Monday, December 22, 2008

Where do I start?

First let me start with a few of the goodies that Bella and I made at school the other day. She brought back a grocery bag full of other homemade ornaments she made for the tree as well.

"No! Not my gum drop buttons!"
Osabella? She covered her "I" in a decorating moment.

I finally did it! I realize that making a batch of truffles is hardly an accomplishment that deserves any awards or recognition; but for the schedule I seem to have, we are lucky these guys got made. Bella helped me dip them all. We both had chocolate all over. She was my little messenger delivering truffles to friends in the neighborhood. I have the recipe that I used for these little pieces of heaven here.

They turned out quite yummy. I had to keep at least a few for us...

Now to devote some time to Barley Water Brewing aka Chris's home brew. Yesterday he made some American Pale Ale. He has made this before and it was so good he decided to make another batch. Above he is using the Igloo cooler as his mash tun which has the grains resting in a stabilized temperature in order to extract the sugars from them. This sets for about an hour or so, depending on the recipe. The liquid that is extracted from the mash tun is called the wort. In the picture above he is transferring the wort into his brew kettle. The kettle on the far right contained the water he boiled for the mash tun.
Here is a view of the wort as it is being transferred from the mash tun into the brew kettle. At set times during cooking he will add hops. They are generally added in two parts. The bittering hops are boiled first for about an hour and then the finishing hops are added toward the end of the boil.

Whole hops. He did have a slight problem with these verses the pellets because they caused quite a problem with his pumps and clogging. After the last of the hops are added, the brew must be chilled enough so that the yeast mixture can be added. Chris uses a couple of pumps and hoses for this. After the beer has been chilled, and strained it then goes into the carboy for fermenting.

Now for the rug rats! Getting their second bath for the day. Hate to even mention it for the people up north, but it was 78 and sunny so the kids played outside and got as dirty as they could I think. Looks like Kristjan is ready for battle against the ferocious sea monster!

Here's a kool dittie. Bella found this shark tooth in my car yesterday. It must have gotten stuck to the bottom of her shoe and ended up on the floor in my car. It's not everyday you stumble upon a prehistoric item like that! Now if we could only find a Megalodon tooth!

Saturday Bella and I went to the mall and finished up some shopping. We rode on the holiday train, waved at Santa, went up and down a few escalators and munched on some Nathan's hot dogs. We picked up her Christmas dress for the Nutcracker show. She is all excited. I am excited too - I have always wanted to see it! We are going with her friend and her mom from next door. Pictures to come!

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