If you walked into a speakeasy during Prohibition and asked for a “Blind Pig”, you may have received a beer. I should have painted the pig drinking from a blank Mason jar, as that is the way beer would have been served during those times. A pint jar was known as a pig, and a blank one was known as a “Blind Pig.” Ironically, the first time I drank Blind Pig IPA by Russian River Brewing Company was not in California, but in Philadelphia at Monk’s Cafe. I ordered it thinking that it was probably the best thing on the extensive menu, called the Beer Bible, and I was not let down. I drank it again at the Russian River brew pub in Santa Rosa, and came back the next day, nearly emptying my bank account, and making a generous addition to my beer cellar. All I have left is a couple bottles of the barrel sour ales now. Looks like I will have to make another trip to Santa Rosa to refill my private stock. If you do get your hands on this treasured ale, don’t hoard it, but drink it. IPA is best fresh! So share and enjoy! Don’t let your cool pet pig get ahold of it. Once they have gotten the taste, they will never be satiated! Cheers to the “Blind Pig” — the best pig for drinking!
If you have visited our studio during a First Friday, or another open studio event, you may have nibbled on my homemade chocolate chip cookies that I always bake for your enjoyment. Once a young boy asked for the recipe and I scrawled it down for him on a sheet of paper, and I wonder if he ever bothered to bake them. The word is getting out about the freshly baked cookies at the Real Art Is Better studio, and since several people have now asked for the recipe, here it is. This is my modified version of the Nestlé Toll-House recipe.
Clendaniel “Troll-House” Chocolate Chip Cookies.
1 cup (scant) coconut oil
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 bag Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate premium baking chips
1/8 cup crushed macadamia nuts, or pecans, or a blend of the two, or your favorite nut
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder, or baking soda if you don’t have baking powder
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On low heat melt the coconut oil. In a large bowl combine the sugar and the molasses, and add the melted coconut oil. Add eggs, and mix. Add nuts and chocolate chips, and mix. Add baking powder and flour, and mix until a fine cookie dough forms. Form 1 inch balls and place them on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies. Cool and serve. Makes 24-48 cookies, depending on cookie size.
Kenai River Brewing has bottled another beer, and it’s a great session-able brew. I’m glad it’s not another IPA. Don’t get me wrong, I love big, bold beers and session IPAs, but it’s nice to get a good beer that is highly drinkable that is a little bit different. With 45% wheat malt, the Honeymoon Hefe Ale is a true marriage between flavor and refreshment. This fine fermented beverage would be great out on the river and even late at night around the campfire. Not only is it delicious, the yellow can perfectly compliments the cool blue of the Kenai River, won’t get lost easily, and the cans are easy to pack out.
I included a pair of Rufous Hummingbirds in the painting to emphasize the honeymoon part of the name of this beer. This mated pair is completely in love with each other, and this beer. As long as we’re talking about honey and birds, I also had to include Fireweed, one of Alaska’s truly amazing flowers, and of course Alaska’s official State flower, the Forget-Me-Not. So grab a sixer of this tasty beer, and head out to the Kenai to really have a good time recreating! This beer is a perfect accompaniment to the Alaska outdoors.
Cheers to drinking the best beers in the Last Frontier!
The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
What happens when you send a reluctant chimp into space and then let him return to Earth? The answer is one happy monkey chillin’ at the beach sipping on session-able IPAs. 21st Amendment Brewery has been making a great session ale for years, but when I stepped into its San Francisco pub and saw that the Bitter American has returned to Earth, I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor the delicious taste on my tongue. I have a love for simians of all kinds: apes, monkeys, chimps. There is something primal about watching the animal that we are most closely related to. I feel that humans often reject the instincts that our tree-swinging cousins embody. The simple joys in life are what makes life worth living. Having a cold brew, or three on the beach is one of those things that I simply do not want to skip. A nice cool dip in the Pacific Ocean followed by a refreshing sip brings you Down to Earth in a way that this monkey finds simply refreshing! I hope you enjoy this painting and have a cold one for me in the heat of the sun!
This original oil painting, and limited-edition art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Hello sports fans! No sport is bigger in Alaska than Dog Mushing. In fact, it’s Alaska’s official state sport. And the Iditarod is the most famous dogsled race in the world. The Iditarod celebrates a historic relay in which 20 mushers and over 100 dogs rushed a much-needed batch of Diphtheria serum to Nome 92 years ago due to an outbreak. Aviation technology was not yet advanced enough, or widely used in Alaska at that time, so sled dogs were the most reliable and fastest delivery method. This year the route is starting in Fairbanks due to poor trail conditions in Rainy Pass. True to its name, it’s impassable on sleds due to lack of snow. According to the official Alaska State Balladeer, Hobo Jim, “It’s going to be an easy year.” He’s right, because starting in Fairbanks skips the most dangerous section of the trail, the Alaska Range. We have plenty of snow in Anchorage though, which will make the ceremonial start much better than the last two years when they dredged up some kind of blackened gray snow that was so dirty it looked like mashed up Oreo cookies.
I painted this husky pup holding the new Husky IPA from Alaskan Brewing Company in honor of this epic race. Hanging out in a snowbank, this dog is keeping his beer cold outside along the trail as his bigger brothers and sisters are hammering the Iditarod trail. Seriously though, beer lovers, keep your dogs away from your tasty adult beverages as you don’t want your dog sneaking your beer at every chance. It’s bad enough keeping a race husky well fed, don’t get them started drinking your craft beer too! Cheers to a safe trip down the old Iditarod trail for all 72 mushers! I hope you all finish and have a Husky IPA when you get to Nome!