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Category Archives: Food

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…

Ahh to be sushi…

What a way to bring me back into the world of the drinking… My 30 days were up a little more than a week ago and I needed a good way to reintroduce myself back into the booze world.

First, was the “Dogfloydapalooza”. Basically a party to celebrate the coming together of Three Floyds and Dogfish Head to create the beer called “Popskull” I was fortunate enough to be asked to work the door, so that was all good…



Fun was had by all…

The next night was even better…

Brewmaster Dinner

Back of Ticket

We’re talking about 6 courses of GREAT food paired with two beers each… One from Dogfish Head and one from Three Floyds… Take a look…


For those who cant read the menu here’s the run down:

Reception: Pride & Joy

Amuse: 60 Minute IPA
Smoked Pork Fat Gougere with Bacon, Lolla Rossa, Pickled Shallots

Course One: Gumballhead
Dogfish Head Soup – Bouillabaisse, Chorizo, Clams, Aioli, Octopus

Course Two: Oatgoop/Oldschool
Banger and Mash – Pork Sausage, Potato Puree, Frisee, Soffrito – Pancetta Vinaigrette

Course Three: Dreadnaught/120 Minute IPA
London Pub Curry – Braised Breast of Lamb, Dal, Curry, Naan

Course Four: Robert the Bruce/Indian Brown
BBQ – Smoked Brisket, Brisket Jerky, Mustard Barbecue Sauce, Grilled Green Onion, Jalapeno Jelly

Course Five: Alpha King/Red & White
Cheddar – Warm Bleu Mont Cheddar, Fig Mostarda, Sweet Prosciutto – Roasted Garlic, Saltine

Course Six: Barrel Aged Alpha Klaus with Black Berries/Forte
Walnut Cream, Seckel Pear – Dreadnaught Ice Cream, Chestnut Cake, Raison D’Xtra Gastrique, Poached Seckel Pear

Conclussion: Dark Lord/Palo Santo

Then all of that was followed up with heading down to Indianapolis for the Indiana Brewers Guild to help pour for Three Floyds…

Check out a video from our friend Jeffery T here And dont forget to take a look at Jeffery’s podcast here


So I know ALL of my readers (both of you) tune into this amazing, earth shattering, stupendous, awesome, perfect blog on an hourly basis to see what else I have dribbling out of my slurry of a brain and onto the key board… Some of you who know me best are probably wondering where the hell are all of the beer and booze reviews? (Ok maybe your not, but play along damn it, I swear your monthly friend check is in the mail) Well there will be no beer reviews for at least 8 more days… I am in the last third of a personal 30 day challenge of no booze… No beer, no wine, no liquor, hell not even a swig of cough syrup… It all started the day after my 30th birthday…. I wish I had a story that I woke up with this massive hangover, projectile vomiting straight Jack Daniels and crack rocks but alas there is no such tale. And NO my wife has not put me on a time out because I became belligerent and dumb with her… well no more than normal I suppose.

I took this challenge as just that… a challenge… I figured it would be good for my liver to have a break, and let my immune system strengthen… Plus not to mention my wallet has been happier. Also I figured if I could not stay away from imbibing for 30 days, well lets just say Im happy I have been able to do it so far.

Stupid? naw probably not… now what WAS very dumb of me was to start it on Dec. 16th… Lets all count ahead on our trusty calendars starting at Dec. 16th and ending Jan 14th. Go ahead… Ill wait… … 12….
17 …. 20…. 29 30! Way to go Im sure your 4th grade math teacher is very proud.

Now, did you happen to notice anything big and important in that stretch of days? Perhaps Christmas and maybe even New Years? Yeah Im kind of kicking myself for starting the 30 day challenge right smack dab in the middle of the holiday mess, but I suppose “that which does not kill you blah blah blah” I could of moved it to Jan. 2nd but I opened my big fat mouth and blabbed about it to everyone and Im just that sort of stubborn person to not change things… so I went through Christmas and the New Years with out one drop of any sort of fermented beverage. Thank god that when Jess and I went to our friends house for Christmas that there was a pregnant Laura there who also could not drink ( it helped ease the pain some). While it was nice to have no hangover on new years day I wont lie, it would of been nice to have a nice glass… ok ok ok nice bottle of champagne to help ring in the new year but alas… nothing.

Did I mention that during all of this I had a full bin of great beers and a fully stocked liquor cabinet staring at me? Including a full new bottle of Hendricks (my favorite gin of all time) hell I even had the cucumber (the correct garnish for a Hendricks and tonic). I even had a lot of alone time (the wife works nights) and also continued to hang out with my drunks… I mean my friends on Tiki Chat (check out some of their blogs Brain Gravy , SIDT and Size of Life ) Which leads me into a big big thank you for everyone’s support… there were many times through out this challenge where I was like “Fuck it… Who cares… 7 days, 14 days is enough…” But amazingly just as I thought that someone would say… “Hey man hows the challenge going? I’m so proud of you… Keep it up!!” Damn you all… no Im kidding thank you all for helping me out… I really didnt think it was that big of a thing until I started asking people if they could\would\should try it… Needless to say noone has signed on yet…

So Im happy that I did\am finishing up the challenge… hell I might do it every year, but I wont lie… come Jan 14th… I am going to pour myself the most perfect drink and relish each and every sip…

“Tomorrow will be the best day of Raymond K. Hessles’ life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal he have ever had…”

Anyone out there want to try the challenge? Its really not tough… even if you are a normal to moderate drinker… I’m actually really excited to see what its going to be like when I can once again enjoy a tasty beverage.