Exciting announcement time! Poor, Drunk and Hungry will soon be on the radio!

Poor, Drunk and Hungry has been a Kaimin column, a blog, a video series, and now… will be ON THE RADIO!

I’ve been a longtime KBGA deejay, and now I’m happy to announce I’m teaming up with KBGA dj/promotions awesomeman Duane Raider to bring you a radio rendition of PDH and Crock Rock, a new program featuring interviews with local bands about their favorite recipes.

You can stream it online at KBGA, or tune in at 89.9 FM if you live in the Missoula valley, at 10 p.m. Mondays Mountain Time starting next week! Eff yeah! I record it while sober, so there will be substantially less cursing. (Lame, I know.)

Afterward, mp3s of the shows will be available to download right here! Wee!

The first episode features a couple summer cocktails and ideas on ways to use fresh basil and cilantro. Eee! Excitment time!


Best Easy Chocolate Pudding Recipe Ever

Is actually this one from Allrecipes. Sometimes, rando internet recipes turn out rad. No shame in microwaving your pudding, sometimes. Less to clean up!

ETA: It also makes a huge difference if you use whole milk and dutched cocoa, because they add much richer flavor.

With This Stand Mixer, I Become A Woman

I get a sick enjoyment out of watching shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.” Those shows clearly delineate gender roles: women are wedding-obsessed harpies, men are dull-witted things to be ensnared, The Wedding Is The Most Important Thing, etc. The occasional gay or gender-nonconforming person on those shows is often played for a joke or as a plot complication.

And yet, I enjoy the idea of someday wearing a ridiculous poufy dress and inviting all my friends and family to an awesome blow-out party. My groom will be a cardboard cut-out of Aragorn.

Despite bullshit television shows, I see our world changing what gender is, what morality is. Look at how morality changes: Once, a “moral” person didn’t have sex outside of marriage. These days, a “moral” person doesn’t have sex outside a committed relationship without their partner’s consent.

Along with the host of things changing in our world, I think we need new signifiers for what ‘adulthood’ is. Is adulthood when you get a place of your own? When you get married? When you have kids? Or maybe when you can support yourself? When you love people unselfishly? When you stop fretting so much about what other people think of you?

Well, I may still sleep on a mattress on the floor, but by God, I have a KitchenAid stand-up mixer. Between that and my good, sharp knives and cast iron pots and pans, I CAN MAKE ALL THE THINGS. Though I don’t have kids (God forbid), I can be the fierce lady in the kitchen who wields the power to feed people. Though, uh, my mom bought the mixer for my birthday.

Still not a grown-up. But getting toward something like it: the new definition of grownup, which is whatever I decide it will be.

Summer Dessert: Orange Dream Pie

First off, thanks to my friend Dan for giving me this idea. Facebook crowdsourcing for the win! I substituted fresh, ripe pluot slices for canned mandarin oranges because I’m fancy like that.

I’ve been looking for a good summery recipe that doesn’t involve elaborate baking or overly heavy flavors, so this refreshing fruity pie fits those bills while not skimping on calories. Calories are important.

Making pies always makes me want to watch the movie Waitress again. In my little fantasy Waitress world I give away the baby and keep Nathan Fillion, but the actual movie ending is cute, too.

A note on the pie crust: I like the organic Pacific brand that Good Food Store carries, it’s made with real butter and smells like angels when you bake it. Also: do remember to bake it, instead of pouring the filling into the raw shell and then having to dump it all out and wipe the crust real good before sticking it in the oven. Dammit. I hadn’t had my coffee yet, okay?

Also, I feel like a poser for not making my own pie crust, but it’s tough to do well without a food processor and I don’t want to inflict lumpy handmade dough on the people I feed.

A note on the whipped cream: Cool whip is the devil. Whip your own goddamn cream thusly: Put a cup of chilled heavy cream into a large bowl with a tablespoon of powdered sugar and some vanilla extract, and beat with a handheld mixer until soft peaks form. For bonus points with your boozy friends, stir a tablespoon of whiskey or rum into it.

A note on pluots: They’re a sweet, tasty combination between plums and apricots. You could also use nectarines, which are just peaches without the fuzz. Or whatever. It’s your pie. Make sure you use something good and ripe, though, lest your pie be ruined by gnawing on tough, unripe slices.

Orange Dream Pie (Makes One)

Baked deep dish pie crust, cooled

2 cups whipped cream

Half a quart of orange yogurt

Two or three pluots, plums or nectarines, sliced about  1/4 inch thin

In a bowl, use a spatula to combine whipped  cream and orange yogurt until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Arrange fruit slices on top and freeze until firmish, about 20 to 30 minutes. Important: don’t let this freeze completely solid, or it will take approximately two Game of Thrones episodes to thaw enough to cut.

Slice just before serving.

Beer Adventures: Slippery Pig Brewery in Poulsbo, Wa

Rhubarb IPA from Slippery Pig Brewery

Thank God, my days of drinking alone are about to be over.

So today, I turned in my last stories at work, submitted my last time card and left early. That’s right, I ain’t been here real long but it’s time to pack up and head back to sweet, sweet Missoula, Montana, where I have landed a job in my field. I am the luckiest person in the world.

Anyway, what to celebrate my freedom with but a beverage? I drove up to Poulsbo, Washington, which is a delightful little Nordic-themed town and this weekend happens to be Viking Fest. I walked around the food booths and the “authentic 900 a.d. village re-creation” which was full of authentic Chinese-made printed cotton scarves and knit hats, and went to the Hare and Hound to see if they had any Slippery Pig Brewery on tap.

I’ve heard tales of this exotic Slippery Pig Brewery and its unique beers like lemon verbena hefeweizen, which sounds more like a kind of spa massage. I had to have some. But I thought the taproom didn’t open until 2, so I had time to kill.

It turned out Hare and the Hound had Slippery Pig’s Rhubarb IPA on tap! The nice bartender poured me off a pint and I could see this was no ordinary beer. They serve from a cask, not a keg, so it was nearly room temperature, unfiltered and uncarbonated. I could see the bits of sediment suspended, unmoving, in the glass. The IPA was less hoppy than I expected and more thick, sweet and slightly bitter at the end. I couldn’t detect any rhubarb flavor, but it was delicious and super strong, which meant I had to steel my resolve and sip it over the course of an hour in order to keep my shit together.

After a nourishing scotch egg with some of the most fiery horseradish mustard I’ve ever tasted, I checked my watch (by which I mean my cell phone) and drove to the Slippery Pig tasting room. After cruising down a winding dirt road, assured by my GPA* I was going the right way, I thought I was lost but saw the Slippery Pig sign on a rusted-out horse trailer directing me the right way. In the midst of a small farm, I spotted chairs and an awning over an open-air bar that must be the taproom.

Not a soul was in sight. I shut off my car and listened to the breeze for a moment. It was only a couple minutes after 2:00, maybe the hours I’d remembered were more flexible. Well, I’d already tasted a really good beer of theirs, and I was not feeling brave enough to wander around a farm all by my lonesome demanding beer, so I left.

And now that I actually go back to the Yelp page, I see the Slippery Pig tasting hours for Fridays are from 4 to 8. Goddammit. Reading comprehension fail.

I can’t wait to go back home, where I know the brewery hours, I don’t have to drive anywhere and my friends can come with me.

*UPDATED TO ADD: I could fix that, but then you’d never get to share in the joy of the most hilarious typo ever.

Feed a Fever, Feed a Cold: Eating When You’re Sick

I’m laid up with a sore throat and fever, and as such even less able to think coherently than usual. This is just the time to blog!

I’m rarely sick anymore. Especially since my college days of working three part-time jobs and running around with dubious characters ended, my immune system is bitchin’. But every so often stress and lack of sleep coincide and my body says “screw you and your beer drinking plans, we’re gonna lie on the couch and watch TLC all weekend.” Which would be fabulous except it’s really beautiful weather and I have articles that need to be written and packing that needs to be done. (More on the packing stuff later. Because, yes, I am gearing up for another move. You’ll like this one.)

I suspect I’m sick now because last weekend, I had epic days of Fun Friend Time, starting with a house show starring my favorite Missoula bands in Seattle that went til 3 a.m. and then on to Portland to see some of my favorite drinking buddies and then back to work at 9 a.m. by Monday. Also, had some mega stressballs to deal with, and they were neatly resolved on Friday morning, after which my brain and body just seem to have given out. I swear all the mysteries will be revealed. Later, when I’m more coherent.

Anyway, this is good, satisfying stuff to ease a cold, and God help you if you don’t have any on hand and need to drag your ass to the store:

Onions and garlic: I read somewhere (probably a back issue of Vegetarian Times) that onions and garlic are good for the immune system, because they have vitamin C and fancy compounds and such. They’re delicious, and pack enough flavor that I can taste them when my sinuses are all clogged. French onion soup is the best way to dose yourself with onions.

Herbal tea, preferably with peppermint, chamomile and licorice: Butterfly Herbs in Missoula sells the best cold and flu loose tea, for like $1.25 an ounce. I stock up every time I’m home. It’s got yarrow and elderflower and other herbs in it, too, and tastes kind of gross without honey, but it soothes my throat and sinuses way better than any nasty, syrupy cough drop. I used to make a big pot of this tea and fill a thermos to make it through a day of school with minimal suffering.

Echinacea tea as a preventative measure: I swear to God, as soon as I run out of echinacea tea, I get sick a few weeks later. This is either because it really works, or because of the good ole placebo effect. I like tea, so I really don’t care either way.

Animal protein: I don’t eat meat very often. Whole grains, eggs, dairy and beans are my normal sources of protein, which is great and healthy and all but when I’m sick I get very Anthony Bourdain-like in my enthusiasm for animal flesh. I made a tuna sandwich for lunch, and for dinner just now I cooked ground beef in my cast-iron skillet with onions, spooned it onto cold soba noodles, slathered on some sriracha and ate it. Delicious greasy meaty meatness.

Soup broth: The essential. Note that I don’t include processed pre-made soups like Ramen or chicken noodle, and that’s because that shit won’t make you healthy. Most storebought soup is little more than sodium and carbohydrates, and if you want to get well, you need protein, vitamins and whole grains. Even if summoning the effort sucks, you can make your own super-easy soup by sauteing diced onions or garlic, pouring in chicken stock and cracking in an egg or two.

Greens: I love greens normally, but they also rock when ill. Nutrients! My go-to sick/hungover food is egg drop soup with a bunch of chopped kale or spinach stirred in.

7-up and orange juice: Neither of these things is actually good for you, and yet, because that’s what Mom and Dad always bought us when we were sick, it’s what I buy. I can only drink so many buckets of herbal tea before I gotta switch off. My anti-sugary-drinks resistance is weakened when I’m ill, and once I’m healthy I’ll use the remainder to mix my whiskey with.

Kitsap County beer drinkers enjoy locals Silver City, Der Blokken, Sound

This is a short feature I wrote for the Bremerton Patriot. People keep assigning me to do beer stories wherever I go, I swear!

The bartender pours off two pints and sets them on the expansive bar at Silver City Brewery in Silverdale before Chuck Whitacre and Jim Snodgrass.

“Craft beers are like the new coffee, it’s everywhere in Washington,” Whitacre said.

The two, both Boat House Restaurant chefs with shaved heads, hunched over the bar. Whitacre wore an Alaskan Brewing logo sweatshirt and Snodgrass a Boat House hoodie.

Whitacre’s choice is the Ziggy Zoggy summer lager, a canary-yellow, crisp, slightly hoppy brew.

“Ziggy zoggy, ziggy zoggy, oi oi oi!” the two chant, and drink.

Snodgrass opts for the Whoopass India Pale Ale, an amber-colored ale with sharp, bitter hops and floral aroma. Snodgrass remembers Silver City being one of the first craft breweries he ever learned about in the late 1990s. Now he’s a hop-loving home brewer.

“Hey, I have those hops I need something to do with,” Snodgrass said.

“I have a smoker and those apple chips, let’s smoke them,” said Whitacre.

Inspired, they pay their check and leave, negotiating over who will bring the yeast and the malt.

The Pacific Northwest’s reputation for thriving craft breweries is only growing, and Kitsap County right along with it. It’s easy to belly up to a bar and meet beer aficionados and home brewers.

For many home brewers, Bill Sproules, owner of Olympic Brewing Supply in Bremerton, is one of Bremerton’s preeminent beer connoisseurs.

Sproules, a compact man with white hair, broken veins in his cheeks and blue eyes, decided to make the brew supply store his full-time job in 1994.

“Silver City’s Fat Scotch ale — if there’s a signature Kitsap County Beer, that would be it,” Sproules said.

The new kid on the beer block is Der Blokken Brewery, which opened a taproom and restaurant two years ago in the Manette neighborhood in Bremerton. Sproules likes their Black, a dark, rich porter/stout that’s somewhat unusual in a beer scene where hoppy IPAs are all the rage.

In North Kitsap County, Sproules noted that Poulsbo’s Sound Brewing and Slippery Pig Brewery are making innovative brews.

Slippery Pig, a small, family-run tasting room with limited hours, has “gone out to the edge of beer,” Sproules said, using ingredients like dandelions and rhubarb.

Sproules appreciates a good beer bar, too, as a way for enthusiasts to try new breweries.

More than a dozen local brews are on tap at the Toro Lounge, a tapas restaurant that opened less than two years ago on Pacific Avenue.

On a quiet afternoon, Puget Sound Shipyard worker Josh Rose was alone at the bar, sipping a “Red Death” after work: half Silver City’s Ridgetop Red ale, half Irish Death dark ale from Ellensburg’s Iron Horse Brewing.

“It’s good, because the Irish Death is dark and it balances out the Red,” Rose said.

Rose’s wife, Kjendal, was serving behind the bar. She said Sound Brewing’s Monks Indiscretion, a citrusy Belgian-style packing a 9 percent alcohol-by-volume content, is by far the most popular brew at Toro right now.

“We’ve got it on tap and a back-up keg always in stock,” she said.

Several Kitsap County breweries are packing up and heading to San Diego, Calif. this week for the results of the World Beer Cup.

“Our brewmaster, Don Spencer, is one of the most decorated brewers in Washington in the past 10 years,” said Scott Houmes, co-owner of Silver City. The Ridgetop Red won Best Irish Red in America at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.

Bremerton’s newest, Der Blokken, isn’t yet aspiring to becoming a regional powerhouse.

“We don’t get too weird,” said co-owner Andy Husted. Right now, they’re focusing on supplying the restaurants and the Bremerton businesses carrying Der Blokken on tap. “I’d say the toughest thing is making money.”