Oktoberfest produced many surprises

The biggest surprise at last night’s get-together of  the McMinnville Bakers Dozen was the ale that Drew brought. From the darkest Guinness to the lightest Twilight, we sampled and commented on such beer arcana as hoppiness, fruitiness and other surprising qualities of artisan beer.

Then, we got down to the basics: pretzels made by Ann, Sandy and Paula.  Sandy, who also brought her bagels, got her pretzel recipe from the Feb-Mar 2009 Food Network. Paula made hers based on Alton Brown’s recipe, and Ann used her trusty CIA http://www.ciachef.edu/cookbook.  Sandy also made some gorgeous, soft bagels. Jo and Julie brought mustards.

Laurie, in addition to hosting the event at Red Fox Bakery, supplied coffee and cream cheese for the bagels.

During our taste tests, we also shared stories about our bread disasters and our mothers’  home-cooking. What a comfort to know that even the professional cooks in the group had sad tales to tell.  Was it the ales, or was it the mood created by breaking breads together and sharing experiences, that led to so much laughter?

Next month will again be the second Monday, Nov. 8. Laurie is going to demonstrate the entire complicated process of making the wonderful Italian holiday bread, panettone. As usual, the gathering begins at 7 pm.

We did not make a decision on whether to get together in December, which would be the first year anniversary of the formation of this group.

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