Jane and Beth and I roomed together in college. We pitched in together and bought food and cooked in the dorm kitchen. Our favorite thing to eat was snake, which is, for some reason, what we invariably called steak.
In the Society for Creative Anachronism, we helped cook for the Barony of the Flame (Louisville) feasts. I can remember making Chicken Kiev for about 250 people. Jane’s specialty was a recipe she called Queen’s Bread, which was regular egg bread with double the yeast and double the rising time. It was called Queen’s Bread because Jane was the queen. Beth was also the queen, I think. I was never the queen. In order to be a queen, I would have to do like Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: I would have to work and work and be very, very rich, and then I would buy myself a queendom.
ANYWAY, I was with Jane when I had my first beer that I liked. We were at a RiverCon, a science fiction convention in Louisville that is no longer in operation. Jane was a party girl, and was always getting invitations or getting wind of a good room party. This one, two Canadians were lobbying to have their town chosen for the next Deep South Con. Their argument: it was in the deep south of Canada. Their back-up argument: if you go far enough south, you come around the top of the globe and down to their town.
They didn’t win the nomination, but — and this is the point — they campaigned by giving away free beer. Killian’s Red, which was my favorite beer until I tasted Dragon’s Milk, but that’s off the subject. Killian’s was an Irish beer at that time, though it’s made in America now, and isn’t quite as good.
Jane and I met every month for coffee, food, and beer, usually meeting at the Vint (owned by Heine Brothers) on Frankfort Avenue and walking down the street to The Irish Rover. We both favored the Celtic Craic, brewed for The Irish Rover by the New Albanian Brewing Company (in New Albany, Indiana). The last few times we met, she turned me on to the Rover’s Blacksmith, a Black-and-Tan blend of Guinness and Smithwick’s Irish Ale. OMG
She was very disappointed that she would miss having another bottle of Newcastle Werewolf Blood Red Ale, which is such a limited edition it doesn’t always make it to Louisville, and didn’t, this year.
We always met in Louisville because Jane was caregiver to her mother for years and years, and didn’t want to be gone far or for long (this was before I became caregiver for my mother). After her mother passed, Jane was going to come to my little town every other month. The first time she headed over, she was in a non-injury car wreck not far outside her neighborhood. No injuries, but it totalled her car and shook her confidence.
We went less and less far afield in our meetings. Finally, it was always Vint and The Irish Rover, each about six blocks from her house. But that was okay. We liked those places, and we didn’t really meet for the food and drink, although those certainly didn’t hurt.
[UPDATE: I forgot to say that Thursday Doors is brought to you courtesy of Norm Frampton, photographer extraordinaire. Go to his blog, peruse his photos, and click on the blue frog link to view doors from around the world.]
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about the first time you (or your main character) had alcohol you (or they) enjoyed.