28/04/20 – Armadillo Ale Works Idiot’s Hill American Strong Ale

Quarantine Diaries XXXI

Tuesday April 28th 2020

b7889471-6f21-4656-bd0b-e93aa1207be4Tuesday somehow turned into Amethyst VS Quiche day. I mean, how hard can it be to make a quiche? Having made plenty of quiches back in the dim, distant past, I kind of imagined the process would be much like riding a bike. Oh how wrong I was. Fail Number One came with the preparation of the pastry – a task so simple I remember doing it as a child, but fudging what appeared to be a small detail and not adding enough water nearly left me felled at the first hurdle. Oops. Fortunately I was able to recover the situation, but rolling a segment of the wall slightly too thin led to Fail Two – my horror as I removed the part-baked shell from the oven to find it partially collapsed, which led to the slow realisation that actually there was not supposed to be leftover pastry. Oh dear. Having swiftly shored up the walls, I was almost ready to start filling the shell, only for lovely JB to announce in the most deadpan of tones that there was, in fact, no milk in the house, and there had not been any for some time. Fail Number Three. At this point, my addled, overheated (I’ll get to that), quarantine-fatigued brain became convinced that the entire venture was the stupidest thing I’d done since accidentally scorching the silpat (don’t ask), but fortunately we live close enough to a store for JB to run there and back, returning with said milk ( or half & half as they call it here, no idea why), in time to put the whole damn thing in the oven before it collapsed again. Hoorah. Or so you may think. Now, as a nearly-novice preparer of quiche, following the cooking instructions seemed like a sensible thing to do. However, when it wasn’t cooked after 40mins, or 50, my hunger and frustration got the better of me and I cranked up the oven from 365 to 400, and a bloody good job I did as it still took an additional 20mins to cook fully. This was definitely a Recipe Fail, so we’ll put that in a separate category. I did, however, use the time productively and make my first ever batch of broccoli-stalk chips which are absolutely awesome and actually healthy – I will never throw out a broccoli stalk again, but am now having nightmares about the 100s I must have wasted already. I’m not counting this as a fail as it is simply the benefit of hindsight. Anyway, back to the quiche. Approximately 2.5 hours after commencing the proceedings, having had the oven blaring for more than an hour in 30degree heat (definitely Fail Number Four – we had to put on the A/C which added up to a terrible waste of resources), out came what I have to tell you really was a bloody delicious quiche. Was it worth the labour? Possibly. Would I do it again? Definitely – but not on such a hot day. Have I learned anything of note? That despite a grand total of four fails (five if you count the recipe fail), the quiche still ended up a success. I’m sure there’s a perseverance take-away in there somewhere. Also, it is, apparently, possible to write nearly 600 words about the preparation of a quiche. Really.


Armadillo Ale Works Idiot’s Hill American Strong Ale

47eb6168-6f0e-4531-8d17-a640700e8db2Fresh out of Denton, TX (which I cannot wait to visit for a full Rocky Horror Picture Show homage!), Armadillo Ale Works have a fun, quirky edge that I’ve enjoyed across a range of styles to date. This American Strong Ale was full-on toffee-caramel-forward, like a boozy Werther’s Original but in a good way. Coming at the end of the evening, it made an excellent nightcap/dessert-beer, rich and smooth, carrying it’s 9% ABV gracefully without a hint of booze on the palate. The warm, sticky sweetness was perfect for a 12oz serving, underpinned by a roasty malt flavour that prevented it from becoming cloying. The Denton/Plano/Garland area has a vibrant, dynamic beer scene that I am itching to immerse myself in once we’re back in the real world – a full taproom tour is definitely in order and I look forward to visiting the Armadillo mothership in person!