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Archive for the month “October, 2016”

Panclog: Thirsty Thursday – Catchers

Thank you for coming in and checking on the Panclog.  I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Thirsty Thursday as much as we enjoyed making it.  We somehow both chose comedians for the first edition. This brought us to picking a topic. Because baseball is the national pastime and the World Series started this week, we wanted to discuss baseball players we would like to have a beer with. More importantly we narrowed the field (pun intended) down to which catcher we would like to have a beer with.

Jared- WIWHABW – World Series MVP Salvador Perez
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When you grow up with John Buck as the starting catcher for your favorite team, you begin to discount the whole position of catcher.  Then a magical day in August 2011, your whole world changes. Salvador Perez comes in and throws 2 base runners out.  I had seen nothing like it.  He hasn’t slowed down since.  (Funny side note: Wade Davis started that day for the Rays and Joakim Soria blew the save for the Royals. Pretty cool. I know.)

Salvador Perez made the game fun again.  He always has such a positive energy about him.  That smile he always has is more contagious than the common cold.  Salvy is the embodiment of the joy that baseball was and should be again.

Baseball is the perfect analogy of life. You must not sprint through life but live and enjoy every single day. If you sprint through life you will miss out on all of the great things the monotony of life can bring. I.E. Binge watching shows to waste time. Laughing with a buddy over bodily functions.  Eating too many cupcakes just because they are there. etc.  And life is better when you have baseball to talk about, or even better, go to a game with a great friend.

The beer I would like to share with Salvador Perez, well…. erm….beer(s), I have two. The first would  have to be the beer that Kansas City’s hometown brewery, Boulevard Brewing Company, made to celebrate the Royals getting to and then winning the World Series in 2015. This beer would be Crown Town Ale.
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When your  city is full to the brim with sports losses for your whole adolescence, the moment a team is great, everyone celebrates it.  Boulevard created a beer that would rejuvenate the hope in sports that a lot of KC had lost. Some (my lovely wife) would argue that Boulevard became a replacement, or at the very least, a placeholder of pride for Kansas Citians.  If we can’t have sports, by God, at least we have one of the most touted craft breweries in the country. So it seems fitting that, in a sense, Boulevard has passed the bottle back to the Royals as our city’s source of pride.

Enjoying this subtle golden ale with Salvador Perez would be the dream of any Kansas Citian. In fact, this would be a perfect charity raffle thing. Boulevard get up on this.

My second beer is going to be Brickway Brewery and Distillery’s Hefeweizen.
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This beer is brewed in Omaha, NE where the Royals have their Triple A team the Omaha Storm Chasers. This hefeweizen is a 5.0% ABV beer with a creamy mouth feel and some lovely banana and clove notes. Although Salvy only played 24 games in Omaha, I think it would be fun to drink a Hefeweizen and reminisce on the history of the game, and its future.

Brent – WIWHABW – Johnny Bench

OH JOHNNY, OH JOHNNY, PLEASE HIT THAT BALL. OH JOHNNY, OH JOHNNY, OVER THE WALL.

My grandmother would tell me how she would sing this song whenever Johnny Bench stepped up to the plate at the height of the Big Red Machine. I believe that he was her favorite ball player, and he is certainly one of mine. He is the first professional athlete whose name I would know.

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At the time, Johnny Bench was probably the most well-known member of the Big Red Machine, a nickname given to the 1970-1976 Cincinnati Reds. Bench, of course, has had his fame eclipsed by Pete Rose and his lifetime ban from baseball. Bench may even be less well-known than Joe Morgan, another all-time great, given that Joe has regularly worked in the broadcast booth since his days with the Machine. Nonetheless, in my mind, Bench was the best player to have ever put on a Reds uniform. I also think he is arguably the best catcher to have played the game.
Over his career he batted .267, had 2,048 hits, 389 home runs, and 1,376 RBI. He also played in 14 All-Star games, won 2 world series, 2 NL MVPs, 10 gold gloves, and many more achievements. The man was an amazing ball player. In 1984 his number, 5, was retired by the Cincinnati Reds. To cap off his career he was inducted into the baseball hall of fame on the first ballot in 1989 with 96.42% of the vote. Which in baseball terms is 100%.
His statue at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati is one of the coolest as it depicts him throwing out base runner, a skill he had mastered.
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Johnny Bench meant a great deal to the game, changing how it was played. To quote Joe Posnanski from his book, “The Machine”:

And Johnny Bench wasn’t a normal catcher; he revolutionized the position. He snagged pitches one-handed. He pounced on bunts with the quickness of a snake striking. His arm was a marvel – he threw out so many base runners that by 1972 players had more or less stopped trying to steal against him. Time magazine put him on the cover that year, with the understated headline: “Baseball’s Best Catcher.”
I would like to pair up Johnny Bench with the first beer that I actually enjoyed. Many, many years ago I was told by a coworker to avoid acquiring a taste for beer; advice I followed for quite some time. Nonetheless, the first time I encountered this beer a few years ago, I was surprised to discover how much I liked it.

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Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat is one of my favorites. The first time I had it the beer was served with a lemon in it. Perhaps this is what pushed me over the edge on acquiring a taste for the beverage. Nonetheless, I have been an avid fan of the brew for a while now. The beer is kind of cloudy and lacks the bitterness that a lot of other beers have. According to Boulevard’s website the alcohol content (ABV) is 4.4% and the beer has a light fruity aroma, with a sweet bread-y flavor. Not sure what makes it light and fruity, but I will take their word for it.

Speaking of pairing things up. I would love to get a Johnny Bench Reds jersey and a Frank White Royals jersey, split them down the middle and sew the halves together. The purpose being to not only show my love for both the Royals and the Reds at the same time, but to have the name on the back say Whench and/or Bite.

 

Who would you like to have a beer with? What beer would you drink with them?

Let us know at our Twitters: Panclog, Jared, and Brent.

CHEERS!

Panclog: Thirsty Thursday

Whom I would have a beer with

Jared and I often times share a drink together. On one of these occasions it came up that we would like to share a beer with some individual. I cannot remember who anymore, but it did germinate the thought, “wouldn’t it be nice to add a section to the Panclog where we would talk about someone that we would like to share a beer with.” Over lunch on a later date, where we ate breakfast, we fleshed out the idea a bit further. Once, every other week, we will both pick someone that we would like to have a drink with, selecting a beer that would go well with that occasion.

For the inaugural article we opted to pick a famous person. At later dates, we will pick athletes, presidents, teachers, friends, spouses, historical figures, or whomever. We may even pick each other someday (would that be a quiet act of desperation).

I am currently sitting in Detroit, MI, staring across the river at Windsor Canada and this thought came to mind, what great Canadian comedic actor would I be excited to meet and talk to. I quickly came to the conclusion that Martin Short would be that person.

2015 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute Honoring Steve Martin - Show

I’m sure most of you know of Martin Short and his work with SCTV, Saturday Night Live, Inner Space, and many other famous roles. He has a tremendous gift for character development and has wide array of characters that can be produced at a moment’s notice. I suspect his most well-known character is Ed Grimley. However, my favorite is probably Jiminy Glick. His consistent ability to get other performers to break character in spite of themselves while remaining in character as Glick is truly remarkable.

When I say that he is gifted I mean that from the perspective of how hard he has worked to develop that talent. After reading Short’s book, “I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend,” you can only reach one conclusion about his talent. That while he was born with a God given talent, it is carefully honed and developed into something terrific. It is this that I would like to talk to him about over a beer. I would like to know his take on how to develop skill into craft. Not that I am a comedian, or have a desire to be, but one can look at the work of one individual and develop principles for turning your own work into a craft. I believe that Mr. Short must have tremendous insight into this.

The beer I would like to share with Mr. Short is the Atwater Purple Gang Pilsner.
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It is a beer that is brewed in Detroit, MI and that I thought was quite tasty. The menu listed the following characteristics about it: 5.5% ABV, bright, floral, crisp, and light bodied. I agree with these sentiments, at least as far as I was able to notice them. If I were to suggest tastes like this, I say that it has the sharpness of 7-Up with a lingering cracker like aftertaste. I thought it was very good.

(Jared)

I have always enjoyed sharing a nice drink with an interesting person.  I can not think of a better way to open up communication than over a nice cold beer.  I can not tell you how many meaningful conversations happen every day with the help and guidance of a groovy brew.  I would have to guess that the number is well into the teens!

It was quite a journey to find who I would like to share my inaugural beer with. I first thought about people who are great at conversation.  Maron seems cool.  Yeah Marc Maron is good at talking and he seems cool.  oh? Yeah, you are right. He does not drink.  Never mind I have another person.  Buzz Lightyear himself, Tim Allen! That would be cool.  Tim is what all boy’s think what men should be like.  A tool-man.

After a the littlest bit of research, I discovered that Tim Allen is sober as well.  I also learned that people who are sober are called teetotaler.  That is interesting or very weird.

I want to have a beer with someone who is nice but can give it to me straight.  Someone who will can make a joke at their own expense.  Maybe someone who is more than they seem.  They are complex yet fun.  I am going to choose Louis C.K..

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Louis has been one of my favorite stand-ups for a very long time.  He can make me laugh in many different ways with pure awkwardness, an incredible one-liner, or physical comedy.  I have even fallen in love with his acting be it in Louie or in the fantastic Horace and Pete. He was also in American Hustle.  That’s cool.  I also find it crazy interesting that he grew up speaking Spanish. He also completely changed the game for comedians when it comes to releasing new material; be it the frequency or the way he self releases it.  I would love to swap stories over something delicious.

I am going to try to pair a beer with what I envision Louis C.K. liking.  I see him as a full-bodied beer.  I think he needs some deep flavor in his beverage.  I am going to go out on a limb and say we will be drinking, nay sipping, on a Russian Imperial Stout.  I will have to go with the most recent one I have had. That is Spider Bite Beer Co.’s Boris The Spider.

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Spider Bite Beer Co. is based in Long Island, NY.  I have been able to try their beer because I am in a craft beer membership club that sends me 12 beers from around the country every month. I have really enjoyed being able to try brand new beers each month.  Boris the Spider is a very heavy stout.  The mouth-feel is on the verge of crude oil.  It has flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, yet some light sweetness from the malts.  I would describe this beer as a sipper due to its high ABV.  At 10%, you would not want to nor be able to take large gulps of this beer. Because we are sipping, Louis C.K. and I would have plenty of time to discuss anything that comes to our minds.

Who would you like to have a beer with? Let us know what you think of our new segment.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter. You may also have a beer with us if you like.

Cheers

Panclog #Special Edition: Pancake Procedure

The Panclog Pals would love to greet you with a long firm handshake and a gentle pat on the back.  This is a special editorial edition of the Panclog.  We will be discussing the different ways we top our pancakes.  Please keep an open mind and do not send hate mail to Brent.  He is a sensitive individual.  We have a lot of fun things planned for the next couple of months. Buckle up. this will be a heck of a ride.

We will be back next Thursday, October 13th with a new biweekly segment.  PUT IT ON THE CALENDER, SIRI!

Here we go, diving into the surprisingly controversial topic of pancake toppings.

SYRUP IS FOR CHAMPIONS!

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The Setting: The classic IHOP at 119th and Strang Line in Olathe.
The Meal: $1 short stack with all proceeds going to No Kid Hungry
The Feud: Syrup V. Jelly

IHOP is possibly the perfect host for any challenge featuring pancakes.  This is due to the fantastic nature of the pure consistency that IHOP encapsulates. If you want a good basic pancakes. Look no further than the house that is international and has pancakes.

 

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Syrup is the blood of all breakfast treats. Be it French toast, waffles, Dutch babies, or the almighty flapjack.  Syrup keeps the engine that is the classic breakfast industry running.  Not just any syrup, but pure maple syrup. I prefer a nice medium amber that brings a much more complex flavor to the table.  I try to avoid the overly sweet nature that is high-fructose corn syrup based.  Here is a quick hint: If you don’t like the corn based syrups but don’t have the maple goodness? Try honey.  Honey is a great substitute and will give you a big smile. Ask a bear. It will agree.

Shall we take a walk to the wild side and discuss jelly as a topping for pancakes? No

I just heard that there is such a thing as maple syrup that has been barrel-aged.  Yeah that is a thing! Let us all celebrate Christmas a little early.  Treat yo self.

Back to jelly. Jelly is fine on toast, good on a sandwich, and so much better on a biscuit.  But jelly on a pancake is just a waste of a good pancake.  We used Smuckers individual-serve jelly on the table.  This was just a bad start.  It was too thin and when spread looked bland.  I will say that due to the insufficient amount of jelly used, the cake itself was given much more room to shine in its own right.  I strive to give a plain pancake a shot every time I try a new place.  The basic cake needs to be good before you ever try to take it up a notch with additional flavors.

Now let’s point out that pancakes are fickle little treats.  If you over-cook them at all they can get a little crispy.  I am not complaining, only stating that crispiness is a possibility with pancakes and nearly a certainty with waffles.  Syrup is not only used as a flavor maker but as a softener in these cases.  Syrup can also serve as safety equipment.  Think about Cap’n Crunch. Very crunchy. Some say that the Cap’n attacks the roof of their mouth with great anger.  But with some milk this cereal softens enough to not only be safe, but delicious.  Syrup does the same thing!!! SAFETY!

Let’s talk about this like adults. If Syrup V. Jelly was a movie, it would not end with a dumb coalition of syrup, jelly, peanut butter, and cinnastack goo getting together to fight crime.  The film would end with Syrup standing on a mountain howling to the night sky in victorious fashion.   Someone please make this movie.

I do believe that jelly can be involved in breakfast. But please only use it in a guest starring role. Syrup is the star. Be nice to her.

 

Here is Brent’s side of the story!

Panclog Special Edition – Jelly is Not Just for Sandwiches

About 37 years ago I was introduced to a different way of consuming pancakes in Ms. Martin’s kindergarten class. At the time I didn’t realize it would be such a life changing event. Ms. Martin, a sublime individual, graced her class with a treat of pancakes. My fellow classmates and I dutifully queued up as she prepared the pancakes, one cake for each student. As my turn neared, I heard her offer butter or jelly as a topping. Perplexed by the suggestion, who would put jelly on a pancake, I just selected butter. My little 5-year-old mind just couldn’t process jelly for anything but PB&J.

This story could have ended there. The early morning sun flashing through the classroom windows warming the faces of delighted children. All of whom consumed their cakes with beatific smiles.

“I have some leftover batter. Would any of you like a half pancake?” Have sweeter words ever been spoken. Ramming the cake in my mouth I ran as fast as I could to the front of the line to partake of another cake.

“Before you take your additional half, you need to get the other topping. If you had butter before, you get jelly now. If you had jelly before, you get butter now.” I didn’t recognize the wisdom hidden in Ms. Martin’s words then, but I am surely grateful now.

Ms. Martin, you changed my life. Your insight is as important as the Great Awakening.

* * * * *

Reaching for the syrup when a fine stack of flapjacks is set before you, is perfectly understandable. It is what most people’s fathers did, and their fathers, and their fathers before them. Individuals grab the syrup out of mindless habit, and mere tradition. Never do we question is this the right thing to do. Is it the most optimal solution to add the necessary sweet, tasty, goodness to pancakes? Why question the reality that we sheepishly follow? “That’s right sir, add syrup to my pancakes! Maple only please.”

To paraphrase a great scholar, “The unexamined pancake dressing, is a meal not worth having.” Breakfast, especially pancakes, is a meal worth having. Thus it is imperative that we begin an investigation.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: Canada. Maple syrup originates in Canada and it is a significant part of Canada’s plan to control the minds of their neighbors to the south. Have you ever wondered why the Canadian stereotype is an absurd level of politeness and apologies? It is because the entire nation is wracked with a subconscious, seething guilt. There can be no other explanation because no people group can be that nice.

As we are sleeping in a syrupy, sugar induced coma the people of Canada will rain down upon us, their US neighbor, and take over. 75% of the Canadian population has already massed along the US border. It is only a matter of time.

Jelly, on the other hand, is not a tool used by a conquering nation. It is simply a natural treat whose only purpose is to bolster the consumer. To help him or her to look at life through a positive, jelly filled lens.

* * * * *

You also don’t hear about Santa’s belly shaking like a bowl full of syrup. That line would have to be morphed into something like, “Santa’s laugh oozed out of him like a bottle full of syrup.” It may just be me, but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. “Hey kids, it’s time to go to bed so that Santa can ooze through the cracks and deliver his sticky gifts.”

“Hey daddy, tell me about Syrupy Santa Claus.” “Well he is just like red cream soda spilled on the floor, that hasn’t been cleaned up, and isn’t quite dry yet. I can’t wait till morning so that we can step in him and have our socks stick to the floor.”

“Honey, will you tell the dog to stop licking up Santa. This is what happened last year and we got put on the naughty list.”

Friends, stay off the naughty list and enjoy jelly on your pancakes.

Merry Christmas!

* * * * *

Syrup also has a deleterious effect on the structural integrity of a pancake. Comparing the two fluids, Syrup and Jelly, you will find that syrup has a more uniform, but lower total viscosity. This is important because syrup will leach its way into the pores of the pancake and break down the infrastructure holding the cake together. Eventually you will return the pancake back to its liquid, precooked state. You could have saved time, money, effort, and energy by skipping the cooking process and drinking the batter. The next time you head on over to your favorite pancake place just ask the server, “I would like a tall stack of pancake batter, poured into a glass, and served with a straw. I will take some melted butter and warm syrup on the side.”

Jelly on the other hand does not cause a pancake to lose its internal fortitude. While it’s true that some parts of the jelly will gently fill the innumerable pores of a pancake, it will not wreak havoc on the subtle structure holding the cake together. In fact, as you cut into the flapjacks you are certain to notice that they remain sturdy and pleasing to the palate. You will also notice that the more solid portions of the jelly will spread evenly across the top of your cake mingling with the butter in a delicate dance that not only tastes remarkable but is a symphony for the eyes.

Pancakes are an amazing treat made of all that is good in this world, but only if they are allowed to retain their unique qualities. Syrup stamps out that uniqueness. So let’s let pancakes be pancakes, and dress them in jelly.

* * * * *

Jelly is also much more flavorful meaning that you can do more with jelly using less material. This good for your pocketbook, and better for the environment. Plus, jelly is a much more versatile ingredient, instead of the one trick pony that is maple syrup. Sure you are seeing syrup pushed into more and more products, but I would point you back to our soon to be Canadian overlords for the reason why.

If you call yourself a patriot who loves their country, there can be only one choice, Jelly.

 

Note from Jared: Buy Vermont maple syrup if you are scared because of this man’s fear-mongering.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

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