Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Beer Pickles

For the brine (per 2 jars):
1 IPA of your choice. O'Dell IPA is delightful
3/4 Cup Distilled Vinegar
3/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp Kosher Salt

Boil that up, get ready for your entire house to smell like vinegar, and remove from heat to cool a bit.

In the jars:
This is where it gets all silly nilly. About one cucumber will fill a large mason jar. So will a zucchini combined with a yellow squash mixed with onion and red bell peppers. So let's just say this - 
3 Cucumbers
2 Zucchinis
2 Yellow Squash
1/2 White onion
1 Bell Pepper, color of your choice
1 Garlic Bulb
Whole Peppercorns
Dill Seed
Crushed Red Pepper

1. Cut one cucumber into spears, and another into slices. Fill up ye mason jar. Add some diced garlic, about a teaspoon of peppercorns, 2 teaspoons of dill seed and a teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Boom, there are your basic pickles.

2. Open an IPA for yourself. You've earned it.

3. Slice the zucchinis and squash, chop up the onion (I liked bigger chunks), slice up that bell pepper and distribute them in the remaining jars. The jars should be fairly full. Now mix and match. You'll notice I decided to put tomato slices in one. 

Whatever, you do you.

4. Add a teaspoon of dill to each jar along with 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns. 

5. Here's where you get to flex your creative muscles. Do you want spicier pickles? Throw a chopped habanero into one. The finished pickles aren't as hot as you think, but they will sneak up on you. I love garlic, so I added some to almost all of mine. Red pepper flakes, peppercorns, garlic, just throw some of that stuff in. Put 3 teaspoons of black peppercorns in one, see what happens. 

6. When the brine has cooled slightly (but still should be hot), ladel it evenly into the jars. If you packed them in, the brine should last for six jars. I think I got my jars too large because I had to quickly whip up another like quarter batch. It happens. The brine should cover the future pickles. 

7. Seal the jars and let them sit to cool. I threw on Max Payne and got to Rico Muerte in about an hour and the jars were cool. Soooo, about an hour. 

8. Refrigerate for a week. And I do mean a week. I tried some on day six, and they were pretty tasty, but day seven was exponentially better.

Bam, pickles. 


Infamous Hijack


Let's get rich

You will like if:
You know what utepils means.
You don't know what utepils means, but still like enjoying a beer in the sun.
You enjoy a refreshing beer after lifting millions in cold, hard cash with nobody the wiser.

You will not like if:
You don't particularly enjoy the dry coat that cream ales leave in your mouth.
You need a beer that overpowers your meal.
You're a Waingro.

So there's this game.

Payday 2. It looks violent because it is. 

Wait, let me back up. 

My biggest fantasy is to pull of a daring heist. Jewels or gold or cash or rogue nation technology. Doesn't matter. I mean, it might be a close tie with my other fantasy(Julia Stiles, if you ever read this...) And I don't even care that this is a Dane Cook bit. But have you ever seen that movie Strange Days?

Yeah, that was a weird movie. But bear with me. The premise is you "jack in" to your brain and experience someone else's recorded, well, experiences. At one point you go into the head of a bank robber. I want that. I don't want to shoot up anything, but if I could pull off a wacky hi-jinks-filled caper a la Ocean's 11....I wouldn't work in a school anymore I'll tell you that.


Payday 2 is about pulling off a score. You can go Waingro loud, guns blazing. Or you can go in quiet, gentleman-like. Going quit isn't traditionally stealthy. It's more like this:

It's controlling hostages and managing alarms. And if you don't know what Waingro is, well here:

Loose cannon, wild card baby!

Going loud isn't traditional either. It's not so much Call of Duty, but rather covering your team and positioning yourself with cover. It looks like this:

Which I've heard that military and police swat teams use this scene as an example of moving with cover and suppressing fire.

It's about teamwork and is all about the co-op. Using your team, bringing different skillsets to the table.

There's something old-school about that I think, like playing the greatest arcade game ever made, six player X-Men. Or the second greatest arcade game ever made, TMNT Arcade. But not like the third best arcade game ever made, Primal Rage.

Which, now that I think about it, why hasn't that game been remade yet? Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, even Killer Instinct got a remake. I'm starting a #resurrectprimalrage movement. You could tie it into reviving dinosaurs from DNA and ride that Jurassic Park wave.

What was I talking about?

Right. So this Hijack, from Texas-based Infamous Brewing.

Hot damn that's a sweet label.

Starting off, it pours corn yellow, slightly cloudy as most cream ales do. Light aroma, mild citrusy and grassy flavor, rather inoffensive. But man, maybe it was because I drank it in the Texan heat while jamming smoked barbecue into my mouth, but Hijack is refreshing. The light lemon and refreshing corny flavor washed down my many, many ribs, and the dry coat that comes with cream ales didn't overpower my pulled pork. 

I couldn't tie the beer to the game in any meaningful way, but the names matched up.

So there it is.