Fri12262014

News

Merry spirits: Traditional holiday drinks and memories that surround them

Merry spirits: Traditional holiday drinks and memories that surround them


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Town Crier columnist Christine Moore’s holiday drink menu includes her take on the Moscow Mule, the Bucking Reindeer.

Growing up, our dogs were always outside dogs. We lived in the country, which made...

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Schools

Santa Rita visits The Terraces

Santa Rita visits The Terraces


Susie Greenwald’s third-grade class at Santa Rita School has a special relationship with The Terraces at Los Altos, a senior retirement community. The class visits the center once a month to share quality time with the residents, above. The s...

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Community

Veterinarians offer advice for keeping pets safe over holidays

Veterinarians offer advice for keeping pets safe over holidays


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The holidays present a number of hazards for pets. Be sure to secure electrical cords to keep playful cats at bay.

During the holidays – when people tend to focus more on family and food – pets are often overlooked. But...

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Sports

Owls getting a lot out of a little

Owls getting a lot out of a little


In a typical season for the Foothill College women’s basketball team, coach Jody Craig wouldn’t be satisfied with a 7-4 start and No. 8 ranking in Northern California.

But this isn’t a typical season. Craig had just a few weeks ...

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Comment

Holiday cheer: No Shoes, Please

Admittedly, the holidays are not my favorite time of year. I don’t like sharing streets and parking lots with a zillion other people who need to get their shopping done. I don’t like being reminded by a holiday doomsday countdown clock h...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Pharmacy headed to 400 Main St.

Pharmacy headed to 400 Main St.


Ellie Van houtte/Town Crier
Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy is scheduled to open a new store in the Jeffrey A. Morris Group’s 400 Main St. project. The new location will open in late February.

A new tenant is slated to call the recently complet...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

MERLYN "DALE" STUBBS

Merlyn "Dale" Stubbs, a 51 year resident of Los Altos Hills, passed away on December 15, 2014.

Dale was born to Harry and Anna Stubbs in Americus, Kansas on February 10, 1926.

When Dale was 9 years old his father, a carpenter, suffered a fatal hear...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

'Starcatcher' runs until Jan. 3 in PA

'Starcatcher' runs until Jan. 3 in PA


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Adrienne Walters stars as Molly and Tim Homsley portrays Peter in the TheatreWorks production of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” playing through Jan. 3 at Palo Alto’s Lucie Stern Theatre.

TheatreWorks’ producti...

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Spiritual Life

The good news: Christmas means the long wait is over

Ah, Christmas! The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, the presents are set to be given and received, and preparations are underway to be with family.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Give thanks for California's craft brews


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
A high-alcohol, spicy beer complements a Thanksgiving feast.

The approach of the Thanksgiving holiday seems like the perfect opportunity to highlight the versatility of beer as a beverage pairing for all kinds of food. From roasted turkey to pumpkin pie, there is a beer appropriate for every course of your Thanksgiving feast.

If you enjoy the acidity and carbonation that sparkling wine provides to cut through the richness of holiday meals, look no further than The Lost Abbey Saison Blanc. The beer is highly carbonated and crisp with a very dry finish. Saison yeast often produces a peppery spice aroma, which in this case is accentuated by the addition of white pepper during the brewing process. The Lost Abbey also added golden raisins to the Saison Blanc, which are difficult to perceive directly in the flavor or aroma but certainly contribute to the overall complexity of the brew. If you like champagne with your Thanksgiving dinner, try this instead.

At the holidays, many breweries break out the cloves and cinnamon to brew spiced seasonal holiday ales. Not AleSmith Brewing – it celebrates the winter holidays with YuleSmith (Winter) Ale, an impressively hoppy imperial red ale. While I tend not to pair hoppy beers with food (other than hamburgers or pizza), the piney hops of YuleSmith are supported by a subtle caramel sweetness. I would hesitate to call this beer “balanced,” as the hops are clearly the star of the show, but there is enough complexity to pair well with a fall feast. The malt backbone complements the richness of roasted meats, gravy and other Thanksgiving fare, while the resinous hops provide a pleasant contrast and clear the palate for more decadence.

North Coast Brewing Co.’s Brother Thelonious Belgian-style Abbey Ale manages to be simultaneously dry and sweet, largely due to the relatively high levels of attenuation and the fruity esters produced by the Belgian yeast. The yeast interacts with Belgian candi sugar and caramel malts to produce aromas and flavors reminiscent of sweet cherries, dried plums and caramelized figs. Relatively light in body for such a high-alcohol beer (9.4 percent alcohol by volume), Brother Thelonious has a bracing alcohol bite, particularly in the finish. The rich flavor profile pairs equally well with desserts like pumpkin pie and with savory fare like turkey legs or sausage stuffing.

One seasonal brew that seems custom-made for Thanksgiving dinner is The Bruery’s Autumn Maple. The nose is dominated by pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, with hints of ripe pear esters from the Belgian yeast. The eponymous maple flavor is not pronounced, but the flavor is moderately sweet, likely from unfermentable sugars in the yams that The Bruery includes in the mash. The spices create an unmistakably autumnal flavor profile. With a little more acidity or bitterness, the beer would pair even better with savory foods. Where this brew really shines is with spiced desserts like pumpkin roll or apple pie. There is noticeable alcohol heat from the 10 percent alcohol by volume – this brew may be even better after a year in the cellar.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Cheers!

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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