Tag Archives: Saranac

Thanksgiving Traditions

26 Nov

Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays I greatly enjoy.  I personally don’t get too wrapped up in religion so many holidays hold little spiritual meaning for me.  The holidays that make sense to me are the ones I enjoy the most: Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Halloween.  Perhaps these are stupid reasons but I like Thanksgiving because I believe it is important to be grateful for how much we have and I enjoy eating the traditional foods and eating a lot of it.  (I like the other listed holidays for very similar, simple reasons, but that is another story and potentially a future post.)

I find myself getting into traditions (something semi-new for me) and this year I really started settling myself in.  My number one Thanksgiving tradition is listening to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. Thankfully, no planning is necessary for this tradition to happen.  I always have to travel for my meal on Thanksgiving and every radio station is playing this song at least once a day.  I just kept hitting my search button until I found it (about a 2 minute operation.)

My second tradition is pumpkin pie.  I have to have it on this day, no other pie is an adequate substitution.  This year I brought the pumpkin pie and I think I did an okay job baking it.  My recipe originated in the November issue of Bon Appetit.  I changed one part of it: it calls for a 1/4 cup of scotch which I did not have.  I did have, however, a bottle of Saranac’s Pale ale, and well you see where this is going.  It came out great and you’ll notice I have no photos: the pie was consumed before a chance arose to document it.  Here is the recipe:

I used a frozen crust, make one if you want but I didn’t have the time.

For the filling:

3/4  cup [packed] golden brown sugar

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup of Pale Ale

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


Melt butter in medium sized saucepan and add salt and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.  Stir frequently until sugar dissolves into the butter.  Continue stirring until mixture turns dark brown.  Remove from heat, stir in pale ale and whipping cream.  Mixture will bunch up, add back to heat and continue to stir until every harder piece dissolves into the mixture.  Remove from heat and chill to room temperature.

Stir in remaining brown sugar with pumpkin puree in large bowl.  Add eggs and then spices.  When properly mixed add in caramel mixture and stir in completely.

Fill pie crust with filling and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and serve.


Lastly, my newest Thanksgiving tradition (I’m starting it now) is to have a Biere de Garde with my meal.  This year’s beer was a success: see Thanksgiving’s Beer of the Day.  Light, fluffy and very cleansing.  This beer worked well with every dish and I have to make it part of my holiday.


16th Annual Mount Snow Brewers Festival

6 Sep

they had beer

This event took place September 4th and 5th at Mt. Snow in VT (1.5 hour drive from Albany.)  It featured 31 breweries, 80 varieties of beer and over 200 kegs.  Breweries included: Long Trail, Magic Hat, Otter Creek, Wolaver’s Organic, Harpoon, Olde Burnside, Berkshire Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co., Allagash, Saranac, North Coast, Stoudts, Rock Art, Woodchuck Ciders, Dogfish Head, Sam Adams, Brooklyn Brewing Co., Rouge Brewing, Smuttynose, Sierra Nevada, Northshire Brewing Company, Peak Organic, FArnum Hill Ciders, McNeil’s Brewery, Trapp Family Lodge Brewing Co., Flying Dog Brewing Co., Ommegang Brewing Co., Original Sin Ciders and Eurobrew.

they had people...

My initial attempt to reach the festival on Saturday resulted in a flat tire and a day spent with tow trucks and waiting rooms of garages.  On Sunday I re-gathered my courage and set out for some brews.

Entry into the event cost $25 per person, came with a pint glass and two tokens which could be redeemed for 8 oz. beer samples.  With an additional 5 tokens added to my pocket after entry I was on my way to sample some beer, finally.

I started my tasting light: Alagash’s white.  Despite a drunk, stumbling loud mouth swearing up and down to have their Tripel (which I am sure is also delicious) I chose their white ale and was not disappointed.  Round two went darker as I found Sierra Nevada’s booth.  I left there with a glass full of Tumbler and a brochure on brewing sustainability.

The rest of my beer intake went as one would expect: rather rapidly.  Notable mentions and kudos to the Olde Burnside Brewery for their TenFidy Wit and their Dirty Penny, pre-mixed black and tan.  Having grown up on the banks of the Battenkill River I could not resist the Northshire Brewery’s Battenkill Ale, which did not disappoint, nor did their Equinox Pilsner.  Our last surprise came out of Peak Organic’s Espresso Amber Ale.

Overall this festival packed in the beer and the breweries.  However, the food for the most part was lacking.  In future years I thought that it may be a good idea to try and include local food vendors as well as local breweries.  I realize this means less of an income from the Mt. Snow food, but surely something could be worked out.

I look forward to this event again next summer, as well as their winter brew fest which is sure to be interesting.