Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beer Review - Highway 78 Scotch Ale

I was at the High Dive today with Dean, letting San Diego State give me a heart attack by allowing a second overtime against Temple, in March Madness action. Looking for a second ale to fortify me, and help me resist the temptation to order more food, I noticed Highway 78 Scotch Ale on the board, indicating it was on tap. (We previously discussed why we always go for the beer on tap.) The wait staff helpfully explained that this beer was the result of collaboration between local brewers Green Flash, Pizza Port and Stone. I have always been a big fan of Belhaven Scottish Ale, so I was curious to see what our local award winners had cooked up.

They didn't disappoint. The beer had a nice dark amber pour, with an average amount of head. (I am not a big fan of a lot of head.) As one would expect for a scotch ale, it had plenty of malty sweetness and I had to struggle to slow down and enjoy it. As one would expect from our local brewers, it also had more hoppiness than a traditional scotch ale. However, the hops were balanced well with the malt, making for a very nice beer. I was a little surprised that they chose to pour the beer into a tulip glass, maybe Max can explain, as I normally would enjoy this ale in a standard pint glass. Maybe it was the alcohol content, which pushes 9%, and the tulip glass delivered less volume. Regardless, this was a highly enjoyable beer, a longtime import favorite improved by our local brewers. Overall grade: A-.

Cross Posted to Tiger Lily's Island.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The B-Daddy Channel

Went with what I consider romantic music at TLT for the weekend's music here is some more.

A little more on the memories that go with the second video are discussed at Avocado Memories.

B-Daddy's P-cakes

This morning I started to make some weekend pancakes, and was bored and unenthusiastic about the effort. I'm a firm believer that in my role as Dad, I should have a breakfast specialty. It's important to be able to do a few things in the kitchen and builds relationships. Pancakes fit the bill. Today, I decided to pull together a number of ideas I have had or tried over the years, this is the result.

First, this recipe can start with whatever your base recipe might be. I realize that most of us don't make pancakes totally from scratch, so this recipe is intended to supplement whatever recipe is your base. I will use a store brand mix recipe for illustration.

Base recipe for 12 pancakes:

Dry mix - 2 cups
Milk - 1-1/2 cups but we are reducing this to 1-1/4 cups due to the extra liquid in our supplement below.
Eggs - 2
Oil - 2 Tbsp

B-Daddy's supplement:

Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Granular Sugar - 3 Tbsp
Vanilla - 2 Tbsp
Beer - 1/2 cup (I recommend a bock or dark lager like Longboard Lager.)
Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal (Maple & Brown Sugar) - 2 packs

Mixing the batter:

In mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs, and add the liquid ingredients (milk, oil, lemon juice, vanilla) but not the beer, also add the sugar. Stir to an even consistency. Add the beer.

Separately mix the dry pancake mix, oatmeal and baking powder.

Add the dry mix to the liquid and blend with a fork until at an even consistency, but small lumps can remain. (Do not over blend.)

Using 1/4 cup portions, pour the batter on a lightly buttered griddle. Flip when the bubbles have mostly formed (a little sooner than with your traditional recipe.)

I may experiment in the future with increasing the beer and decreasing the other main liquid, whether it be milk or water.

Some notes on the theories behind this recipe.
The carbonation from the beer helps lighten the pancakes, as does the combination of the lemon juice and baking powder. The sugar makes the pancakes sweeter, but also causes the edges to carmelize more quickly, hence the need to flip the cakes sooner than otherwise. The oatmeal makes for a heartier consistency. Cooking with butter? Well that should be obvious.

Cross posted to Tiger Lily's Island.

And yes, I drank the rest of the beer.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Selecting a Beer for Your Date

Has this ever happened to you? You're on a date. Your sweetheart, wife, or girlfriend, who normally orders wine, surprises you with, "I'd like to try a beer with my meal tonight, what do you recommend?" Your heart races, she has put forward the ultimate trust in your judgment, asking you to select her beer. But will you prove worthy? How will you balance your treasured "guy-knowledge" of the the ancient tradition, with the need to ease the fairer sex into this experience with all the gentleness you can muster? Never fear, B-Daddy is here to guide you through the process.

Your first and most important question is for your wait staff, "What do you have on draft?" Why? Because the draft beer has a number of important qualities that contribute to its superior quality. First, it is likely to be fresher than the beer sitting in the cooler of the restaurant, for who knows how long. Freshness matters with most beers, and certainly with the kind that you will be ordering for your date. Second, the draft beer is in a sealed metal keg. So what? Light is the enemy of beer flavor, as well. Beer exposed to light eventually obtains a putrid taste known as "skunk beer" which is the result of the hop oils spoiling. (Source: BeerAdvocate) If draught, or draft, beer is unavailable, then you want beers in the darkest bottles for similar reasons.

But, we are little closer to selecting a beer. If your date has little exposure to drinking beer, then what little she has sampled is probably an American lager such as Coors or Budweiser. If so, and you might want to discuss this, you might suggest a more full-bodied lager. You want to expand the reach of her palette without frightening her off. You might want to look for some quality lagers. A lager may be described just as a lager or some other style such as bock (somewhat darker), Märzen, or Pilsner. I have found that Mrs. Daddy also likes the Hefeweizen style of beer, which is neither a lager nor an ale; Widmer Hefeweizen on tap is great and often available. (For a discussion of the difference between lagers and ales see beer-faq.) I suggest the lemon or orange slice if you go with the hefeweizen, because your lady friend might not be ready for all the yeast taste. I know they might be a little pedestrian, but Shiner Bock, Stella Artois, and Sapporo have been successful selections for me. ( The Sapporo 22 oz can seems to do a good job of preserving freshness. Cans are actually better than bottles because they don't let in light.) What ever you do, stay away from this guy's top ten for your uninitiated date (but not for yourself, those are some great ales.)

If your relationship is of a long term nature, you also have another opportunity. The beer you order for yourself can be the introduction to more flavorful ales for your date. Always offer to let her have a sip of your beer so that she can develop a taste and you can see what she likes. This means you might limit your own selection in the long term interests of the relationship. I recommend pale ales to start; heavily hopped beers like IPAs take some getting used to. If you live in San Diego, Stone Pale Ale or Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale make excellent introductions.

That's it, I strongly recommend you do some research yourself and be ready to impress your date.

Cross posted to Tiger Lily's Island.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What is Important - Today's Memorial Service

I went to a memorial service for a family friend today and was given a sharp reminder of what's truly important. Judy did not write a blog, never ran for office, and didn't run a business, yet hundreds of people turned out for her service. Why? She touched the lives of so many people through the love and generosity of her life. She was a friend to everyone who came into her life, especially her family. Always thinking of how she could help others, even when she was in the last stages of cancer, she was known for a beneficence of spirit that impacted the world around her. Now she is sorely missed, even though we have the assurance that she is with the Lord. And it gives me pause to examine what is important in my own life. And I am sad that I never told her how grateful I was for the friendship she gave to our family, especially my Mom. But I also know she would have said that no thanks were necessary.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The B-Daddy Channel

It's covers weekend, taking Dean's lead. I am going with 60s covers this weekend:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

B-Daddy's Book of Management - Update

This is a re-post of my earlier post. I knew I had a tenth rule, but couldn't remember it, scroll down to #10 for the update.

I have had some success as a manager, which always amazes me. I am not a particularly brilliant leader, but I have had great people working for me, making me look good. I have a few simple ideas about management that I want to record for posterity. If I get around to it, I will flesh out some of these ideas and perhaps add to them in future posts.

Rules of B-Daddy's Book of Management.

1. Plan to do nothing, and you will certainly achieve your goals.

2. Management is hard, leadership is better and supervision is most difficult of all.
Corollary: Hire people who don't need supervision.

3. Hiring is the manager's most important decision.

4. Stay on message. Communicate consistently. Repeat your theme repetitively.

5. The commodity in shortest supply is management attention.
Corollary 1: The most important word in a manager's vocabulary is "no."
Corollary 2: Email is an evil leach of your time.

7. Understand your firm's economic engine and your unit's.

8. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

9. Deliver the bad news yourself, let your people deliver the good news.

10. If you can't cover yourself in glory, cover yourself in paper.