Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Lazarus Blog

Okay, so I haven't actually been dead, but you may (or may not) have noticed I’ve had a bit of a break from the blog. Longer than intended really. I did one of those major life things and bought a house in the hills, then moved into said house, and since then life has been kind of…different. Between the challenges that a  new home brings (like discovering a major leak in part of the roof that caused a lovely indoor waterfall effect) and tripling my work commute, the time I have to get things down on the screen has dwindled down to…not a whole lot. Most of my spare time has been spent on feathering the nest and making a start on my dream garden (OMG – I put herbs in! I put them in the ground!). Hours of my weekends have been lost to traipsing zombie-like around IKEA and furniture stores that all seem to sell the same product for roughly the same price. Bunnings has become like a second home to me.

However, there has been no break from beer. I’d even say that the stresses of moving and settling into a new home have necessitated a LOT of beer. Even though the relocation has taken us a little out of the way, we’ve found ourselves in the lucky position of having a local bar that is passionate about good beer (you can read about the wonderful Oscar’s Alehouse here), and local bottle shops that stock a reasonable range of good Australian and NZ beers. Even the local Safeway Liquor (yes, Woolworths hasn’t made it up the hill yet) stocks some Mountain Goat and Hargreaves Hill brews. We’ve also finally joined the BRB Posse, so we get some delicious brews delivered straight to our door (or at least to the top of our driveway), and we finally took that step of ordering beer online…from a shop that used to be in walking distance (hey, no walking required now – the beer will come to us!).

Why yes, I have moved to heaven.

I do admit to a fair amount of slackness on the cooking side of things though. Mainly I have been going back to the well, baking a loaf or two of beer bread, beer pizza, and seeing as it has been (kind of) Summer, doing some marinating for the BBQ.  It takes time to ponder and research new ideas, and that time has been in short supply. I’m kind of lucky that Australian Beer-lebrity Paul Mecurio has made life a little easier by releasing an entire book of beer recipes (called, not surprisingly, ‘Cooking with Beer’). The recipes are set out clearly, not too chef-y, but foody enough to be interesting to…foodies…but also easy enough to be accessible to amateurs like myself. If you don’t have a copy yet, why not? GO BUY NOW. If you know someone who likes cooking, but is not really into beer, buy one for them too. We can start a beer-food revolution, people!

I’ve also been exploring the world of beer and cheese matching, after some inspiration from the Barley’s Angels meeting in October last year. I don’t know a great deal about cheese, except that it is delicious and I like to put it in my mouth. It is fortuitous then, that beer (another delicious thing I like to put in my mouth) goes really well with cheese. Better than wine. Better than anything. So much so that the husband and I decided to forego the traditional Christmas day fare this year in favour for an all-day beer and cheese festival of awesomeness. Twelve beers, six cheeses and a whole lot of other bits and pieces on the side. Possibly the best Christmas EVER (but possibly only due to the lack of having to spend most of the day slaving over the oven).

Gratuitous cheese porn.

I’m not going to make any vows or promises I can’t keep, but I’m hoping to get back on the blogging-wagon soon and try to keep my seat. I actually have a back-log of recipes from last year that I never got around to posting, so I best start there. I also have a few new ideas forming, so hopefully they will come to fruition. Here’s a sneak peak of what I celebrated Australia Day with – Ale-soaked tofu burgers. (Recipe and rant to come!)
No animals were harmed in the making of this burger.

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