The Tree Skirt

Long ago in a time of the distant past, I started to knit a tree skirt. I believe it was the summer of 2011. It was started as a coping mechanism during a rough time, which included a move. As time went on and life kept moving, my knitting got put on hold. It was placed in an Invader Zim bag and stored in my closet. Every October since then, I’ve been pulling it out and adding to it little by little in hopes that it would be finished by Christmas. Four years and fifteen balls of yarn later, it is finally finished. This evening, we set up our Christmas tree, packed it with what ornaments we managed to successfully move with us, topped it with a tacky yet wonderful topper, and then lovingly spread the tree skirt around the bottom. It’s finally done. 

It’s been a fantastic year starting with the purchase of our first house. Now it’s December and we have thriving lilikoi vines, lychee trees, basil plants, a new bathroom, safe electrical, inspiring artwork on the walls, new floors, a refinished chandelier, new furniture, and so much more. It’s a fine house. And now it has a proper tree skirt for its Christmas tree. 



Eggnog Bread Pudding with Bourbon Vanilla Sauce



1 loaf French bread (cubed and slightly toasted)
3 cups milk
1 cup eggnog
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup room temperature butter (1/2 stick) 
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp salt


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 oz. Bourbon


Pre-heat oven to 350° F. 

Put milk, eggnog, and toasted bread cubes in a deep 9×12 baking pan and let it soak for 20 minutes. 

While the bread is soaking, wisk together in a bowl the sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, and salt. 

Pour the mixture over the soaked bread and give it a few pats with a spoon so the mixture works its way down into the bread slightly (Don’t mix it in). 

Place in oven (I used a toaster oven) on a middle or lower rack for 60 minutes, or until knive comes out clean. 

While the pudding is baking,stir together the sugar, brown sugar, butter and bourbon in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let boil for a good 5-8 minutes stirring only a little every 2 minutes or so. Don’t let it boil over. It won’t effect the taste, but clean up is the worst. Remove from heat and let cool. 

When the pudding is done, remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. 

Serve warm/hot with sauce spooned over top. This would also go well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


Donating Beer

Well, I can’t sell my beer. That’s ok though. I can still donate it.

I decided to donate a mixed 12 pack of beer to WCC’s Hoolaulea last month. Seeing as how I didn’t want to have Gordon Biersch labels all over my beer publicly, I whipped up some names and descriptions, threw them on some labels, and taped them all to bottles and a box. What I donated was 6 bottles of my toasty dark stout and a honey Oktoberfest style beer. They were both delicious beers and were very well received. I’m very excited to have been able to donate these.

Short and Stout
Short & Stout exceeds expectations. At 8% Roast Barley and 8% Chocolate Malt, there is a distinct roastiness that is beautifully balanced by a chocolatey smoothness.

Fallen Nectar
Only beer conforming to the Reinheitsgebot, and brewed within the city limits of Munich, can be served at the Munich Oktoberfest. Fortunately or unfortunately for you, you are not there. You are here. And that means you are enjoying this amazing Fallen Nectar which does not conform to Reinheitsgebot, nor was brewed within the city limits of Munich, yet is delicious all the same. Fallen Nectar is made with 5 lbs of clover honey, 7 lbs of malted barley, and 2 ounces of the finest hops. What this gives you is a flavor so full and rich, it must be good for you.* Enjoy.


German Pretzel

German Pretzels

With all my beer making, I’ve learned that I am generally a fan of German-style beers. I’m particularly a fan of the Dunkelweizen and Märzen variety. Now that Oktoberfest is over, and I’ve come out of my jealousy coma, I decided I want to make pretzels. This will go good with my beer, no? So I did. I remembered that I had found a pretzel recipe a while back that I had bookmarked. So with great efforts of patients, as I was assisted by the sugared up Leif, I made pretzels.

German Pretzel


2 1/4 cup flour
3/4  cup Milk (lukewarm)
1/2 tsp salt
1 package dry bread yeast
1 tbsp butter (at room temperature)
sea salt (for the top)

For the Soda Water
4 1/4 cup water
3 tbsp baking soda



  1. Mix yeast with some drops of milk and sugar; let it raise for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Mix this dough with salt, flour, milk and butter; knead it until you get a smooth dough. Let it raise again for 1/2 – 1 hr at a warm place. The dough should double.
  3. Sprinkle flour on a baking board and knead thoroughly with your hands, then form a roll and cut it into 6 parts of the same size (or 3 parts if you want to make large pretzels).
  4. Of each dough piece make a 12″ or longer roll; ends should be thinner than the middle.
  5. Form pretzel and let them raise for another 15 minutes.
  6. Place it in the fridge and let it rest for 1 hour.
    1. Before the hour is over bring 1 liter water to a boil and dissolve 3 tbsp baking soda (not at once, slowly because the soda will cause the water to become quite bubbly).
  7. Place each pretzel into the boiling soda water for about 30 seconds; with a slotted spoon take them out, let them drip and sprinkle coarse salt on top.
  8. Place them on a greased baking tray (don’t use baking paper), and bake them for 15 minutes (or 18 minutes for larger size pretzels) at  425? F in oven. They are done when they show a golden brown color.

1000 Bottles of Beer

I’ve been on a mission this year. My goal for 2014 was to brew 100 gallons of beer. That is the legal limit for home brewing in Hawaii. After that, I’m supposed to pay taxes, get a permit, acquire a license, or something or other. It is now November of 2014 and I have only 10 more gallons to brew. You can check out all the beers I’ve brewed so far, including recipes, photos, and blurbs about what I’ve been doing.