How to make Iris love you forever: tell her, “I got you a special treat…and it’s cupcakes!”
We’d been planning to check out Trophy Cupcakes, the new upstart cupcake shop in Wallingford, but Trophy Cupcakes unexpectedly came to me. I was at Remedy Teas this morning and noticed cupcakes, and they were, indeed, Trophy’s. I brought home one chai and one chocolate, and Iris and I shared the chai. I’ve never had a cardamom-flavored cupcake before. It was great. On weekends (at Trophy itself) they have a PB&J cupcake, which I’m sure Iris will enjoy.
It’s several years old now, but I finally got around to reading The Brewmaster’s Table, by Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. It’s an absolute delight, because Oliver is an unrepentant hedonist, exactly the sort of Virgil you want on a trip to the ninth circle of beer (where presumably you’ll find a chalice of Duvel). The part where Oliver talks about what he had for dinner the previous week and what beer he chose to go with each meal is priceless–the guy can eat.
This is not a cookbook; it’s a guide to the world’s beers with tips for matching beer and food. I’ve said this before, but the ubiquity of great beer is one of my favorite things about Seattle. Any time I want, I can walk five blocks to the supermarket and choose from literally hundreds of beers, and Oliver’s book inspired me to do so last night, and to select something that might otherwise have scared me away: Dogfish Head’s Raison d’Etre. It’s scary not because of its 8 percent alcohol, but because it’s brewed with raisins. Why you would trumpet this on the label I don’t know (nobody actually likes raisins, right?), but it’s an astonishing and complex beer that nevertheless went great with chili.
And the Dogfish Head bottle illustrates perfectly another reason I love beer, one that Oliver is also quick to point out. If Raison d’Etre were a wine, it would be something weird from Austria or British Columbia and it would cost $25. Thank god it’s not. It was $2.