Archive for August, 2009

The Ark, Part II

August 27, 2009

Just a while a go, I posted some comments about the current deluge. Well, I just drove from Cedar Rapids to Mount Vernon and several streams I cross are now 60 or 70 feet across, some tiny streams are rushing torrents, and the rain keeps coming down. All day, the radar has looked like we’re right at the end of the line of rain, but the line keeps forming. We’re over 7 inches now, and it looks like we could hit 10 by the time it’s all done. As I said, I’m building an ark…

Brewing in the Ark

August 27, 2009

It’s been raining a ridiculous amount the last day and a half. Last I checked, we’ve had about 7 inches and it’s still coming down.  It’s very reminiscent of the rains we had last June with the flood. Now, even though creeks and such are well out of their banks, this is nothing compared to those rains when it did this for several weeks on end. Nonetheless, I’m sure this is bringing back some bad memories for the folks who lost their houses last summer.  I’m thinking of building and ark just in case.

And in the meantime, I felt the need to brew before the fall got too crazy. We’re in the midst of freshman orientation/advising week, but I didn’t have to go to campus this morning so I took the opportunity to brew. Went for a pretty standard, classic English style pale ale. It’s the first time I’ve brewed since surgery last fall. Felt good to brew again.  Here’s the beer:

1/2 lb toasted malt
1/2 lb cara-pils
soaked grains in 1 gallon 170 degree water for 1/2 hour
6 lbs northern brewer pale malt extract
1 lb Munton & Fison’s dried pale malt extract
4 gallons water
boil for 1 hour
1 oz Kent Goldings (4.9%) boil for 60 minutes
1 oz Fuggles (4.6%) boil for 60 minutes
1/2 oz Fuggles (4.6%) boil for final 20 minutes
1 oz Kent Goldings (4.9%) boil for final 5 minutes
Irish Moss in boil for final 5 minutes
Cooled wort, aerated and added a starter of Wyeast  London Ale yeast.
Will ferment at 75% and wait
Original Gravity = 1.059

Farmer John Update

August 19, 2009

Awhile back I mentioned that “Farmer John” Peterson, the head of Angelic Organics and the subject of “The Real Dirt on Farmer John” will be visiting us at Cornell. At the time, though, I didn’t have all the details. Well, it took awhile to figure it all out, but we have finally got the details hammered out. So….

We will be screening the documentary at 7 PM in West Science Hall, Room 100 on September 11. This is free and open to the public. After the screening, John will join us for a discussion. He will possibly be joined by some other local organic farmers, most likely including Laura Krouse who, besides running her own CSA, taught at Cornell for many years (she is, as she notes, one of the few people who leave other jobs to farm full time).

I hope to see you all on September 11!

Global Voices 4

August 10, 2009

I’m happy to say that the details for this year’s “Global Voices” event at Cornell have been worked out. This is an annual reading/discussion with writers from the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.  Each year we bring two writers to campus to visit with classes and give a reading and panel discussion in the evening. These have been hugely successful and engaging events and I’m really looking forward to this year’s. We have the following two writers who will be visiting:

Maxine CaseMaxine CASE is a senior writer for the non-profit Cape Town Partnership.  She contributes to a number newspapers and magazines, including Real Simple, Reader’s Digest and O Magazine.  Her short story “Homing Pigeons” was included in African Compass:  New Writing from Southern Africa 2005. In 2007, her debut novel All We Have Left Unsaid won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in Africa, and, jointly, the Herman Charles Bosman Award.

Miloš DJURDJEVIĆ(poet, essayist, translator; Croatia) has published three volumes of poetry, with the fourthDurdevic forthcoming in 2010.  His work has been included in anthologies of contemporary Croatian poetry, and translated into English, Hungarian and German. The editor of the Croatian domain at Poetry International Web, a recipient of fellowships at the Ledig House in New York and the Civitiella Ranieri Center in Italy, Djurdjević is also the translator of a wide range of contemporary American poetry and prose.

They will be reading at 7:30 PM on Sept. 15 in the Hedges Conference room of the Commons on the Cornell Campus, 600 1st St. W, Mount Vernon, IA 52413. I hope to see you there!