CA brewers bring fruit and flowers to classic IPAs


Classic West Coast India pale ales feature significant bitterness, as well as hop aromas and flavors of citrus and pine, often supported by a simple malt bill – the grain ingredients that contribute just a touch of malt sweetness to balance the bitterness.

Newer hop varietals contribute other flavor and aroma components, such as tropical fruits, floral character or even blueberry, pear or stonefruit.

Purim revels: Tyrant's cookies find new purpose with LAH tradition

Courtesy of Deborah Radin 
Tri-cornered hamantaschen mark Queen Esther’s triumph over a dictator. Bakers at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills makes the sweet treats for family and friends each year.

Tri-cornered cookies are on the menu this week for local families celebrating Purim, the Jewish holiday marked by carnival costumes, noise-makers and one very distinctive sweet.

The hamantaschen – named, according to legend, for the villain Haman’s hat – stands out as Purim’s one iconic dish.

Meet the Brewers shines light on new local beers

Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Elkhorn Slough Brewing owners Michael Enos and Julie Rienhardt pour their beers at the Meet the Brewers festival.

One of my favorite annual beer events is the Meet the Brewers festival at Hermitage Brewing Co. in San Jose.

With the brewers from each participating brewery present, the festival provides a unique opportunity to learn about some of the newest and most innovative breweries in the region. Held last month, the eighth annual festival featured a couple dozen craft beer and cider makers from around the Bay Area, including several relatively new breweries.

United we dine: Familiar ingredients bridge geographic and cultural divides at community meals

Christine Moore/Special To The Town Crier
A rosemary-lemon salt rub adds a West Coast taste to Christine Moore’s family version of the universal comfort food, roast chicken.

In my family, food is central to just about every celebration. It’s a big part of comforting and consoling one another, too.

But I know that we’re not unique in our food traditions. Down the street, around the corner and throughout the world, families make merry, mourn and meet around the table.

Treat your valentine to a night in Lebanon

Blanche Shaheen/Special to the Town Crier
Layali Lubnan laces soft semolina custard with rose water and tops it off with whipped cream and pistachios.

My love affair with Layali Lubnan (Arabic for “Lebanese Nights”) began when I was 10 years old.

My mother brought me along with her to a bridal shower, and the endless conversations and gift opening of fine china bored me to tears.

'Galentine's Day' celebrates romance of truly great pals

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Champagne Moutard Rosé de Cuvaison Brut screams “Valentine’s Day,” with pink bubbles fit for an evening with chocolate and loved ones.

I didn’t plan to have the incredible female friendships I have. As with many of life’s most wonderful things, my friends are an unplanned blessing. Now that I have these relationships, however, I plan a lot – to rely on my friends’ advice and trust their support, to attend weddings and baby showers of future adult children and, in our 80s, to make one another feel young and giddy.

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