My wife and I made the 15 minute walk down to AtwoodFest this afternoon for some food, music and festivities. We didn't stay as long as we did last year, but it was a nice walk on a hot Summer day to a festive atmosphere. Sure, our feet hurt when we got back, so of course we resolved to walk more, especially to this neighborhood of quality local businesses. There are several nice restaurants, bar and grills, chocolate shops, art galleries and other eclectic offerings in this area. Oh, and can't forget the ice cream shop!
Last night was Dexter's Pub's Heritage Series Craft Brew Dinner number 6, #2 was canceled and #3 we skipped. This month's craft brewery was the local Capital Brewery, from nearby Middleton, Wisconsin. Six courses of good beer and food! Surprisingly, less seats were sold for this dinner - sixteen - than the usual 20 spots available. That may be because the brewery was very local and people are already familiar, or just because it is Summer and there are other things to do. No matter, we had a good time. Once again we were joined by my friend Ted, a craft beer connoisseur - especially compared to me.
The first beer I was very familiar with because it was the quarter barrel we got for our party a month or two ago, Capital Amber. Ambers are good for a middle-of-the-road type beer. There was also an IPA for one course. I've said it before but I just don't like the perfume-y smell and taste of IPAs and unfortunately they are the popular thing now, I blame the hipsters. At least the hipsters that have graduated from - gag - Pabst Blue Ribbon. Pabst was a cheap beer that my dad drank when I was a kid, and it's still cheap but somehow super popular again. And then there was also what seems to be a mandatory coffee flavored beer. Again, I'm not a fan, but I was in the minority. I've never been a coffee drinker because I hate the taste and putting it in beer does not change that for me. There were no sour beers presented last night, I don't think Capital even makes one. My wife and I have been paying attention and seeking them out recently. Who knew we'd like the sour beers, but we do. No, whiskey, I have not forgotten about you...
The food was a good six courses, four of which I could have considered a dessert. First the popcorn with infused garlic scape butter was the welcome course. The next course was a spinach salad with feta, candied pecans, strawberries and a sweet lemon cilantro vinaigrette made with the accompanying beer, a golden lager. This salad was maybe my favorite part of the meal, I wish they would have it on the regular menu. The fourth course was a chilled cherry soup with creme fraiche and slivered almonds. Again, very sweet, almost too much so for a 'soup.' And finally the actual dessert, raspberry cream puffs. So four of the six courses appealed to my sweet tooth nicely. The other courses, pepperjack cheese curds and the main course were very good, too. The main course was bourbon and bbq glazed slow-roasted ribs with Wisconsin street corn and corn muffins with honey butter. It makes me hungry again just thinking about the meal!
All in all, we had a very good time. The representative for Capital Brewery was actually one of the local female brewmasters that had been featured last month during Madison's Craft Beer Week. She discussed some history of the brewery as well as it's expansion, ideas for new beers and how she came up with some of the names. We'd probably rank it as the second best of the four we attended. We still like the first time best, but maybe because it was the first time - and my wife's birthday. Again it was a lot of food and we were stuffed when we left. Not a complaint, mind you. In fact, there's still some leftover ribs and a corn muffin in the refrigerator that will not see tomorrow!
Happy July! I hope everyone enjoyed their 3 day weekend, here in the states anyway. I've been feeling like I should post lately but there is nothing big to write about. So this is another one of those start-typing-and-see-what-comes-out posts.
We had no plans for this holiday weekend other that some projects around the house. Things did come up, like my sister in law wanting to see her dad so she calls my wife to fetch him for her for a visit. We see him a lot, if she wants to see him she should go get him herself, I think. Also, Kate helped her friend, Terry, clean up her boat - not go out on the lake, just clean it up while it is docked at the marina. It has got to be a sin to own a nice pontoon boat, pay to store it on the water, and rarely, if ever, use it. Sigh.
My plans for this holiday weekend were to cross things off my list, and I did pretty good. I got the garage power-washed, also cleaned some foundation which we got painted yesterday morning. It looks a whole lot better and the fresh black matches the windows better. Now only 3 more sides of the house to go! I also got some sidewalk edging done, put gutter covers on the porch (free after rebate!), mowed, removed more irises, and later today I want to fertilize the lawn since rain is expected tomorrow evening. Aside from fertilizing, I am now done for the weekend. My feet hurt. A lot.
I've talked about getting bicycles, but we have not yet. I still want to because I feel we would use them more often to get out to local places that we like to visit. But in actuality that would probably be once a week in the summer time. It would be nice but not the highest priority when we think about it. Meanwhile, I have started getting on the exercise bike downstairs 3 times a week to start trying to get into better shape. There's a great ice cream shop that opened last year that is less than a ten minute bike ride away, only 15-20 minutes away walking but we just never seem to do.
Not just bikes, everything costs money and it seems like we have been hemorrhaging money lately. Not even counting having the tree removed and buying a new vehicle. Just purchases for house projects, cds and dvds, concert tickets, and the like. On the bright side my wife received a long overdue promotion at work that will help. Congrats, Kate, you've deserved this for a long time!
Speaking of concert tickets, we recently got tickets for Garbage's upcoming tour. It is the 20th anniversary of their debut, self-titled album and they will be playing it in its entirety on this tour. Garbage started here in Madison and we do like to claim them as our own, though none live here anymore. Also, Nightwish has announced their 2016 American tour and it includes a stop at the Rave in Milwaukee. I may never get the chance again, I have to go. The Garbage show is not until October and the Nightwish show is not until next year February. They are both quite a ways off but I didn't care, I will be there and wanted my tickets now.
I broke one of my commenting rules recently when I commented on Delcatto's blog about his weather. My personal rule is that if I only discuss me in my comment not to post it, but I did. He wrote about the heat there and my comment was how we had not turned on the air conditioning here yet despite it being July already. It has been very nice to have the windows open for this long. We've been tempted to run the A/C a few times, but have not. I was even tempted earlier today, but if I look at the next few days it cools off and we would want the windows open again. I will not start it for one hot day, but if I see a stretch coming I won't hesitate.
The 30th reunion of the people I went to high school with happens this year, and soon. I have to decide in the next, like, day if we will be going. I have not been to any of my previous class reunions. I did not grow up with them, moving to town for 7th grade. I had few friends and got picked on a lot. I was the first in my class to get my ear pierced, I got picked on a lot for that my junior year. When I came back for my senior year most of those that picked on me had their own ear pierced. I hated them for that. I know I was an awkward, stupid teenager and so were they as the jocks, cheerleaders, and geeks that they were. There are exactly 2 friends that I would absolutely love to see, out of about 100-150 classmates (I forget). I am certain there would be some others I would enjoy seeing, as well as others that I wouldn't. But it's been 30 years now. Do I care? Do I go?
That's enough for now, more than I thought I had to say so I'm glad I did another This And Thatspost. There's something to be said for just sitting and typing and seeing what happens. I'm not even a writer, I just pretend to be one on the internet. PTFO
I'm 50-ish, happily married and child-free. My wife and I have a home near downtown Madison, Wisconsin since 2009. I am not on farcebook or other social media, only this blog. If you wish to reach out to me you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I check it when I think of it, at least monthly.