This is my husband, demonstrating his love for beer.  He got his brothers, dad, and friend Jason beer for Christmas, and he couldn’t get over the feeling of owning that much exciting beer at once.  So I figured it’d make sense to take a picture, for us to remember the beers by.  What a wealth of beer!  Oh, we’ll never forget.

Anyways, today Marshall is making a Sierra Nevada pale ale clone brew, and I’m going to photo-document parts of that process, and I also wanted to put up pictures of the cake I’m making and the new cake plate I got yesterday.  It’s just bustling over here.

Small kitchens being the mothers of inventive cookbook placement.

After having reconstituted the wort with boiling water.  That’s grain in that bag.

This is what the grains look like after giving up most of their sugars and flavors.  Still gorgeous.

Just added Cascade and Perle hops.  Cascade hops are the most aromatic of hop varieties, I believe, and just one sniff of those pellets opens up a celestial vista inside your head.  I don’t even have the time or brilliance right now to describe that fragrance.  Except to say that it’s one of my favorites.

The couch is really distracting, sorry.  It was the only place I could find enough light.  It may also be my favorite piece of furniture that we own.  (Thanks to Natalie!)  But the cake: it’s a Martha Stewart recipe, and I have to say it smells amazing.  Flour, sugar, cocoa, safflower oil, buttermilk.  Not in that order, nor in the proportions that order implies.  My plan is to fill it with raspberry preserves, and make another one tomorrow by the real recipe, which calls for caramel filling and chocolate frosting (for which I had to buy 1 lb. of chocolate…1…lb…).  So, I’m sure I’ll botch that royally and end up making a trifle out of it.  But whatever.

Also, the one that’s broken-looking on the top?  That’s the first one I unpanned (dispanned?), and I was so excited by its gorgeousness that I kind of — I don’t know — yelled a little, or gasped, and dropped the pan on it.  So, it broke.  Yay, me.

This cake stand plus some fancy cake pans received for Christmas are the reason for this weekend’s cakes.  Isn’t milk-glass just stunning.  I love it.  $15 at one of those places at Central and Broadway.

I really do love this cake stand.  I waited for a long time to get one, because most of the cake stands you see new or used are tacky etched-glass or cheapo glued-together pieces of lameness. Lovely.

An awkwardly large photo, but it shows how the yeast are just tearing it up, in there.  Little cyclones of particles bubble up from the bottom every few minutes — pretty crazy.