all incredibly interesting. Although I am most looking forward to the food pics, I believe the Chinese cultural would be something to experience. Of course Zoƫ has a much better understanding then I do thanks to her trip to Thailand last year.

Check it out. The airport photos were taken after a 36 hour "door to door" journey.

What's on the Grill #49

Dinner, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Grilled ribeye with carmalized onion, grilled sweet potato and a steamed artichoke (hidden).