Fried pie and virgin beer

I’ve been fantasizing about fried pie ever since we had an appointment for glasses last week. Across the street from the optometrist, like a beacon amidst the strip malls, I saw giant From Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies in Oklahoma Citybright red letters that announced “Fried Pie.” Since I saw the sign I’ve been consumed with the thought of annihlating the hell out of one of these pies, which I’m going to go ahead and assume is a Southern thing. Part of the reason fried pie is on my brain is that I’ve been simultaneously training for a half marathon and trying to eat right in order shed my body of the lingering jelly that has clung like to my hips since I birthed wee Laila. I’m trying to get this done by her 2nd birthday, which gives me about three

weeks. I need a deadline to do anything. My point is, I ran 10 miles today and I decided that was a definite occasion to rip into a fried pie. And I did. Oh yes, I so did. I sucked down a cherry one before pilfering half of Laila’s apple fried pie. What? She’s too little to eat all that pie. Mark got a pepporoni pizza fried pie. The red-letter sign belongs to Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies in northwest Oklahoma City.  This was a very good first choice for a first fried pie experience.  With melt-in-your-mouth crusts enveloping gooey sweet fruits and other comfort food innards, fried pies are, quite simply, the bomb.

In other news, tonight is bottling night. Our first batch of beer has been fermenting for 10 days. Mark snuck a sip and thought it tasted weak, which is of concern, since we don’t like weak beer. My job is to put the caps on with a red cap doo-hicky thingy. He has done a lot of work sanitizing and boiling up some sugar water siphoning but I’ll let him tell you about all of that. He’s also been on the phone with his Chicago friends, who’ve brewed so much they’ve moved on from bottling to kegging. Our virgin batch of capped beer has to sit for something like two to three weeks to carbonate. Here are some pie and beer photos from today:

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beerOK: because it’s hard to find beer in OK and other things

And so we find ourselves in Oklahoma City. Mark, Laila and I rolled up in a Uhaul one day and I started newspapering the next. We unloaded and arranged our posessions in a 1940s brick rental house down the street from a locksmith, YWCA and near historic Route 66.

Mark and I enjoy good beer. Ann Arbor, MI, our former home, was overflowing with great beer and lively breweries. Good beer was a connection to good people and good times. Short’s, Jolly Pumpkin, Bell’s, Ann Arbor Brew Co…. I could go on and on and on and on.

After we got here, it didn’t take long to discover just how jacked liquor laws in Oklahoma are. We are in quandry: not only are we in a place where nobody knows our name, we cant’t seem to find a decent brew. I haven’t studied the letter of the liquor law here just yet but here is the aftermath: Liquor stores are set up like creepy  booze museums.  I am not going to drag my baby into a booze museum when I’d like a cold one at the end of the week. Why would I drag wee Laila into a liquor store any way? Because we are sharing an ultra hip gray minivan willed to us by my grandfather, who had a thing for Hondas, and are therefore always together going to and fro here or there. Special trips places are hard because I live in a perpetual state of tired.  I digress but when I say booze museum, this is what I mean: beer sold at grocery stores is pretty much the crappy, low-alcohol content stuff. To get anything that’s not Miller or Budweiser-esque (not that I haven’t enjoyed the hell out of those at a tailgate I’m not a complete snob) you have to go to a liquor store. Grocery stores do not sell wine in Oklahoma. The liquor stores can’t sell bottle openers, or chips, or jerky, or anything else but booze. It’s just shelves and shelves of booze – wine, beer and liquor – on display. Any beer sold cold has have a low alcohol content. The selection for the better, albeit warm, beer on the shelves…isn’t great.

I know that there is an up an coming brewing culture in Oklahoma City. As evidence, the only brew shop in the 600+ square-mile city opened up in our neighborhood recently. Both of us want to learn more about the burgeoning beer culture here in Oklahoma. It would be fun to get in on the ground floor of a tasty beer renaissance.

In the mean time, my blathering on is leading to this point: not only do we need good beer, we need friends. So we started to brew. And by “we” I mean I got Mark most of the components for our anniversary. Then my dad added a deluxe stainless steel pot for Christmas. When we moved here, I went to the new brew shop and got bottles. One day in March Mark declared it was time to us to start brewing. I told him that was a great idea and then fell asleep. When I awoke it was my job to keep Laila away from the giant vat of boiling wort and hops or whatever beer is made of.

My role in this blog will not be to share the intricacies of the brewing process. He might write about those steps. Yeah I’ll learn and I’ll help and all of that, but I’m more of an assistant. I will spend my time hatching a plot to ensnare unuspecting people to be our friends. Because when you make 40 or 50 bottles of beer in one batch, you might as well share it.

The glasses we wear when we brew were found in our last Chicago apartment in a box. We gave most of them away at a party. The glasses are a reminder that we used to throw parties. Parties where someone might end up lifted into the air bare-assed on a kitchen table chair and paraded around through a tiny apartment. Don’t ask. These engagements ended when birds started chirping. Ah, youth.

I might write about things besides beer in the times our beer is fermenting. Because, really, I  just can’t shut up, a trait that leaves my mother in a perpetual state of 360-degree turns in her grave, I’m sure.

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