Growlers- July 2018

Last weekend I drove up to Visit my sister with my two youngest. On route from the ferry and just up the road from my sister, I was able to stop at a couple of breweries and get some new growlers filled with beers.

I saved them for today. I plan on sharing them with friends over a bbq at our place. I was hoping to pick up a couple more growlers while in Leavenworth but never did. Partly because wine was more prevalent down there. Another reason was the cost was more than double what I’d pay up here in BC.

One brewery wanted $45 for a bottle and $10 to fill. Another place only offered the major beer companies that was on tap for a growler fill. It seemed that the town was just starting to get into growler fills but wasn’t quite getting the concept.

Growlers are a way for friends to enjoy a variety of crafted beers. Friends who go for tastings and bring home memories in a bottle. Friends who like to share the tastes and experiences with one another. It’s not about filling a bottle just to get beer. Growlers are a way to bond.

Time to bond with friends!

Leavenworth Day 2.

Wednesday was our full day of exploring Leavenworth. Maybe not all of Leavenworth, but at least some. Here is our little adventure:

We started with a lovely breakfast delivered right to our suite. Fresh fruit, sausages and waffles gave us full bellies because we needed to be ready for our first adventure of the day. We didn’t know that it was going to be almost dinner by the time we ate again. So we headed out bright and early (10:00am) to enjoy some…. tubing!

We went tubing along Icicle River. (It lives up to its name.) As exciting as it may sound, it was just a casual float down the river. The mountains and scenery were beautiful and calming. Some geese and ducks swam up to us along the way. We also saw a deer and her fawn hopping through the river towards the end. It took us 3 hours to float 4 miles. The hardest part was the arm strength needed to paddle from time to time. But the cold water balanced out the hot sun as we enjoyed the scenery. By the end, I was glad it was over- the sun was directly overhead at that point.

When we returned to land- we grabbed a couple of cold beers. Tubing made us feel youthful, so we decided to have a bit of silly fun. It was late afternoon by this point. Many shops would close by 6pm. We had at least two more places we wanted to see. What better way to have fun than….

Visiting a Nutcracker Museum!..??? 😦

Ya. Very not my thing. But with over 6000 nutcrackers inside- I learned a lot about the manufacturing and discovered that this is a huge collectible hobby. It made me realize that I don’t have an obsession with any one thing and need to fill my life with it.

After the Museum, we went for a quick wine tasting at Eagle Creek Winery. This is where we ended up buying a bottle to bring home. There are so many wine tasting locations in Leavenworth that it was difficult to decide which ones to hit.

After the winery we went for dinner at Gustav’s. A lovely pub located at the start of the Leavenworth shopping district with a patio balcony on the second floor. They boast having 30 beers on tap! During dinner we chatted with another couple who we had met while tubing.

Our last stop for the day was at Bushel And Bee Taproom. My wife taught me how to play Cribbage over a couple of drinks. I won two of the three games. My wife says “beginner’s luck”. I say “natural skill”.

All-in-all Leavenworth is a cute little town with lots of places to drink. I enjoyed our visit but I don’t think it’s the kind of place we need to return to.

Leavenworth Day 1.

My wife and I arrived at Leavenworth yesterday in the late afternoon. We drove down Front Street and found a parking spot rather quickly. The obvious aspect of this town is that it is styled with a Bavarian theme. Immediately I noticed two things about the town.

1. There are a lot of overpriced souvenir shops.

2. There are a lot of places to drink. A lot.

So we wandered into the Goose Ridge Vineyard Tasting Room and sampled some white wines and a dessert wine. The hostess was very friendly and knew about the wines she was serving. But when we asked questions about Leavenworth, she didn’t have any real answers. Which I found to be rather odd for a tourist destination.

We left the town so we could check into our Bed & Breakfast. We booked a suite in the Pine River Ranch which is about a 20 minute drive out of town. The room we are staying in is the Natapoc Suite: a super cute half cabin. There’s a fireplace, log furniture, and a soaker tub next to the kitchenette in the middle of the room. With it is included 3 bottles of wine (and a wine tour as well) and a cheese plate that was waiting for us when we arrived.

After a glass of wine in our b&b, we went back into town for dinner. We stopped for a couple of beers first at Icicle Brewing before heading into a restaurant called “Mozart’s“. We were seated at a table near the window and a lovely little Happy Anniversary card was waiting for us.

We had ordered the escargot to start and a share platter for the main. The meal was amazing. Well worth the prices in all honesty. The taste sensation of every bite had me wanting more. If you got to Leavenworth and want a celebratory or romantic meal- this is the place.

We made our way back to our accommodations and finished off a bottle of wine and a bath. I won’t tell you the rest- but it did involve the bed. Alright- we were asleep by 11pm. Relaxed and done for the day.

So day one was a success. Onto a full day now back in town.

Dinner: Disassembled

One of our favorite meals involves using wraps. It’s a fun and easy way to serve dinner. Plus it means the kids have to do some of the work.

Fresh vegetables this time of year are a must. Crisp green lettuce and firm juicy tomatoes add to the enjoyment. Sometimes we slice up an avocado or peppers as well.

Seasoned ground beer is our most commonly used main part of the dish. Using a Cast Iron pan keeps the meat warm and is great to go from stovetop to oven as well. (Sometimes we substitute grilled chicken with taco seasoning.)

Add a bit of sour cream and shredded cheese, wrap it up and enjoy. Wraps are very versatile. We also make a wicked garlicky grilled chicken caesar wrap. On quick meal making days, a can of refried beans, salsa and leftover rice makes a tasty burrito.

Since it’s dinner at home, a cold beer or some tequila is a great way to wash it all down. Lots of smiles and full bellies afterwards “wraps” up a family dinner.

Cooling Off For Cheap!

Today was the last day of high school for my daughters. So when I picked them up we all went out to grab a cold slushie!

Today was a hot sunny day. Cooling off with a cold syrupy drink seemed like a great idea. Super sweet and a sugar crash to follow. I found a place that has 12 different flavors available, in any size for a buck! And the deal is all summer. I know what we will be doing a couple of times each week:

Summertime is fun time. It seems that my kids are happiest when relaxing with a treat. Freezies and slushies are always a tasty way to cool off.

I remember always walking to the corner store and buying penny candies and slushies all the time when I was a child. Memories of my childhood friends came flooding back today as I sipped on my ice cold syrup rainbow mix of flavors. Every one of them has grown up. Many have kids of their own. I wonder if they have memories of their childhoods that involve me? Maybe.

Stay cool my friends! And yes, I also buy “adult slushies” now.

Sunshine = Beertime

It’s a beautiful day before Father’s Day in the Lower Mainland. After washing our cars, I decided to take a quick relaxation and a cold beer at the Dead Frog Brewery. For the past week friends and coworkers have been raving about the new location. It was time for me to check it out.

It’s clean and well laid out. I’m about to sample a couple beers. Not much else to say at the moment.

Short and sweet post today. Cheers everyone! Have a good weekend. Time flies when you enjoy life.

Rice Krispies Treats

Breakfast cereal is extremely popular in our home. If we aren’t running out of milk, we are running out of cereal. Our kids love the not-so-sweet cereals such as Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Granola, and Shreddies. These all have some sugar added, but they aren’t coated in icing, chocolate or have tiny marshmallows added. Unless we add it ourselves.

The other day my wife scored a rocking deal on Rice Krispies. She bought 14 boxes for 94¢ each. They were “Spring Edition” with some bits covered in blue or green food coloring. Still tasted the same as regular Rice Krispies. Our kids didn’t care. Plus the “Expiry Date” isn’t until November. Guaranteed they won’t last that long!

With one box, I made two batches of Rice Krispies Squares. I had never in my life made these treats. All of my children have done it with the help of their aunt. She loves to teach them how to bake whenever they visit her. So today I had my oldest help me in making them. I was happy with how easy it was and how much fun we had making them.

The squares turned out to be tremendously delicious. I think I may need to buy more marshmallows and do another couple of batches. You know, just to make sure it wasn’t a “one off” chance of being successful.

Refreshment Memory

Friday night I picked up four bottles of “Clearly Canadian” from a 7-11 store. I used to drink these back in grade 10/11 in the early 90’s. I think most teens at the time drank them as well. I wanted to taste them again and have my children to try these drinks.

The bottling is the same as it once was. I really liked this fact. Cracking open each bottle, the smells were familiar. The tastes were exactly the same. Which meant- they weren’t that good…

Nope. I now remember not liking these very much. The flavors are extremely artificial tasting and far too sweet for a bottle sparkling water. Even my children commented about how they tasted like different candies as they sampled each one.

In the end, my memory of these drinks was muddled to say the least. I remember heading to the local convenience store by my high school and buying them on occasion. Usually because a girl I was with wanted one. As a teen boy, I tried to impress a girl by trying to like what she liked. But my memory of the taste eluded me until I sampled them again. I can honestly say, never again. (To both the drinks and trying to impress someone.)

I should’ve learned my lesson two years ago when I bought a Crystal Pepsi. That was my 90’s drink which had vanished and reappeared briefly. It too was not amazing in any way. Just a gimmicky idea praying on my nostalgia. I do love my Sodas though.

I need to stop buying into this. All I can say is that Orbitz better not hit the shelves again… they weren’t very good. Although we all know I’d have to buy it.

Go For A Soda?

I love drinking soda pop. I always have. Pop is the best. Kim Mitchell agrees:

Sugary sweet carbonated beverages. Mmmm so bad for my teeth and my stomach. But I don’t care. Delicious flavors flow over my palette. I don’t have a favorite. They’re all my favorite.

Throw in some ice cream and you have a beautiful treat. Drink it in a soda shoppe just to enjoy the experience.

When I was younger, I could go to the corner store and buy a 750ml glass bottle of Pepsi or Coke. My parents went to a local place called “Pick-A-Pop” where the flavors were basic but super sweet. The lime and the orange flavor were far too candy tasting. I fell in love with cream soda and root beer as a youngster. I miss “The Pop Shoppe“.

We now carbonate our own water and add flavor to it. I love the cream soda, but my kids hate it. They like the pink grapefruit, lemon/lime, and watermelon flavors. It’s not the same as buying a glass bottle. But making soda at home has brought joy to my kids.

Nobody cries.

Pancakes

This morning in bed, my wife mentioned that we haven’t had pancakes for breakfast in a long time. After some thought, I don’t recall the last time we did make pancakes. Maybe near Christmas? So guess what we’re having today.

I miss pancakes. They are easy and tasty. To make them more interesting we sometimes add chocolate chips. We also have a couple of special pancake pans that offer up shapes. This allows the kids to pour the syrup into the spaces formed, making large puddles of sweetness.

I think owning a “Pancake Printer” would be fun. Although not very practical as it took a while to make the pancakes. Meaning they weren’t warm when served.

Today is just plain ol’ pancakes though. We will enjoy some ham as a side dish instead of bacon or sausages. I’m making myself hungry. Time to start cooking up breakfast!