Sisters, Summer and a Hazy IPA
by Darcie Friesen Hossack
I'm sitting on the newly-expanded deck at Chalet #134 with a glass of Elephant Island Framboise in my hand.
I don't make the habit of occupying space that belongs to guests. But my sister is here for a few days' escape from the city, and has taken up residence.
"Is there any left?" she asks, and I reach to the middle of the table and pour out a syrupy stream of jewel-red liquid. It tastes like hot raspberries from our grandparents' garden back in Saskatchewan.
As was that farm when we were children, this exact chalet has become my sister's home away from home. It's therefore not the first time since Chefhusband and I moved here, that she's stepped through its doors and put down more than just her luggage.
"Where's this from?" she asks, sipping.
"Naramata, south of Kelowna," I reply, remembering yet another home: one with hot summers and markets overflowing with fruit.
Chalet #134 is also home for another reason.
Chefhusband and I stayed here when we first arrived at Overlander Mountain Lodge.
After unloading the moving truck, our own house was precariously stacked with our many, many boxes.
Exhausted by this interprovincial shift, our overwhelm must've shown, as we soon found ourselves with two sets of house keys and all the time we needed to settle in.
Now, more than a year later, we're social-distancing because of COVID-19. The world has changed. Protocols for keeping guests here safe have changed. But the air and mountains, trees and wildlife in this extraordinary part of the province have not.
Meanwhile, people all around the world are coming round to the understanding that experiences and time spent with loved ones, are of more value than we ever knew.
And so, later that evening, our niece and her boyfriend, our nephew, my mother and Chefhusband join us, with cold, craft beer from Folding Mountain Brewing just up the road.
One of the selections is to pair with something that's been marinating for supper: a Hutterite chicken that's been brined in kosher salt and Folding Mountain's Hazy IPA.
A short while later, the chicken is on the grill, and soon, residents and visitors out for their evening walks are turning their heads towards the delicious smells.
In this moment, with a bottle of hand sanitizer on the table, and several feet of space between us all, we toast to one another, grateful for the simplicity of family, a deck, a chicken on the grill, and a home away from home.
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Beer-Brined, Thyme-Smoked Chicken
1 whole chicken, butchered into "eight-cut" (or 8 pieces of bone-in chicken)
355 ml can Folding Mountain Hazy IPA (may also use a dry cider)
1/2 cup kosher salt (not table salt)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
fresh ground pepper
10 sprigs fresh thyme
In a glass baking dish, whisk together kosher salt and Hazy IPA until dissolved. Add chicken pieces, swirling in brine to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes, turning pieces over after 15 minutes.
Remove chicken from brine. Discard brine. Rub chicken with garlic and place back into clean baking dish. Season lightly with fresh ground pepper. Distribute half of the thyme sprigs throughout the dish and pour olive oil over chicken. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Heat a gas grill. Discard thyme. Place the chicken over an unlit burner to keep it away from direct heat. (The sugar in the cider will cause the chicken to brown more quickly, so check on its progress often.)
While the chicken is cooking, occasionally add fresh sprigs of thyme to the grill, allowing the smoke to infuse the meat with flavour.
A note on salt: For this dish, Kosher salt is essential. Its milder flavour compliments the meat without overwhelming. Table salt is many times saltier and may leave an iodine aftertaste.