BOTW–Avant Garde Ale

This week’s beer comes from Port Brewing in San Marcos, CA.

I’m just going to to say it is a delicious beer and quote their label, as it seemed particularly meaningful to me this week:

From the French word “Garde” meaning something worth keeping, this Farmhouse Style Ale is most delicious companion to a loaf of freshly baked bread from the oven. Grab a seat on the porch, some soft cheese and a tree ripened apple from your grandmother’s old orchard. Relax and watch the evening arrive as the afternoon sun is consumed by the illuminating moon over the gardens. We brewed Avant Garde for you, our friends and families. Here’s to things worth guarding over.

Every year we buy Persimmons from the Nuns at the Mission San Jose in Fremont, and every year I make this persimmon pudding from them. I love persimmons, and this is one of my absolute favorite desserts. It used to be up on the Robert Mondavi website, but now appears to have disappeared due to reorganization, so I will put it up here for posterity.

Steamed Persimmon Pudding

Ingredients:
3 very ripe, soft persimmons (about 1 pound) stemmed
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
In blender or food processor, puree persimmons (with skins); set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg to blend thoroughly. Into another bowl, sift the dry ingredients and mix into butter mixture alternately with milk in three additions. Mix in persimmon puree and vanilla to blend thoroughly. Generously butter a 1-quart mold. Pour batter into mold and cover tightly with a buttered lid or aluminum foil. Place a rack in a pot taller than the mold. Place the mold on rack and add enough boiling water to come halfway up side of mold. Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil.
Steam pudding over medium heat on the top of the stove or in a preheated 325-degree oven 1 1/2 hours, checking frequently and adding boiling water to maintain correct level. Remove mold from pot to cooling rack. Remove lid; set aside mold until lukewarm. Unmold onto plate and serve warm or at room temperature.

Another favorite thing is Salmon with Aromatic Vegetables from Julia Child’s, “The Way to Cook.” It is a very easy recipe, yet is so rewarding and delicious. Lately we’ve been serving it with Quinoa with peas and spring onions.


And, oh yeah, dessert!

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