Well! Our last edition of GFG! must have been a rousing success in demoralizing the Yellow Jackets and bringing out UVA fans to help motivate the team, as we pulled off a stunning upset of #12 Georgia Tech. At least, everyone except Brian, who seems to be unable to find decently-priced jalapenos.
We must be having a jalapeno shortage, I dunno. Anyway, I digress. This week, we're playing North Carolina State. which, according to UNC and Duke fans, is apparently the bastard school of the Research Triangle. "Moo U", they snort derisively over their monocles and caviar- or so NC State fans have informed me.
Now, anything that UNC and Duke fans hate can't be all that bad, can it? NC State's nickname is the Wolfpack, apparently in reference to their students in some way. I'm not really sure... or interested. But heck, enough of this- let's get down to the good stuff.
For absolutely no reason in particular, I'd like to make this food post an homage to the great state of Wisconsin, land of stop-and-go lights, bubblers, and Packers fans. Before I became a Wahoo, I was a Badger, and it heartens me to see them doing so well this year! I think they could make it to the National Championship game. I'm not sure what to attribute such stunning success to.
Anyway, food! Wisconsin is well known for it's ties to the dairy industry, so I think I'll pull out an old favorite- "On, Wisconsin!" Beer Brats!
For the brats, you need real Johnsville brats. Real. Johnsonville. Brats. They sell 'em at Kroger. "Johnsonville Original Bratwurst Links". Write that down if you have to. No others will suffice. Accompany this with a large white onion and a case of beer (more on that later).
First, crack open the beer and fill a pot enough to float your bratwurst in. Make sure you drink at least one beer prior to this; trust me, it's an important part of the recipe. Cut up the onion into dice-sized pieces- no need to fully dice 'em, but small enough- and toss 'em in the pot. Heat it up until it's hot, and then bring it down to a nice medium, medium-low before you put the brats in. You don't BOIL the brats, mmkay?
You know what else you don't do? DON'T POKE THE FRIGGIN' BRATWURST. Seriously, don't poke the brats. I don't care what crazy Aunt Verona says, you never poke the bratwurst. They're not going to explode if you do it right. 'specially if you're parbroiling 'em ahead of time.
Now, FYI, if you're tailgating, you can substitute a pot for an alumnium pan and do this right on the grill. Flip the brats occasionally- make sure both sides get cooked. This should take about, oh, one or two beers (translation- ten or twelve minutes). One they're done, take them out of the pot and brush 'em lightly with oil. You'll want to put them on an indirect, medium to medium-low heat and let 'em cook for another two beers or so (fifteen minutes), or until both sides are cooked to your desired level of crispyness.
If you want 'em like a real Wisconsinite, you'll cook them until they're almost black. Top 'em off with some of the beer-soaked onions you cooked them in, and any other condiments to your own taste. And in true Wisconsin fashion, make sure you drink another beer- or a Brandy Old Fashioned. (Wisconsinites will get that joke)
Hmmm. Not much information around on women from NC State. They make a point to drag their mascot, Ms. Wuf, to every football game. But looks like we've got better representation than Georgia Tech!
In honor of our Wisconsin-themed post here, I'm going to go with a true Wisconsin classic from New Glarus, Wisconsin. Now, anyone who has been on State Street (like this guy) knows New Glarus- more likely for the Spotted Cow, which is an awesome-tasting Cream Ale. Instead, today, our beer of choice is Uff-Da Bock.
Uff-da Bock is a... well, Bock. Beautiful flavor, very crisp, not overcarbonated. "Uff-da" (sometimes spelled "Oofta"), according to teh Wikipedias, is described thusly:
Uff da is often used in the Upper Midwest as a term for sensory overload. It can be used as an expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay. For many, Uff da is an all-purpose expression with a variety of nuances, and covering a variety of situations. The expression has lost its original connotation, and it is increasingly difficult to specify what it means now in America. Within Midwestern culture, Uff da frequently translates into: I am overwhelmed.
So you can use it a coupla different ways- "Uff-da, I had too many of those beer brats, don'tcha know." "Uff-da, our star quarterback transferred and now we're struggling. I need another beer." It also works on it's own- like something you'd utter while shaking your head after watching your starting quarterback throw into triple coverage and have it returned for a pick-six. Or your, err, co-starting quarterback to overthrow two easy short catches. "Uff-da."
Now, unfortunately, it's unlikely you'll find these outside of the Midwest, particularly Wisconsin. You'll have to embark on a beer sojurn to Wisconsin and try 'em for yourself, bring some back, and have them at your tailgate. I'm sure ya'll can accomplish that before Saturday at 3:30pm, right? Washington-Reagan to Milwauke's running $139 a roundtrip, and you can take off from DCA, land at Mitchell Field, go to the closest Copps or Pick-N-Save, pick up a case of these, and be back in time for lunch.
For those of you more economically minded, or at least looking for something closer to home, I suggest Jomo Lager, by Starr Hill Brewery out of Crozet. Starr Hill does some good stuff, for someone who got spoiled on Wisconsin beer.
It's pretty good for a lager- nice flavor, and it's always fresh since it's brewed locally. If you want to serve it at your tailgate, I'd suggest actually driving out to Starr Hill's brewery in Crozet, which is about fifteen minutes from the stadium, and buying a growler full of fresh, on-tap beer. Mmmm. Beautiful.
Anyway, now, my prediction for the game- if the team that showed up last Saturday shows up again, and if the NC State team that barely won against two FCS teams to start the season shows up, we'll have another convincing win and be one shy of bowl eligibility. If the team that showed up to the Southern Miss game shows up, eek. And if the NC State game that ended last season shows up... uff-da. Now, NC State's had a bye week to rest, get healthier, and practice... and we saw first hand what happens when a team gets that chance here in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Either way, it'll be a great football game. So once again, thanks for stopping by, folks, and don't forget to keep your hands on the beer and off the grill. I'll see you on Saturday!