Ode To The Fall Fresh Market

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Lordy, I love The Fresh Market! It’s a place where normal people like yours truly can feel a tad sophisticated buying six cucumber sodas and a bag of cinnamon bears. Its warm and cozy with classical music playing overhead, lulling people into paying twenty percent higher for everyday items. Some say it is a snobby market and others brush it off as a specialty food shop, but I say it is a necessary Saturday morning stop to energize the soul and dent my wallet, especially now that we are a foot into the Halloween season.

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This is the place where you plan the best autumn dinner of your life. Every vegetable imaginable is available and if yours is like mine, they come from local farms. That is a huge thing for me. I can’t put my finger on it, whether it is the track lighting or the fact most produce and items are in barrels but you kind of skip around aimlessly in this market. It is a scientific fact most amazing things come in a barrel. And for that, I am sure almost no one sticks to their lists. At least I don’t. I went in one time for three steaks and left with clams.

Hmm, maybe it is a gas leak that is the cause of such aimless shopping?

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The free coffee station is one of the best parts of The Fresh Market. Every season they have a select coffee to try with a full station to garnish your tiny cup. I was excited to see what Fall coffee they were pushing for this year but it never fails that some old bitty would be crowding the coffee sample table, adding cream and sugar with the speed and purpose of an aquarium-ed manatee. I hate her!

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Back to the wacky produce! Tell me, where can you get dwarf squash these days? Think real hard. I don’t know where but at The Fresh Market, this time of the year, you can. It is the main ingredient for my “Little Squash Big People Soup”. If you want the recipe just email me. It is just right for rainy and cold October days paired with the right beer. And yes, I do feel a little bad for that insensitive parody of the midget show. I meant little people show.

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SON OF A BITCH SHIT! I turn around for two seconds and the old guy jumps in and proceeds to go all Cialis on the decaf. Dude is quick in them Foot Joys!

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Here we come to what The Fresh Market does so well and that is the Halloween display. Every year is a bit different but damn if it isn’t always impressive! They always have a crazy candy display throughout the year but they really turn the knob to high in September. I love the fact an entire three-foot wicker basket is filled with one pound bags of gummy ghosts. If that were to fall off the roof and kill someone, their obituary would be clipped and permanently added to my fridge. It’s a place of honor.

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I know this picture is a tad bit blurry but I had been looked at with some suspicion while I roamed around taking pictures of small squashes and old people. This one was taken with great haste.

I love the decor. It is such a throwback to when I was a little kid. Ghosts and pumpkin-headed scarecrows are hung from the rafters with orange and black streamers dangling, carelessly blowing with the central air. It is simple yet perfectly nails why I love this holiday so much. There is no hint of modern pop or Disney shows. Just the same decorations we loved for years and years.

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Holy shit nuts and gum! I can’t catch a break this trip!

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I know this isn’t very Halloweenie but I can’t go to sleep without yelling from the hills about how amazing their organic nut selection is. Every kind of nut, berry, mix and seed is available for you to buy AND sample. I can’t tell you how many bags of trail mix I have, which are most likely stale, in my cupboard. There is no helping help myself and it is not beyond reason that I buy over one hundred dollars in almonds a month. Don’t get me started on cashews.

Also, I am not entirely sure about the sample part. If someone stops me I’ll just do my best impression of the homeless demon eating crickets in Hellraiser.

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We have success! Even though I like to browse the aisles for the best Thai peanut sauce and vegan friendly pasta while drinking  a free shot-cup of seasonal coffee, beggars can not be choosers. It is an added pleasure to an already fun fall grocery shopping experience.

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Of course it is pumpkin spice! How could it not be?

I am telling you folks, go to The Fresh Market if you want to immerse yourself with autumn goodness. The smells, specials, free samples and specialty food items are enough to make you go home and get drunk on spiked cider while hanging skeletons from trees. It is that great of an experience for this time of the year. Sure you will spend five dollars on a box of Triscuits but that’s why you save that for lame-o Kroger. You buy cornish hens and seven-year old sharp cheddar from The Fresh Market, ya silly!

 

 

Fall Beer Review 2013: Part 1

Holy heck, I have been doing the Fall beer reviews since August of 2007! It all started at a Kroger grocery store in Augusta, Georgia when I stumbled on a JW Dundee craft pack that inspired a nostalgic trip that I shared on a very young VeggieMacabre. It also led to Pepp-o-lanetern. From then on I have made the annual tradition of Fall beer reviewing for my pleasure and the few who care about the a.b.v. percentage in a beverage with dead leaves on the bottle.

This year will be a real banner year for the site because the Halloween countdown is around the corner and I have no less than six fall craft packs to yap about. There are more but I have committed to six.  Since the Halloween countdown will overlap the Fall Beer Review, expect to see some spooky shenanigans. 

Starting out on the right foot, Magic Hat Brewing Company out of S. Burlington, Vermont, has hit another home run and managed to mix autumn brand beers with straight-up Halloween glory in their “Night of the Living Dead” variety pack featuring two new beers; the Seance and Deveiled. I won’t spoil the video review but please check out their site too. It’s to disembowel for. 

Soon…

The New Fall Beer Review Update

I was thinking the other day that it seems there are a lot more seasonal beers than I remember from years past. Not being the know-it-all about brews like some others, I went to a local friend who is a professional brewer and he confirmed that there actually are more Fall beers and this trend has doubled over the past three years. When I first started the Fall beer review five years ago, I had no idea that there were a specific season for these types of beers. All I wanted to do was drink beer, wax nostalgic verbiage and carve a pepper. Since then I have had tons of emails, beer reps asking to review other beers, some pretty awesome t-shirts and stickers given to me and gained a lot of knowledge about my favorite beverage. All in all, this has been a fun topic to cover over the years. Now that I have reviewed my first seasonal pack, Blue Moon, I have seven more beers to cover.  Time to stop operate heavy machinery and check to make sure I am not pregnant because there is going to be some drinkin’ happening up in here.

Outside the local Co-Op this foreboding character is perched with a sign stating “Tard a Skarin'” and I couldn’t be happier to see it. I love homemade scarecrows and small town Halloween decor. I don’t know why but I think it is the sincerity that wins me over. Anyway, this was just half of what put a smile on my face. Behold the amazing!

Son of a bitch look at all this Fall beer! I know that there is no way to accurately review all these so it is a bit of a Sophie’s choice to determine which ones to buy. I think I will go with the ol’ standard and choose by appearance. Let’s take a look at the winners of this years review.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the lineup of this year’s review. I am sure these are familiar to some of you but I tried to also include a couple local breweries from North Carolina. This will be fun and I think I will do one or two a night just to keep it accurate. Last time I did a full review with more than three beers my self-check system told me I was no longer a fair judge. It’s a pretty safe system too.

If you are not familiar with this game, it is on every table at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. If you are unfamiliar with Cracker Barrel, I will save that for another blog because it needs to be discussed. Anyway, the point of  the game is to leap frog the pegs taking the “leaped” one out and at the end you should be left with one. If you have more than two left, the game says you are an egnoramoose. I have already tested each one of the beers set for review and my new test system told me I may not be a fair judge anymore.

Aw hell.

Expect the first two beers by the stroke of midnight.

Back to VeggieMacabre.tv!

 

OH!…

…SHIT!!!!

So you know that race I ran a few weeks ago where I was trying to run 100 miles? Yeah…they miscalculated the exchange and we ran 83.4 miles instead. That means I damaged my body for little more than a “guess what I did” story that if I did tell people, they would certainly believe I am an idiot for such an endeavour. No 100 miles to log for future registered races or medals to hang in the office. Nope, just a beaten body and sparse memory of the journey itself. But…

I’M OKAY!!!

There will be other races and other chances. Thanks for all the well-wishes. Love you all!

The next beer vlog will be up in a couple of days. Get prepped for some awesome possums!

Autumn Is Creeping

I can not believe that Fall is coming so soon. Next Tuesday is September the first and the death rattle of summer has already begun here in the Northwest. Before I know it all the trees will be bare and my flops will be flipped for boots. But we ain’t there yet. I am going to make a promise this year. I am going to enjoy this Autumn and embrace the coming holidays, unlike my last couple of years. This time I am really going to do it right because I love this season. You know it’s magic when it’s magical and that my friends, is a statement to live by.

The List

  1. Annual Fall beer review (haven’t decided which one yet. Suggestions?)
  2. Probably a puppetry art blog with more candy
  3. Going to bake something. (send recipies)
  4. Octoberfest review in Levenworth, WA
  5. The half Marathon in Levenworth (See Macabre Fitness for that one)
  6. Tribute to Halloween 3
  7. VHS Horror Night (brought to you by the local VHS rental store)
  8. Annual carving of something
  9. Jones Soda review
  10. Memories of Holiday-past blog (for sure)
I always cheat my way out. Corn should have had thorns.

I always cheat my way out. Corn should have had thorns.

 I will be adding to this list but I think I can at least come through on these. I have a new and much larger place with a neat little office to work from so my creativity has no excuse to go tits-up like I have been doing these past months. I find writing has been all about atmosphere as of late and now that I can look at my Tom Atkin’s picture for creative inspiration, I know that good things are to come.

I have finally finished my “Where did You Go?” post but before I post I want to check some conflicting facts. A while ago I recieved an email from a star (?) with a correction. I am not sure if it is legit but regardless, I want to be truthful and not hurt anyones feelings.

 

The 2008 Fall Beer Review

Well, I guess it is that time of the year again. The weather has changed from warm and humid to cool and crisp. The sweaters are pulled from the Tupperware containers under the bed and the leaves on the trees begin to show off bright reds and oranges as a sign of their yearly demise. Kids are back at school, college football has begun and the Fall prime time shows are in full swing giving the perfect excuse to dip out of a lame date.  But most importantly, the Autumn beers are out so lets go drink some beer!!!

This is the 2nd Annual Beer Review for Veggiemacabre and I think I will continue it from now on. I have fun doing it and oddly enough it is one of the bigger Google hits on the stat counter. Tonight I am going to start with two beers that I am familiar with. Unlike last year I think I will review a few more but for my liver’s sake and your ability to understand what I am writing sake, I will start with two. So let’s begin.

So here are the first two beers of the season. On the left we have the ol’ standby Harvest Moon from the infamous Blue Moon Co. and on the right we have Broken Rake from the Pyramid Brewing Co. When I saw these at the Wal-Mart in Spokane (*shudders*) they were sitting on a pallet far removed from the open cooler. I am pretty sure these two six packs were meant for display but no matter. They went in the basket and and I tore out of there like I was stealing diapers and baby formula. I think I’ll begin with Harvest Moon. And yes, I am writing in real time.

I love Blue Moon and really, as far as “heavy” beers go, this is as heavy as I drink at a restaurant. It is a great summer time beer and the fact that an orange slice compliments it so well you just have to love it. Nothing in the world will make me more disappointed than a bartender who neglects the orange. It’s as big of a faux pas as forgetting the lime in a Dos X. We are lucky to live in such a forgiving country because a forgetful mistake anywhere else could result in cane lashings or an amputated pinky.

The Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale selection is very different than the summery Blue Moon in many ways. The body is much heavier and the taste is more along the line of an IPA. For those not familiar with an IPA it has a little bit of a bitter bite to it. (say that three times fast) Just a swig and my palate transports me to corn mazes and pumpkin patches. I think it might be the cinnamon which is really noticeable. Unlike the Blue Moon, there isn’t a fruit in mind that will compliment this so you can be free of the snide comments in public about drinking a ‘fruity’ beer. I give this a ‘B minus’ only because I have ruined my beer taste on Michelob Ultra and I have no right to even write a beer review. I speak the truth.

Damn I have some E.T. looking fingers in that picture. “Ooooooouuuuch.”

Anyway, this was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much since I am unfamiliar to Northwestern beer companies but man, this was awesome. Broken Rake’s Amber Ale far exceeded my expectations and in comparison to the Harvest Moon, it kicked them in the balls. The amber was same in color and body to the Moon but the taste was sweeter and oddly enough lighter in body. A plus! This calls for a celebration in happy beer surprise. (insert Chinese accent there) Let’s carve something!

I tell you what, if you are in a Wal-Mart and you are buying two six packs of beer, a pound of pretzels and a whole pineapple, you are going to get looks. Whatever, I had a mission to accomplish. Originally I was going to carve a potato thanks to the suggestion of Mystie but seeing how I would be drinking and playing with knives, I needed to keep the target a little larger. So this is what I will be hacking up.

I don’t know why a pumpkin has always been the autumn tradition for carving? I have to be honest, pineapples are much easier to carve, you can eat the insides right away and above all else, it doesn’t smell like an old folks home. Yes, I have been to an old folks home that smelled like an inside of a pumpkin. Anyway, I think this will ward off evil spirits just as well and it provides a healthy amount of vitamin C while you are carving.

Awesome! Ruthless Toothless Paul the Pineapple in all his glory. Perhaps I should find this sad that it is a weekend and I am drinking alone while carving fruit. Nah, what else would I be doing? I think I have given these two beers a fair shake and I have to say that I recommend them to anyone who wants to put some buzz into the season. I guess I should put a disclaimer that states not to drink and drive or operate knives and stabbing weapons like I just did. So there you go. Next week I will be reviewing two more and these are my favorites so stay tuned. But for now I will go throw pineapple out in the woods for the wild turkeys or Bigfoot and sit in front of the fire as I finish off the rest of the Broken Rakes.

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