Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cordially yours

We're working on a new craft around here. Its a way to save some fruit in a form that we'll enjoy. We're not really big jam eaters, so I haven't felt the need to throw myself into the jam-making arena just yet. (But, I can tell it's in the wind and once I figure out the method that is most "whole", least processed and sugar-sweetened, I'll be there.) For now, we're jumping into the world of cordials, alcoholic cordials to begin, and maybe some non-alcoholic cordials to follow. In particular I'm inspired by our prolific raspberry bushes and this website. So far the going is easy. We've bottled our first batch of Raspberry cordial, have another batch in it's first sitting phase with the whole fruit still in. We've also started a small batch of cranberry cordial with some frozen organic cranberries we had hanging around.

Perhaps, someday we'll get into brewing the alcohol ourselves. For now we're purchasing the brandy and or vodka that goes into these recipes. Otherwise its fruit (home-grown mostly) and local honey. Considering all the anti-oxidants, and health benefits packed into our little berries, and the goodness, immunity boosting, allergy-aiding of our local honey...well we're doing this for our health. A little sip of "Mama's medicine" on a cold night could just do the trick to keep off the chill! At least that's what we're telling ourselves.

And the first small sampling of the filtered, un-aged first batch of raspberry was delicious; fruity with a little extra glow. Yum! Now we'll try to wait patiently and officially open the first bottle for Michael's birthday in mid-September. Maybe there'll be a little nip in the air!

Meanwhile, now that we've had some sun...let me say it again...SUN...in the past week, the garden is really beginning to show some summer spirit. The bush beans have taken off and we should be into daily harvesting very soon. The pole beans and cucumbers are close behind. I'm also happy to report some signs of life in our second planting of all the root crops (the first lot were decimated by cutworms or some other evil) and the tomatoes, surviving eggplant and pepper plants are beginning to perk up. Sadly our entire crop of basil looks to be lost. I'll start a flat this week to see if I can get any in the ground.

And an Independence Days Challenge update.

Harvest Something:
Raspberries, peas, lettuce and a few bush beans. Also our first two heads of garlic...we'll leave the rest a little longer.

Preserve Something:

Froze raspberries made two batches of raspberry and one batch of cranberry cordial.

Waste Not:
Used yogurt and cheese whey for pancakes. Michael found an over-the-toilet cabinet on Freecycle and refurbished it for our upstairs bathroom, freeing up a small (trash-picked) cabinet in the upstairs hall for front porch storage, which moved the mission-style low bookcase (also trash-picked) to a place of honor in the living room.

Want Not:
Lots of lists

Build Community Food Systems:

Bought eggs, meat and greens from the local farm. Talked with a friend about seed-saving.

Eat the Food:
raspberry-rhubarb cobbler, rasp-blueberry cobbler and blueberry crisp. so good! Fresh salads. Sourdough pancakes (made with whey from cheese and yogurt making) Home-made yogurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of local honey. Local grass-fed steaks on the grill served over a bed of wilted home-grown greens. Mizuna, garlic and cheese fritatta.

Hope your summer is filled with lightening bugs, light and laughter!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Not too long ago, I printed off a non-alcoholic (obviously;) recipe for raspberry cordial, but haven't got around to making any yet... but after reading your post, I think I'll take the plunge! Good luck on the rest o' the batches :)