The Hungry Man Eats

Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Thoughts on Beer, Part 1

Beer Glasses

Ksssshhhh, glug glug glug, gulp, gulp, ahhhhhhhh.

Nothing says “I am ready to kick back and relax” more than popping open a can or bottle of a nice cold beer, pouring it into your favorite beer glass and enjoying that first sip that leaves a foam mustache from the head that formed.

These days if you are an American of drinking age and above you are a lot less likely to be partaking in the enjoyable ritual from above. Perhaps you are uncorking your favorite red, white or blush wine. If not, you may be a person who enjoys mixing something up with your favorite liquor, or just drinking it straight for the best liquors out there. Based on the chart shown, most of the fall in beer consumption is occurring because of increased wine consumption.

Why is this happening?

One reason we will talk about today is that mass market beer has left a bad taste in customer’s mouths, and that the high quality microbrews that exist nationwide just can’t make up for it. The chart shown from the link above goes back to 1992, and back then microbreweries and other independent brewers were far fewer in number. So the quality and choice of beer today is better than it was back then when it comes to being able to select a good beer to drink, but the quality and perception of the beers that people are most likely to drink (the mass market beers) is in decline.

Check out these links for some further background on why mass market beer is a culprit in my opinion for the decline in beer consumption:

  • Have you heard of a company called AB InBev? They were known as InBev back in 2008 back when they bought out Anheuser-Busch, whose flagship product was Budweiser. Since then their business practices have made Wall Street very happy, and beer lovers far less happy. Read more to see how they are busily making the beer you drink worse: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-25/the-plot-to-destroy-americas-beer
  • If you are of a certain age you may remember a beer named Schlitz, it was the top selling beer in America shortly after the end of World War Two. Thirty years later their reputation and sales were destroyed because of cost cutting measures used to fatten their profits and sales numbers: http://www.beerconnoisseur.com/the-fall-of-schlitz
  • If you can’t beat them, make it seem like you are one of them…mass market brewers have been making beers lately that look like they are made by microbreweries or independent brewers, but are really just fronts for the mass market beer companies. Do you enjoy Shock Top? It’s no microbrew, it is made by the rapscallions from above AB InBev! http://business.time.com/2012/12/27/trouble-brewing-the-craft-beer-vs-crafty-beer-cat-fight/

Of course, not all mass market beer is undrinkable swill, this blog lists some mass market beers that are pretty darn good, and I agree with all that are listed, especially anything made by Yuengling.

So go ahead and drown your sorrows about the state of American beer with a beer listed from the last link above…

When The Hungry Man is Sick, What Does He Eat?

Medicinal Meal

So what all have I been up to and eating for the past week? Did I travel to Laos with Andrew Zimmern and hit the street carts with food unknown a simmerin? Did I wine and dine at 1789? Or perhaps I had a pleasant surprise and had dinner at 5 Guys? Nope, it is as the picture above shows, fever and chills while downing lots of pills.

So that’s what today is about, what do you eat when you are sick and have no appetite? What are those comfort foods that you eat that make you feel a little better for a brief time, even though you are still feeling horrid? Or, what do you eat simply because you can tolerate it? These are some of my favorites either for making me feel good, or simply preventing starvation:

  • Eggs: Scrambled, or between two slices of toast with a slice of cheese, eggs are delicious, nutritious and go down smoothly when you have a sore, scratchy throat.
  • Soup: Homemade chicken soup is the default answer here, and this is one of those foods that would be on almost everybody’s list. There are two other good sinus clearing alternatives especially if you are stuck at work and happen to have one of those ubiquitous grab and go buffet places nearby. I bet at least one of their offerings will be either won-ton soup or egg drop soup. If not too spicy, both will go down smoothly, and they will also do a grade A job of clearing out your sinuses too.
  • Ice Cream: Sometimes when I am sick, especially when I have a sore throat, I find myself wishing that I had a soft serve ice cream machine sitting in my kitchen. If I had my druthers I would eat nothing but soft serve ice cream till my sore throat went away, but alas I have no such machine at my disposal and I would pay the price later (A specific friend of mine would say: Just wait till you feel better, we are going to jog all that ice cream off of you!)
  • Pasta: When my throat is sore and my appetite has faded, I usually can down a bowl of freshly cooked pasta. I don’t do much with it, I drizzle it with olive oil, and sprinkle it with a bit of parmesan cheese, and sometimes a pinch or two of garlic powder if I can still taste some flavors. No pasta sauce, no meat, just pasta with some small flavor enhancements.
  • Oatmeal: Now we are heading down the list to those things that you eat because you have to eat something. A nice hot bowl of oatmeal topped with some brown sugar usually is edible no matter what my condition.
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast: They call it Carnation Breakfast Essentials now, but it was simply called Carnation instant breakfast back in the day. Chocolate is my favorite flavor, but about the only time I really drink it are those mornings where I just have to have something to avoid doing something embarrassing like passing out on Metro (Fun fact: did you realize that the majority of sick customers that mess up service in the morning on Metro skipped breakfast?) When none of the meals above are possible or appetizing, there is always Carnation Instant Breakfast.


Carnation Breakfast Essentials, Rich Milk Chocolate Powder, 10-Count Envelopes (Pack of 6)

Iced Coffee: A Summertime Caffeine Fix

Ice Coffee

Iced Coffee: Photo by Jenny Nelson

 

It’s summertime and nothing sounds better then grabbing a nice hot mug of coffee. Nothing beats inhaling the steam that fogs your glasses and carries the wonderful fragrance up your nose. Sipping the superheated brew brings a warmth to your body and soul.

Wait, you mean it’s hot out and just reading these words is making you sweat? Sure, hot coffee is a great idea right now if you are living in Hobart, Tasmania where it was a cool 4 degrees Celsius this morning or perhaps you are an office drone where they keep it at a temperature more suitable for chilling sides of beef and it is causing your fingers to turn blue.

There are still a few weeks left in the summer and icy caffeinated beverages are much desired. Cola over ice you say? No, we are looking for something classier this time: Iced Coffee.

For coffee lovers, iced coffee is a tough sell, hot coffee is great, but room temperature coffee is gross and cold coffee is an acquired taste. Iced coffee seems like it would be really easy to make, but the most obvious preparation will yield a mediocre result. Simply brewing a pot of coffee, waiting for it to cool and then pouring it over ice meets the definition of iced coffee, but I bet it will taste weak and watered down to you.

There are several easy ways to improve your iced coffee:

Don’t just take my advice though, I’m not the only one with iced coffee on my mind these days:

Visit Amazon’s Buyer’s Guide – Single-Serve Brewing

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