Incoherent Mutterings

What do you get when you spend 4 hours planting nearly 100 tulip bulbs in hard clay soil on a hot, sunny day?

1. Sunburned
2. Exhausted
3. Sore muscles
4. An icy cold beer
5. All of the above

Devastator Beer

If I had a swimming pool, I’d have jumped in with all my clothes on. But since I don’t, I had to make do with a Devastator. We stopped at the Brewer’s Co-Op yesterday and picked up a couple of sixpacks. You can’t sample the beer there, due to Utah’s lovely liquor laws, but you can have a sample of their root beer. I love Devastator, but then, I’m a sucker for Bock beer. Ya gotta love the label – a Rocky Mountain Bighorned Sheep plowing through some of downtown Salt Lake’s iconic buildings. At 8% alcohol, it’s the strongest beer commercially brewed in Utah.

So now that we’ve had a drink, how about some food?

Shrimp with Eggplant

I basically used this recipe, but with eggplant instead of mushrooms.  I used an 8-oz package of Trader Joe’s pappardelle for the pasta. I didn’t have any mushrooms on hand, but I did have a couple of small Japanese eggplants from the garden, and I figured they’d be a good substitute. I used some non-Roma tomatoes from the garden, as well as fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, and parsley). The red bell pepper was from my garden, too, and I also tossed in a few halved cherry tomatoes. That pretty much cleaned out all of the harvestable goods in the garden, except for the spaghetti squash. I cooked the eggplant slices in olive oil – the heck with cooking spray. But then I didn’t add the extra olive oil at the end. For the red wine, I used a nice Zinfandel from Heritage Oak, which we got from the guy who built the winery. (Not the vintner – the contractor.) We thought the recipe turned out very well – it reminded us of something we would have had in Tuscany. I think I probably like it better with the eggplant than I would with the mushrooms – it was an inspired substitution.

Oh and just so you know, Costco’s 6-layer bean dip makes a very nice spread for Huevos Rancheros.

And did you know you could freeze tortilla chips? Well, of course you can freeze them. You can freeze just about anything. But the point is, they’re perfectly fine when defrosted. Just thought you’d like to know that. And Chex Mix freezes very successfully, too.

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11 Responses to Incoherent Mutterings

  1. Carole says:

    That dinner looks fabulous. I made pasta last night with chicken, sundried tomatoes and asparagus. I was kind of winging it and I thought of you.

  2. margene says:

    You are a font of good info. You’re always good for good beer and good food!

  3. YUM–I’ll be right over!! (You can have my beer, though.) 🙂

  4. Lauren says:

    Ew, I hate clay soil! Uintah has an Anniversary barley wine beer that is 9.8% and pretty good, if you like that style of brew.

  5. Cookie says:

    You deserve something shiny for spending that much time digging in clay soil.

  6. Chris says:

    I had no idea about the tortilla chips!

  7. Carrie K says:

    #5! #5! Do I win? 🙂

    Freeze tortilla chips or Chex Mix? When you can just neatly eat them all in one sitting? And save the energy too. 🙂 Yes, I’m just thinking of the earth.

  8. sil says:

    I thought the same thing as Carrie, why don’t you just eat all the tortilla chips all at once like me? 🙂

    That beer sounds like a good one and I’m licking my lips.

  9. Carrie says:

    Wow, excellent use of the garden! I’m very impressed at your negotiations with a recipe. And the beer looks quite enticing, too =)

  10. Norma says:

    Mmm, mouth-watering!

  11. Miss T says:

    You planted 100 bulbs? I’m impressed. And that pasta looks scrumptious!

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