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DIY Porch Pumpkins!

This year I’ve seen a whole lotta pumpkin decorating that goes beyond your usual template or freehand carving.  I decided I needed a piece of the action.  I usually have to have a real pumpkin, but I figured if I was going to make a masterpiece- that I would want it to last instead going through a slow death on the stage that is our front porch.

I went over to Michael’s and got a few plastic pumpkins and these wood paint pens.  They had lots of fluid paint that made them easy to work with.

This took maybe a half hour.  I went a little crazy on the “Lear” pumpkin, but I guess I can always try again on the back.

Have you been getting crafty lately- any ideas to share?

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Second Annual Pumpkin Beer Tasting!

Last year was so much fun that we had to round up the team again and grab a new flight of beers to try.

This year’s six contestants were:

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Chatoe Rogue Harvest Pumpkin Patch Ale, Southern Tier Imperial Pumking, Waschusett Imperial Pumpkin, and Unita Punk’n.

When we did this last year, we did a blind taste test.  This year I decided to scrap that because I want to know what beer I’m drinking.

Here are the judges’ notes:

Southern Tier Imperial Pumking-

Steve- 3- Taste lots of pumpkin

Alex- 3- Liquid pumpkin taste

Lauren- 2- Odd aftertaste

Unita Punk’n-

S- 2- Not as much alcohol. Organic. Wind, and solar powered

A- 2.5- A strange taste, but good to environment

L- 3- Strong body

Chatoe Rogue Harvest Pumpkin Patch Ale-

S- 4- Yummy

A- 3.5- Tripped my trigger a little bit

L- 4- Sweet flavor

Waschusett Imperial Pumpkin-

S -5- Nice aftertaste

A-4- Aftertaste is nice

L-4.5- Sweet and pumpkin-y!

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale-

  S- 4- No comment

A- Tastes like a dog and fish who just ate a pumpkin

L- 5- Strong flavor overall, spicy

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin-

S- 5- Winner!

A- 4.5 – Busted my biscuit!

L- 5- Awesome- great spice!

It was also Steve’s birthday recently so we couldn’t let him leave without a little surprise pumpkin cake!

Walter didn’t want to miss out on the action either, but sadly he’s under aged for this event.

Happy pumpkin season!

Pumpkin Beer Taste Test

Fall is here and that means its time for Pumpkin beer from a variety of vendors.  Every year I look forward to one very special Pumpkin beer which can be hard to find in my area.  Due to the elusiveness of this beer, I’ve had to venture out and try other brands.  Some have come very close, but only one can reign Pumpkin King for me.  This beer is DogFish Punkin Ale, which I first discovered at one of my favorite restaurants, Local 188, http://www.local188.com. After trying so many pumpkin beers and seeing many more arise I decided to have a blind taste test with my husband, Alex, and his cousin, Steve.  Let’s see how my favorite beer held up.

The contestants:

Woodchuck Cider, Long Trail, Shipyard, Sam Adams, DogFish, Gritty’s Halloween Ale, Post Road, and UFO.

The judges:

Steve, Lauren, and Alex (???)

(Steve, Alex, and I are going to Octoberfest in Augusta next weekend and will be dressing the part, hence the costume.  Stay tuned next week!)

I poured each beer into groups of three cups labeled with numbers to identify the group and made a key to refer to later.  I asked the guys to rate each beer 1-8 and also give a few words to describe them.

After much fun tasting and deliberating, we came to an interesting conclusion.

The top 3 beers:

Sam Adams reigned supreme in our test, followed by Woodchuck Cider, and Halloween Ale.  I found this interesting because my normal favorite was not in the top 3, the winner was a new launch this year, a cider made second place, and Halloween Ale was third and is technically not a “pumpkin beer”.

Here are a few critiques from the judges:
Sam Adams

Steve: pumpkins, apple pie, yummy

Lauren: waxy, spicy smell, rich, weird start

Alex: apple pie-y, Smokey Robinson, Alan Thicke

Woodchuck

Steve: candy, apple cider

Lauren: cough syrup

Alex: weird aftertaste, apple juice, bubbly

Halloween Ale

Steve: tastes good

Lauren: rich, good flavor, dark

Alex: smokey, ice creamy

There you have it.  We may not be the most professional critics, but we had fun doing it!

What do you think of Pumpkin flavored beers?  Do you have a favorite?

Cheers!

Lauren

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