Eating Anything Can Make You Sick!
Marty Martindale

It was a glorious Sunday morning in San Diego, and we were off for a delightful 10-day handw2cruise to the Baja, Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez, Mexico’s glorious Copper Canyon National Park and wind it up at Cabo San Lucas. An unsettling reality, however, was the statement we needed to sign before boarding, swearing we suffered from no graphically-described physical symptoms. It’s troubling to plunk down big money on a vacation, pack very well, prepare to let go of everything – then wham! We’re told there’s a pretty good chance we will become sick.

Vacations and cruises are supposed to be times of near-perfection, no cares, no worries only pure, pure pleasure. Not necessarily so! The Norwalk virus (Norovirus) is all around us and nearly 23-million Americans suffer from its symptoms each year. “It’s probably the leading cause of diarrhea in the U.S., so when people are assessing their risks of going on a cruise, … they should know that going to that restaurant down the road is just as risky,” stated Marc-Alain Widdowson, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “These are extremely common outbreaks,” he warned.

Any group of people planning to spend time together in a contained region is defined “a community.” Your neighborhood is a community, so is the group of cruise passengers you’re going to be with for several days. According to CDC, cruise ships have the highest sanitation standards in the world and are one of the few industries (communities) required to report on their sanitation which receives frequent, critical inspections. Continue reading

Beer Jelly – Beer Jam, Basic or Your Way
Marty Martindale

Beer jelly is fun, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it jiggles, it contrasts, it complements, it surprises, it glazes, it dresses and it borrows craft genius from some amazing brewers. No buzz, tho.

Also called beer jam, beer is usually one of only four ingredients: beer, sugar, pectin and lemon. The buzz may be gone, but the delicacy intended by its brewers comes through nicely – a purist’s joy of joys.

Food Republic in an article titled “Spreadable Beer Jelly Could Be The Next Big Thing,” Tiffany Do states,”Potlicker Kitchen makes a slew of different varieties of the stuff, including Black India Pale Ale, Hefeweizen with Orange, Oatmeal Stout and something called the Heady Jelly made with Alchemist Brewery’s Heady Topper. Each jar is made with a different beer and includes a suggested food pairing. We’re already thinking about trying out the Apricot Ale with some bacon sticky buns.”

For those who care to elaborate on “perfection,” they contrive savory concoctions by adding tomato, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, shallots, Parmesan cheese grated, rosemary, olive oil or something you choose. For sweet experimentation some add vanilla bean, lemon, star anise, sugar, allspice, cloves, orange zest, or again, you think create! Continue reading