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Jane Snow: Asian Pears

by on 08/17/2012 - 07:21 pm
Category: Food

This blog is an excerpt from Jane's weekley enewsletter "See Jane Cook." To subscribe, visit
I’ve tasted kiwanos and I’ve loaded jackfruit into my cart. I’m a sucker for red carrots, yellow beets, cactus pads and every other strange, new item I spot in the produce department. So of course I have tasted Asian pears, those round fruit with the brown speckled skin that are now common in the exotics section.
At first I tasted them and said, “No thanks.” Then I tasted one right off the tree. Wow.
Fresh, properly ripened Asian pears are sweet and dripping with juice. They have a mild, super-sweet pear flavor but with the crisp texture of a fall a ...

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The Thirsty Scholar: Summer is for he...

by on 08/17/2012 - 10:32 am
Category: Smart Living

by Matt Lasher
Light, refreshing and without too much bitterness, the hefeweizen is the quintessential summer beer.
Native to the southern German state of Bavaria, the hefeweizen (pronounced HEH-feh-vite-zehn) is the exception to “The Rule”—and in this case the rule is the Reinheitsgebot.
The Reinheitsgebot, also known as the German Purity Law of 1516, ensured that only beer made from malted barley, water, and hops could be brewed and sold in Germany. But fortunately, Bavarian royalty had developed a preference for weizenbier (literally “wheat beer”), a family of beers to which the hefeweizen (literally “yeast wheat”) belongs. As a result, the sty ...

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The Thirsty Scholar: Gifts for the be...

by on 08/17/2012 - 12:18 pm
Category: Smart Living

by MattLasher The Thirsty Scholar 12/10/10
Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Well if you’re shopping for a beer lover, here are a few suggestions (not including the
obvious but always welcomed gift of beer).
For the Beginner: A Beer Brewing Kit
• A great six-pack is always appreciated, but giving someone the ability to reproduce that same style— with a personal twist (and atafractionofthecost) — is priceless. Starter kits are available at any homebrew shop and typically cost anywhere from $60-100, depending on the quality of the equipment included.
For more information on brewing your own beer check out the free online edition of John Palmer’s&nbs ...

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The Thirsty Scholar: India Pale Ale F...

by on 08/17/2012 - 01:01 pm
Category: Smart Living

By Matt LasherOf the four main ingredients in beer—water, yeast, malted grain, and hops—none elicits a range of emotions from its consumers quite like the hop. This love-it or hate-it (or for me border-line-obsessed-with-it) flowery product of the Humulus lupulus plant gives beer its characteristic bitterness and flowery aroma and taste.The style of beer best known for its utilization of this remarkable flower is the India Pale Ale, or IPA for short. There are three main types of IPAs—the English, the American, and the Belgian.A traditional English IPA tends to be blatantly bitter. During the English occupation of India, massive amounts of hops were used to preserve the Eng ...

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The Thirsty Scholar: The History of O...

by on 08/17/2012 - 10:42 pm
Category: Smart Living

Way back in Bavarian history, when the closest thing to a refrigerator was a cave with stacks of cut up pond ice, there was a strict brewing season. Dictated by Bavarian law, breweries could operate only between the dates of September 29 and April 23. There were several reasons for this seemingly cruel limitation, not the least of which being the lack of refrigeration. The absence of this technology would render the beer susceptible to temperature fluctuations during the fermenting process, which would lead to inconsistent off-flavors and bacterial infection.
One of the styles of beer brewers preferred to brew most during these final months was the Märzen, now more colloquially known ...

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Thirsty Scholar: Fall is for Pumpkin Ale

by on 08/17/2012 - 11:57 am
Category: Smart Living

By Matt Lasher
In the world of beers no style has that “American-as-apple-pie” feel like the spiced pumpkin ale. It has been said that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin all had their own individual pumpkin ale recipes. Although the pumpkin ales of our founding fathers were most likely produced out of necessity (gourd-like squashes often took the place of malted barley when grains were in short supply), the style has found a niche in today's world as an enjoyable seasonal beer. The distinctive flavor, common in most pumpkin ales, is derived from the use of traditional pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and clove). Although mos ...

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Thirsty Scholar: Season for Holiday Ales

by on 08/17/2012 - 10:23 am
Category: Smart Living

by Matt Lasher
For some people it’s the arrival of Black Friday. For Ralphie it was the unveiling of the Higbees’s department store holiday window display. For me, however, the high water mark of the pre-holiday season officially begins the moment I set foot in the local beer store to find the warm and cheerful labels of holiday ales lining the shelves.
For centuries people have celebrated the arrival of the holiday season with festive drinks, and modern-day brewers have done much to ensure that this tradition continues. The following are but three examples of the hundreds of outstanding holiday beers out there. For more information on the fascinating history of these eclectic ...

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Real Life Rescue Tales: Wendy and Winne

by on 12/10/2010 - 12:01 pm
Category: Community

There is nothing like the gift of friendship. Our friends come to us in many ways. Sometimes, it’s a mom or dad who becomes our best friend and that deepened bond grows into our heart’s greatest treasure.
There is no doubt that valued relationships are a blessing, and that it is our responsibility to nurture them.
Wendy and Winnie are a mother-daughter duo and a bonded pair. Their friendship is beautifully evident.
At two years of age, Wendy gave birth to a litter of kittens and enjoyed being a mother. One by one the kittens left the shelter to begin their new lives and experience the love of family.
With Winnie being the last kitten left, and because she was fort ...

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Minkin's Music: Best of 2010

by on 12/10/2010 - 11:57 am
Category: Arts & Entertainment

by JayMinkin 12/9/10
It’s time to present my “Best of 2010” musical selections. The year began with the band Reckless Kelly and the fantastic Somewhere in Time, which pays homage to their mentor, Pinto Bennett and The Famous Motel Cowboys. Next came a wave of leading ladies, including Patty Griffin’s Downtown Church album produced by Buddy Miller, the beautiful voice of Shelby Lynne and her Tears, Lies, and Alibis, the country rockin’ Miranda Lambert’s blistering Revolution, and the sweetheart of outlaw country Elizabeth Cook putting music to storytelling on Welder.
The boys also make a strong showing, including John Mellencamp and his rootsy ...

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Real Life Rescue Tales: Oscar Meyer

by on 11/22/2010 - 08:08 pm
Category: Community

by Georjette Thomas
How often have you been caught in the middle of a difficult situation through no fault of your own? Whether work or a family issue, we often believe a neutral position will result in the best possible outcome.
Oscar Meyer couldn’t have been more innocent, yet he didn’t have the ability to avoid impending disaster. Rescued by a little girl who loved him immediately, Oscar was gifted with a brand new carrier and a soft blanket. As if that wasn’t expressing enough love, she decorated his “safe place” with the prettiest shades of ink and glitter. With his name prominently written on each side, it was evident that this boy had reached & ...

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