week forty-three – beer à la gioia

cooking and eating certain dishes can evoke a multitude of emotions: food can comfort us, excite us, transport us back. and sometimes, occasionally, food can make us sad. which this week’s dish has. for the first time ever, i am not able to attend the basler herbschtmäss. the herbschtmässe (herbscht being autumn and a mäss being a fun fair) is a fantastic event taking place all over basel for a fortnight a year, with great rides and games and food and other rides and even more food and a bit more food. i LOVE the herbschtmäss. i truly do. the lights of the ferris wheel, the sounds children and adults alike laughing, the smells of roasted almonds and candy floss and autumn and caramel and even more things exclusive to the basler herbschtmäss.i have oh so many fond memories of it, and traditions i have been keeping up for years (bar this) including playing the camel race thingie with my brother and herbschting with rahel (a term we have created, meaning nothing else other than going to the herbschtmäss together), where we’ll just stroll around and eat and buy new tumor rings (a story for another time). but not this year. oh well. i’ll be back next year. i will.

when the theme for this week, beer, was elected, i immediately knew i’d be making beer battered apple rings. deep fried apple rings are one of the delicacies i only ever eat at the herbschtmäss, so i cooked my version in an attempt to participate somehow. seeing as i’m headed off to the north of england tomorrow for some hallowe’en fun with calvin and his sister millie, i had to get the blogging over and done with today. let’s hope the smell of frying oil will have left the very last corner of my flat, which it has appeared to have infiltrated, by the time i return on tuesday or so. not knowing the last thing about beers (except for the fact that i find them rather disgusting), i had to ask a store clerk for help in choosing the perfect “dark beer” the recipe called for. despite being a lovely and helpful young man, he didn’t seem to be that much of a beer connoisseur himself, but we ended up settling on odd arabic (?) beer called “cobra”.
i fried up some granny smiths in the batter (i didn’t have any left, so please ignore the fact that i used braeburns (which i’m sure would’ve worked just as well) as props on the photos) which was easy to make, still not making up for how annoying i find deep frying to be. i think i still haven’t recovered from making arancini months ago. originally having planned to make a nice vanilla custard to accompany the freshly fried battered apple rings, i remembered the maple walnut ice cream i made earlier this week, so the silky sweet coldness of that made an even better addition to the hot crispy and tart apple rings than i could have hoped for.
happy hallowe’en y’all.



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