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Last weekend I took a cruise out to the Symco Shakedown in Symco WI. Where the hell IS Symco WI you ask? Great question… look it up… its out in the country, on the grounds of what can only be described as a restored village of antique buildings, gas stations, bars, grocery stores etc etc etc… I wont lie, it was very nice to just cruise on an over cast day through the farmland of this beautiful state I am fortunate enough to live in… haulin’ ass down the road with some Hank III cranked as I pass by corn fields, bean fields, dairy farms and small towns ; even saw a parade kicking off complete with about 20 tractors and combines, high school marching band, and local politicians out shaking hands. Perfect picture of the heartland…

I snapped a few pics while I was there and thought Id share… Oh and by the way I stayed for a few hours checking out the scene, cars, bands, booths etc etc etc… I left before I had to much fun sitting in the awesome restored bar with rock a billy band blaring away with $1 cups of PBR and $5 dollar pitchers… just when you think I have no self control…

Anyone who knows me knows that my interests come and go with the wind… It goes from “yuppie” type life to down home country… From fancy “foodie\beer snob” ways to enjoying box mac & cheese and a few PBR’s on a Fri. night. Well you have witnessed one of those changes… This blog not only has changed its theme but will also probably begin to change its content. Ill still have beer reviews and some food stuff if I make anything good, but it will also start to look into other interests of my life… Less “clean” food ways and more “normal” things… Sorry Phil ;) So you have been warned…

S'up

S'up

So I attempted my first brisket the other day… 13 pound packer brisket… People thought I was crazy to try a full brisket as my first smoked menu item ever… Most folks would of tried just a flat instead of the whole thing… Go big or go home… So I was up at 3 AM to get the meat on the preheated smoker by 4am. I knew it was going to take a long time but we werent carving till 9PM so thats 17 hours… I did finish the brisket for the last few hours wrapped in foil in a 250 degree oven. Overall the flavor and quality of the brisket turned out very well, but I h=no smoke ring… Im thinking that because A: the smoker was not big enough to handle such a large hunk of meat, and B: I dont think I had enough smoke… So you live and you learn, will I try a brisket again… probably, will it be a full packer brisket, probably not on this small smoker…

As I enjoyed the first 80 degree + day here in subtropical Oshkosh I was trying to think of a way to celebrate… and as it normally does in such situations my mind went to beer… But its warm, so I would have to say no to my much beloved porters, my heavenly stouts and amazing barley wines in exchange for something a tad lighter… So I pondered… then it all came rushing back to me.

When I was in college I was fortunate enough to spend a semester in Vienna Austria, a city with a standard of culture this boy of 20 years (at the time) had never seen… I went over there and found out what great beer is. No Bud light, no Coors Light, but great beer, great beer consumed with lunch, with dinner, as a snack, amazing stuff. It was a hot hot day once and my homestay parents offered me a “Radler” I had no clue what it was… They described it as a 50/50 mix of beer and either lemonade or a citrus pop. Actually the bikers (pedal pedal, not vroom vroom) would stop at a pub have way through their strenuous rides and races at a local pub and imbibe a radler or two and be off again. Who needs doping in the Tour De France when you have beer, I mean seriously. Anyway, I tried a radler and instantly loved it!! It was NOT a drink to get drunk off of, it was one of the BEST thirst quenchers I had EVER had, Gatorade has NOTHING on this.

Returing to my kitchen in merry old Oshkosh I knew I had to make one (ok ok ok a few, who are you the drink police? back off…) Now Leinienkugle offers a Summer Shandy that is a mixture of lemon flavors and beer, but god only knows what else they put in there… so off to the store I go to try and find something that is not chock full of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) because if I wanted some corn I would simply purchase a can and enjoy it with dinner… atleast I would have a cool show 8-12 hours later but I digress… Im looking looking and looking… HFCS is EVERYWHERE!!!! ESPECIALLY in beverages.. then I find it… San Pellegrino Limonata made with “sugar” and not HFCS!!! Lets jsut all trust that they mean natural sugar and they are not pulling something over on us… So I snag a 6 pack and head to the beer section. I grab a Paulaner and a Hacker Pschorr Weiss, we do need to keep it bavarian.

Now Im not ausually a fan of putting fruit in beers but I didnt look at this as a normal beer… I mixed up the weiss\lemonny concoction 50/50 like it should be, snapped a few pics and enjoyed… The bright taste and light finish is exactly what I needed on a warm day like this… it cools you off, you enjoy a good beer but you dont sweat it out and feel all bloated like you normally would chugging a regular beer on a warm day… So I reccomend that the next hot day you have, or maybe after cutting the lawn or hitting things on that honey do list reward yourself with a little bavarian love… Mix up a Radler, kick your feet up and enjoy…

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