#21  
Old 01-09-2009, 07:18 AM
egalecki's Avatar
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

I love presents like that! I still have the strange-looking man my son made in a ceramics class when he was little. And the box one of my daughters made that we could pass notes to each other with. And a whole bunch of brightly colored assorted baskets made of yarn, made by all three of them.

The brewing set also sounds really cool. I've always thought that sounded like a fun thing to do, but I don't like beer (don't tell anyone!). Maybe I'd like mead, though...
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  #22  
Old 01-09-2009, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

We got the girls a Root Beer brewing kit. All the fun without the alcohol. It worked really well, and now our daughters are well on their way to making beer. Is that good?
James
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2009, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

I dunno about the beer part, but I think it's great for kids to know that bread doesn't have to come from bags with twist ties, vegetables don't always come from the store in plastic bags, meat does not always come on a styrofoam tray with a tiny depends under it, and root beer doesn't have to have a brand name on the outside of the bottle to be real!

As for the brewing their own real beer, well, if one spent that much time working on a really good brew, wouldn't one drink it slowly, enjoy it more, and then save the others for another time? Thus promoting moderation?

Hm. Maybe I should have taught my 21 year old son to make beer. He's working his way through the cheap crap at a rate to make most college age boys proud and his mother cringe....
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  #24  
Old 01-10-2009, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

Conversation with my eldest daughter (age 10):

- Mom, what does alcohol do to you when you drink it?
- Well, it can make you feel relaxed, and then it makes you dizzy and if you keep drinking it can make you feel very sick, and you can become dependant and etc etc etc (typical mom lecture)
- Oh. So why do you drink it then?

Ho hum, anyway I think teaching your children to brew sounds like a very good idea. I know I'm a lot more respectful towards my homemade bread than towards the bought variety.
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  #25  
Old 01-10-2009, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

Favorite Christmas Presents...my favorite was the Martha Stewart Cooking school cook book, Chef Phil's was a toss up between his new grape crusher and his Jamie at home cook book.

As far as kids and alcohol go. Both my daughter and myself grew up with home made wine in the house and we always had it with meals as young children. My dad would pour some wine and cut it with water for us, I continued this with my daughter. She is now 18 (still cuts wine with a bit of water) but we both have a healthy respect for adult beverages!! Moderation is key...of course my ex-husband is an alcoholic and my daughter has also seen the hell it can cause in a relationship. One of the reasons she left her college dorm and became a commuter was the alcohol abuse on campus.

James if the kids like the home made root beer and want to try it again, I suggest Zataran's Root Beer Extract. We make home made soda all the time and had been using Homebrew brand extracts; we were told to try Zatarans and it is WONDERFUL!! You can get it from Buy Cajun Food | Gourmet Turducken | Crawfish | Boudin and Gumbo. We only make sugar free soda (I'm a diabetic) so if you want to make it sugar free I have the recipe for a 5 gallon batch!!!
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  #26  
Old 01-10-2009, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

Is Jamie at Home the one with the gardening stuff in it? I've always liked his books. Wading through the language difference is half the fun! His first book has a recipe for roasted butternut squash that completely changed the way I look at winter squash.
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  #27  
Old 01-10-2009, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

Hi Chef,
I picked up some Zataran's extract during the summer when we visited New Orleans. It was pretty good. I have 3 or 4 different extracts in the fridge and the Zataran's is one of the better ones.

Do you make your sodas with yeast? We use 2 liter plastic soda bottles and yeast. I also have a 1 liter carbonator like this: Soda Syphon - Brushed Aluminum 11080: Kitchen & Dining

The syphon is ok, but the root beer isn't carbonated enough. I'd love to figure out a way to adequately carbonate without yeast, but I think that would involve more gear than I'm interested in purchasing .
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  #28  
Old 01-10-2009, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

Hi Ken:

We use one package of Red Star champagne yeast, 5 gallons of water, 2 cups of sugar, 6 cups of splenda. We bottle in GLASS only and use a capper. We tried to use the plastic but the carbonation seems to escape from the twist on caps (even when we bought new ones)!!

We also sterilize EVERYTHING, the bucket we mix in, the bottles, the caps and the bowl where we bloom the yeast. We also keep the water temp between 99 - 104F while mixing.

The kids love it!!
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  #29  
Old 01-10-2009, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

Quote:
Originally Posted by egalecki View Post
Is Jamie at Home the one with the gardening stuff in it? I've always liked his books. Wading through the language difference is half the fun! His first book has a recipe for roasted butternut squash that completely changed the way I look at winter squash.
Elizabeth;

He writes all about how he gardens...he also talks about his WFO, nice chapter on Pizza!!
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  #30  
Old 01-10-2009, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Christmas presents

Quote:
Originally Posted by egalecki View Post
Hm. Maybe I should have taught my 21 year old son to make beer. He's working his way through the cheap crap at a rate to make most college age boys proud and his mother cringe....
You can still do it. My brother is an excellent home brewer -- he's been doing it since college. He grows, dries and freezes his own hops, and he jokes that one of his jobs at his firm is teaching the younger guys (and girls) to brew. Passing down our collective wisdom. :-)

Go for it.
James
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