Edible Errors

January 24th, 2011 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Not every food and  beverage purchase is a winner. I overstock or pick losers too.

Yet tossing stuff is not in my nature. Actually I was raised try to fix mistakes. More to the point, despite the USDA estimate that we throw away 27% of our food, I sure as heck don’t.

So, I was amused and challenged when I ended up with nearly a case of what I consider bad beer. It was not skunked, just not what I wanted to close my lips around the neck of, even on a hot afternoon.

We had a neighborhood and friends party last year in the sunny months. The uxorial unit insisted that I include some light/lite beer, as that is barely explicably popular.

Yeah, yeah, some think having a few beers with slightly fewer calories is smart, both wise and chic. It makes much more sense to me to drink a tad slower and have fewer, better brews.

Yes, I am a beer snob. Craft brews, particularly bitter ales, have totally destroyed my tolerance for gassy, low-flavor lagers. I started drinking when it was legal at 18 virtually everywhere and the choices were few and dreadfully similar. High end beer meant Michelob.

Now I prefer India Pale Ale, pretty much the higher the IBUs, the better. I am delighted when a bar has Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA on tap — it may be the perfect balance of bitterness and complex flavors. That’s not the specs of a light/lite beer.

So, I did check with the liquor store before grabbing a couple of sixes of it for the party. We had about 60 coming and with the wine, strawberry daiquiris and real beer, I figured one or two sixes would be safe. The stocker at the store said Bud Light Lime was the most advertised and by far the best seller. Not only that, but it was on sale, pretty much a case of 24 for the price of 12.

At party end, I had 19 bottles left. Sigh.

My wife would drink one every so often, perhaps once a month. Oh, woe, what to do?

As it turns out, the stuff is highly useful. Perhaps a Martha or Heloise might have cleaning uses for it, but it serves well in the kitchen.

I discovered this when I was making a chicken curry. I normally include chicken stock, but I had used the last of my frozen stuff. I guess in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup moment, I thought the equivalent of you got lime in my curry sauce. I generally add a splash of citrus in my curries and let the beer do that.

Sure enough, it was the liquid and the lime flavor.

Now I tend to keep an opened, corked bottle on the counter with my vinegar, oils and sauces. When I need a bit of liquid and non-hot zing in a dish I’m cooking, I  may well reach for a BLL.

I did try a few sips from a cold one to verify. Yes, its popularity aside, BLL will never be a brew for me…at least to drink.

On the other hand, it serves a lot of other cooking purposes. It’s a reminder to rethink bad food and drink purchases.

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2 Responses

  1. We use cheap or bad beer for chili or beer battered halibut. A splash of lime flavor might be really good in that. I’ve also successfully braised pork chops in ghastly apricot beer.

    You are so right – life is too short to drink bad beer.

  2. Uncle says:

    The other option is beer bread, but I shy away using Bus Light Lime in a bread. And in the summer, there’s the old standby of putting a couple of plates of beer in the garden to attract the slugs and assure them of a happy ending.

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