Would you believe up until just a few years ago I don't think I'd had two beers in 20 years?
Here's what happened.
In August 2007, I had finished my barn work, worked a couple of horses and enjoyed a 2 or 3 hour ride with L. It was close to a hundred degrees out that day. I was tired. I was soaked with sweat. I felt great. On my drive home I thought...what a *perfect* day for a beer.
When I was younger I liked Molson Golden. So it was a natural choice. I stopped and got a cold 6 pack of Molson Golden. I got home, took off my shoes, opened a bottle and chugged. It was very very good. I was right. Perfect day for a beer.
The next weekend, same thing basically. Not a hundred degrees, but hot, and now I had 5 beers left. So when I got home I had a beer. Next day too. Just one. After a good ride.
A new ritual was born. I really enjoy a beer after a good ride.
This went on until I think November. When I found Molson Golden was a little too light and refreshing for the cold weather. So I got Guinness in a bottle. I like Guinness. But not in a bottle. Oh I finished that 6 pack but I'll never buy another. I followed that up with a Guinness Extra Stout. Now that I liked.
As time passed I went back to another old favorite, Bass ale. I tried a Samuel Adams Winter Lager. I liked it.
I'm not really a beer snob. I think you at least have to drink your beer out of a glass to be a beer snob. But definitely a big fan.
And apparently, as of 2010 anyway, there are 1759 breweries here in the States and 1716 of them are classified as craft breweries.
I could have a beer after every ride for the rest of my life and not have the same one twice.
I like to try new (to me) beers first and then read the reviews so I'm not influenced by anyone else's opinions. I find it rather amusing that one my most favorite beers is consistently trashed by all the beer blogs and I'm just glad the brewer keeps brewing it anyway.
I've expanded as well! Last fall I tried a couple of hard ciders. So far it just tastes like fizzy cider vinegar to me but hey, that's just me and I'll keep trying.
And it was a good way to mark training progress for a while. I really don't remember the last time I didn't have a beer after a ride...
My friend C and I rented some space in the Community Garden this year. I stopped on my way home from work Friday afternoon and ... look at my radishes!
I love radishes!
I fixed a nice salad with some radish greens. One of the reasons I'm so fond of garden radishes is I like the greens too. They're peppery and flavorful. The greens from supermarket radishes aren't nice like these!
Try some radish greens!
I decided I'd have this with dinner:
I understood Pinotage paired with vegetarian fare. I don't know. I'd have to say..not so much. A little bold for vegetarian. But in all fairness it's very hard to pair wine with salad. So they tell me. But I think this probably goes better with barbecue.
I followed that up with Puttanesca for my main course. I would rather have had chianti with it.
There are dozens of Puttanesca recipes on the web. I made this with San Marzano tomatoes. I used chopped garlic, two anchovy filets, Indian red pepper flakes, capers and I chopped the olives. This dish says so much about how I feel about food. Quality ingredients simply prepared.
And then Saturday was a glorious late Spring day. Dry, sunny, warm and breezy. We picked fresh strawberries!
Just look at these beautiful strawberries!
Strawberry shortcake is hard to resist with these! But I'll have to get some kiwis to mix up with these. I slice them up with a little bit of honey and mix them with Greek yogurt too.
It was the most perfect day for a lazy ride with L. She's been messing with me lately so I had to wear spurs. I phrased that very deliberately. Really, she just needs to know I have them. I don't need to *use* them.
I have a funny story from last week. We went up into the fields and she started messing with me in a big way. I wasn't wearing spurs and I didn't bring a crop. And she *really* blew me off. So I grabbed a small stick.
Not a whisper of a problem for the rest of the afternoon. The stinker!
Oh! Mark your calendar! Summer starts Tuesday, 21 June, 1:16 pm!
I *love* tomatoes. Really. How can anyone resist this?
Friday Night Snack
I stopped and got a greenhouse vine ripened beefsteak from a farm not too far from here.
And yesterday I find the neighbors planted roughly 6000 tomatoes! Along with maybe 1000 mixed peppers.
And I have a dozen of my own in some community garden space.
It's going to be a good year for tomatoes. I never get sick of them.
We have to be careful. Baby turkeys are starting to leave their nests and wander about.
L doesn't spook at stuff like this. She goes after stuff like this and I don't want anyone getting hurt. It's the most amazing thing. She'll puff up like a cat and confront threats face on. I never saw a horse do that before. I don't mean she gets a little poofy. I mean she gets all kinds of BIG. And woofy. I'm used to it now but it took a while.
We did a little ring work yesterday. My trainer and I have differing opinions. Early on, learning something new or refreshing some training, I'll back off as soon as L gets it. That can be hard. Because when you get it right you want to keep doing it. Which is what my trainer recommends. When you get it right - do it again. And again. And again..
But when we do that I can sometimes almost feel L telling ok ok, enough already. Chances are, under the circumstances, what I'm asking her is going to be hard. So when she gets it right I'll do it again just to be sure it's not a fluke. Then I'll back off. And then I'll start there next time. It works for us.
Well. They redeemed themselves with this! It was a little cool and breezy. Nice day to try a new stout. I thought their Summer Stout was just awful. In all fairness though it could be great stuff and I just don't like Summer Stout. But this. This is strong. Bold. Thick. Rich. It is what I expect of stout.
Here, this deserves a close up:
I have another bottle of the Summer Stout and I'll wait for a perfect summer day to try it again. After all. I didn't really like this until I learned how to serve it. Now it could be a favorite!
Wednesday felt a lot like summer! It was hot. It was dry. I rode English for the first time in I don't know how long! L was in heat and she was being lazy. I worked my butt off working her butt off!
She got a nice shower out of the deal. I was going to have a beer but I thought I'd rather have one of these:
Perfect Summer Refreshment
Late in the day storms rolled in. Having a gin and tonic with the thunder in the distance you'd have thought it was the middle of July.
I was just getting out of the shower and the building I live in gets hit by lightning. *Bang* [shake] and the fire alarms are all going off.
When a 120 year old cotton mill gets hit by lightning there's a lot of excitement. They come from all over! I barely cleared the back door and I could hear the sirens coming. They're really very good. They have a plan just for this building.
Wednesday 1 June 2011
Lots of excitement
A fresh line of storms came through while all this was going on. All kinds of thunder and lightning. Just about the worst thunderstorm I've seen around here in a long long time and then we get...hail. And I mean HAIL. Look at this. Biggest hail I've ever seen around here. It sounded like someone was throwing rocks and those things hurt when they hit you!
Everybody had to take pictures of these!
Then, like we hadn't had enough excitement, I go back inside to this:
Very unusual weather for us! A lot like a summer day alright. The rest of the night was quiet. It's been cold and windy since!