With the temperatures dropping and our landlord not wanting to turn on the radiator boiler until we’re popsicles, I decided to warm the place up a bit with big ol’ pot of chili (also, Erin has a craving for it). Now everybody and their mother has a special recipe for chili. That is perfectly fine. Most, if not all, chili recipes are time tested, tenaciously tweaked and tailored to the tongue of the taster. Whether you use poultry, beef, game or forgo meat all together; battle the war of beans or no beans; or secretively sweeten rather than stay strictly savory, everyone can agree chili warms and nourishes the cold-weather beaten soul. Continue reading
As the day shortens and a cool crispness spikes the air, you know it’s fall. While I’m not particularly a fan of fall since it means the ominous arrival of winter, there are a few winning features that I enjoy: nature’s sublime colors, hearty food and, my personal redeemer, Oktoberfest beer. Conceived in March, bottom fermented in cold, dark caves through summer and finally released in late September into a world mimicking its coppery hue. I love this beer, its history, its process, its maltiness, sweetness, complexity, color… it is a perfect reason to celebrate fall (also the 1810 wedding of Prince Ludwig but that’s just a side story).
Like nature’s changing colors, there are hundreds of variations of Oktoberfest beer. Technically, the only beer that can claim to be Oktoberfest beer has to be brewed in Munich’s city limits, but almost every brewery in the world crafts a batch of the iconic Marzen-style for the season. This lager tends toward more malts, less hops, higher alcohol and a medium to heavy body. I have chosen to review seven from our country’s local and national micro-breweries. While traditional Oktoberfest beers include Spaten, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner, I’d like to see how we do on this side of the Atlantic.