Thursday, November 5, 2009

Samplin' At The Cedar

Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign. Why is there a no-trespassing sign here? We’re looking south on Stevens Avenue at the corner with Thirty-fifth Street. Pedestrians cross legally in both directions, and there’s a residence on our right. We’re running parallel to I-35W, but you can see that the freeway is on the other side of the street. Incidentally, there are no-trespassing signs on the fence between us and I-35.


Jason had an almond-sampling date Wednesday. It was for a benefit beer tasting, hosted by Zipp's Liquor, for the Cedar Cultural Center, a venue for acts like Tom Rush, The Roches, and Patty Larkin. A critic called The Roches “three feminist folksingers, once, and Terre Roche responded that she didn’t think she’d go to see that particular act. Acoustic geezers? Anyway, an emergency intervened, and Jason and Barbara baked, and I got to flog the almonds at the benefit.

The Seward Co-op, which carries Smokies and Sweeties, was supplying the buffet, and invited us to tag along. I had been thinking for a long time that we should be able to say things like, “Smokies are great with an IPA,” or “Sweeties go well with a sweet white wine.” Not having much of a head for alcohol, I hadn’t gotten around to the testing. Here. I thought, I can drink beer in tablespoons full, and compare responsibly. I didn’t get very far. I drank about a finger of Crispin Hard Cider, which goes pretty well with either Smokies or Sweeties, four or five ounces of some kind of abbey ale whose brand I’ve forgotten, but which was quite good and worked with the Sweeties, and another three or four ounces of the best beer I have ever drunk, and which fights the Smokies, but is great with the Sweeties. Bourbon County Stout pours like a milkshake, tastes like Guinness with a little bit of cream and whiskey, and clocks in at fifteen percent alcohol. Is there such a thing as sippin’ beer? I’d drink a tiny bit of this with dessert, or lingeringly with friends. The problem with doing a tasting is that every beer at the Cedar last night was tasty, unique, and more than a little on the exotic side.

I think the sampling went well. I made friends with the Seward Deli personnel, and people seemed to go for the nuts. The Sweeties were the big hit, and people who had never tasted them before got a chance to learn how tasty, unique, and a little on the exotic side a nut can be.

I was running out, and Barbara swung by to restock me on her way home from the bakery. That gave her a chance to schmooze with Anne, the deli manager, and drop some hints about Naughties and Hotties.

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