Quarantine Diaries XXXXIV
Monday May 11th 2020
I’m totally sorry-not-sorry for writing about our garden (sorry, yard) again. Our first attempt at plant cultivation, while still in its fledgling days, has definitely opened up a new and enjoyable adulting pastime that, prior to lockdown, would doubtless have remained on my interested-but-really-don’t-have-time list for the foreseeable future. It’s a pleasure watching our little plants happily growing, although they do seem to have attracted the attention of the many birds that frequent our prairiesque lawn (like so many lockdown-beards, the birthday-40 lovely JB mowed into the grass continues to grow, wild and uninhibited). With the next big Central Texas Spring storm on the horizon, and fed up of catching the cheeky creatures taking swipes at my lovingly nurtured leaves, Monday was the day I finally broke out the aluminium wire and sat down to make protective casings for our lil saplings. Important news, folks – cutting wire mesh is, if not exactly fun, then definitely satisfying. Seeing my vegetable pots all nicely secured felt something akin to what I would imagine one feels when zipping a child into a winter coat – you are mine and I shall cultivate and protect you. Or at least, I’ll give it a bloody good go. Long conversations with Amethyst Heels Sr, who is also growing plants, have confirmed that this is indeed the case. He has confidently informed me that he now has ‘something else’ to worry about, and for once I am happy not to be the centre of attention. It is really great to see (hear) him so busy and engaged, and to have something other than the ever-depressing news to discuss with him. Even if our plants die (as well they might, given the ferocity of today’s biblical downpour), they have provided a welcome distraction, a few new skills and a tasty bite to eat – sprinkling rosemary fresh from the garden on my duck sausage pasta felt really good. Hopefully we’ll be fully competent gardeners in time for the next apocalypse!
Austin Beerworks Petit Mutant Sour Stout
Ooooh this was so good, and exactly right for a mild Spring evening, sitting outside watching the fireflies as the temperature gently cooled, heralding in the oncoming storm. Regular readers will know that I’m a little obsessed with dark sours, a hugely underrated style that I can’t help but pounce upon at every available opportunity, and I’m eternally grateful that here in Central Texas there are plenty of excellent examples to go around. This newish release from the fantastic ABW team totally makes the grade. The velvety-smooth, medium-bodied stout was beautifully textured, complimenting the fresh, tart crushed plum and blueberry, an exciting change from the more usual cherry and raspberry dark sour flavours. Our little 16oz crowler was gone in no time at all, and this is definitely a new addition to my local dark sour checklist!