Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Immunity Solution

Back when my beloved Borders was closing I scored Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss. After  playing with some root beer and concocting my own herbal sodas last summer this tome of 200 recipes, well, you can imagine how excited I was at the prospects. The first one I attempted, Immunity Solution is nothing like the infamous cure-all, cod liver oil and way less sugar-y than Emergen-C. Full of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, bioflavnoids and polyphenols you need this as you battle the balance of cold season.

Here we attention cuz this is really involved. Throw your whole fruit - this recipe calls for blueberries - and juice along with a bit of sweetener, in this case honey, into a pan.

Add a squeeze of citrus for brightness.

Mash the berries to to release flavor then sprinkle over a bit of fresh ginger and cinnamon.

Heat the mixture slowly over low heat, stirring often so the berries release their juice then allow this potion to sit at room temperature before straining through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the solids and store the syrup in a mason jar so it's always at the ready. Pre-mixed in an up-cycled bottle it makes a great gift for under the weather friends. They'll lub you.

You'll never buy soda again. (except for Pepsi Throwback because, my world would be dim once a month without it). I've also found this healthy habit is really, really good with true ginger beer as an afternoon pick-me-up.

I am also certain the addition of your favorite clear libation would make for a terrific cocktail - with health benefits. Remember these are not just for sickness but in health, too. You'll never look at a cold the same way again.

Achhoooo! Is it 5 o'clock?

Immunity Syrup
Homemade Sodas by Andrew Schloss

1 pt. blueberries or elderberries (I used blue)
1/2 c. carrot juice, preferably fresh
1/2 c. unsweetened purple grape juice
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 c. honey
1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
1" length of fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped

Combine the berries, carrot juice, grape juice, lemon juice and honey in a small saucepan. Mash the mixture with a vegetable masher (or the back or a spoon), then stir in the cinnamon and ginger. Heat over low heat, stirring often, until the berries have released their liquid. Let cool to room temperature, and strain. You should have about 2 cups of syrup.

This syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (though I keep it longer)

Enough for 3 servings

To mix with seltzer:
2/3 c. immunity syrup
2/3 c. seltzer

Pour the syrup in to a tall glass. Add the seltzer and stir just until blended. Add ice and serve.

Yield: 1 serving.

Cheers to health!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mud Pies, Bread Crusts and Candy Wrappers

One of the things I hold closest are the stories my Grandmother Aileen shared of her childhood. She was a writer and certainly told a good story. There are many but one of my favorites involves mud pies, eggs from the coop, her brother, Aden and his spot on slingshot skills. You can just imagine what her father, Jake, would have done had he known of this in the midst of World War I. It "burned Frieda up" Grandma never got in trouble for that stunt. Nor was she every caught in the act of running her toes on the floor while at school. Mama wondered how she wore through the toes so quickly. Grandma hated her black boots and was angling for another pair. She got them and Frieda silently burned up.

Grandmas was a child with disdain for bread crusts. What's a child to do but stick hers in the underside lip of the dining table? The evidence was only found when table leaves were added and crusts rained down to the floor. Frieda, was quick to accuse but Aileen never got in trouble. More burnin'.

One day while cleaning the breakfast bar, underneath packed into a small opening I found some candy wrappers. Halloween leftovers by chance?

Everyone was quick blame Henry. (and they were probably right)

No one got in trouble.

I took a picture of the evidence instead.

I thought of my Grandma. And then I made a pan of Aunt Frieda's Bars.

After all, family, a sense of history with a health dose of humor and delicious cookies are really the only things this granddaughter needs.

Though a new pair of shoes might be sweet.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

She's Thrify

Is there anything better than a vintage clothing store?


Wearing tons of faux animal prints.


Or should I say hhhhot.