Golden IPA Beer Jelly

September 4th, 2014, 12pm

My two brothers and I gather for Cribbage once a month to test our skill and renew brotherly ties. We each learned to play from our father who forever sought a partner. As each of his sons in turn became interested in cars, sports or girls and his interest in losing at cribbage to our Father waned, Dad would teach the next in line.

Recently one brother crafted a board with larger pegs (better for aging, more arthritic, pudgier fingers) and ‘streets’ more easily followed (better for bifocals).

We kibitz about politics (last night we speculated about possible candidates for mayor, and the likelihood of our current Senator and Representative returning to congress - which each of us would favor); we share information about family and friends who are doctoring or dying; we josh and banter about each other’s play and eccentricities; we boast a bit about kids and grand kids (however we definitely do not pull out cell phones and look at their photos); we discuss the booming local craft beer scene. Since it takes a lot less beer to put the three of us to sleep than it did 40 years, we look to each other to evaluate the untried, new recipes of local brewers. None of us can go about and try them all like we once might have done.

We discussed with as much seriousness as we could muster whether my mother’s famous wild blueberry pie could be made with pre-made store boughten crust or if it needed handmade crust crafted with real lard. I agreed to give the shore boughten crust a try.

Our mother is dead and we 5 brothers have no sister so out of necessity we now look after the stuff that keeps a family together.

My youngest brother, who lives out of town, made a big splash announcing recently that since we have no sister to call each of the siblings on his birthday, he would volunteer. We briefly discussed whether we should now call him Sister Bob. However, he brews beer professionally and produces a damn good pint. One brother wisely asked why we should risk alienating a wonderful source of good beer; so we’ll still call him brother Bob!

Last night, as a treat, I brought a jar of ‘Golden IPA Beer Jelly’! My girlfriend found on an end-shelf of an all purpose hardware store. (Scout’s Honor, I swear it’s true!) We opened the jar and agreed it smelled a bit like polyurethane. Each spread cream cheese on little crackers and put a dollop of jelly on top. (Just a hint fellows, if you keep the cracker on the plate while you spread the cheese, the cracker won’t crumble into fragments.)

We loved it and consumed more than half the jar.

Out of five games, I won two and got skunked once!

Chris, Linda and June said thanks.

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Ken Jackson

An avid outdoors man. Retired and retiring, living on the shore of Lake Superior

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