On my one side are Germans, and as I’m sure you’re well aware, Germans like beer. No surprise there, right? On my other side are Norwegians and they like beer too. Actually, Norwegians like a lot of beverages, many of them alcoholic in nature. The point is, beer is right up there.
By all logic, I should like beer. It’s in my blood.
But I don’t, and here’s why: when you are seven years old and you see a glass of what looks like apple juice and you really like apple juice so you drink the apple juice only it’s not apple juice so you spit it out and then get in trouble for spitting … well, it can cause some bitter feelings toward beverages impersonating apple juice.
This happened more than once, by the way, I was a slow learner.
Anyway, I realize I’m now a grown up and should be over this, but some childhood traumas take longer to heal from than others. And fake apple juice is huge. HUGE, I say!
So much so that if I were to hear a health report saying the secret to a long healthy life was a daily intake of beer, I would not be able to comply. I would think about it, though. Case in point:
I was listening to a radio program on NPR called “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” Have you ever heard it? Great fun. There’s a segment on the show where three news stories are read, but only one of them is true. The caller has to guess which one is true.
Anyway, on this particular show, the story was told of an elderly English woman, I think she was over 100, who credited her long healthy life to her morning breakfast of oatmeal and warm beer.
I don’t remember all the specifics of the story, only that the second I heard it I believed it. The caller did too. The other two stories weren’t especially outlandish, it was just that the idea of a little old lady in Britain drinking beer with her bowl of porridge sounded completely legit.
Besides, if red wine is so healthy, surely beer is too? It only seems fair.
So imagine my surprise to find out it wasn’t! And here I was *thisclose* to giving beer the good ole’ college try. Again. Because God knows, I did try in college. I really did.
Ah well. Don’t lose hope. Maybe someone, somewhere, is conducting experiments on this very topic. Heck, maybe you’d like to conduct your own experiments? All in the name of medical research, of course. It’s worth a shot.
As for my relationship with beer, I’m afraid that hasn’t changed. However I have discovered beer’s merit as a cooking ingredient. Remind me sometime to share my stew recipe with you. Not today though.
Today I’m going to give you a recipe for beer bread. Seriously great and easy to make beer bread that I slightly modified from a recipe in my Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, aptly titled, “Bread.”
I modified it to include oatmeal. 😉
Beer Oatmeal Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cups oat flour (to make your own oat flour, put 1 cup of rolled oats in blender, blend on high speed for 10 to 15 seconds)
- 3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bottle (12 oz.) unopened beer (I use a dark brew because it doesn’t look like apple juice.)
- 4 Tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
Stir together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Open beer and add it all at once; it will foam up. Stir briskly just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and drizzle with the melted butter.
Bake until the top is crusty and golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let rest in pan for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Serve warm or room temperature the day you make it. Leftovers freeze nicely.
Also, this makes fantastic toast, and while it may not lengthen your life, it surely will improve your quality of life.