Monday, August 15, 2011

It's All About the Beverages

What an awesomely full week it's been! Our friend Dan came to visit from Tucson and we had a great time making and eating food, doing outdoorsy stuff and just hanging out.

We miss you Dan (and thanks for leaving your almond flax butter behind).

And somehow, in between having fun with Dan and going to work, Matt and I managed to get all this done:

* 108 bars of soap made, cut and curing as we speak
* Wild mushrooms hunted and devoured in stroganoff, pizza, stir-fry and frittata
* 12 quarts of spicy dill pickles processed
* 2 quarts dill pickles fermenting on the counter
* 1 batch of gluten free peanut butter cookies baked (and mostly eaten)
* 11 half pints of blackberry jam processed
* 1 large blackberry milkshake consumed
* 1 batch of blackberry switchel made

Pretty excited about the above list. Really excited about the pickles.

gratuitous dill pickle photo
So, at this point, you might be wondering...What the hell is switchel?

I hadn't heard of it either until a berry switchel recipe appeared on Craftypod (one of my very favorite craft blogs) and then I found a recipe for a blackberry shrub (similar to switchel) in one of my preserving cook books. I made mine following the directions from Craftypod, but used blackberries, 1/3 c. honey and 1/4 c apple cider vinegar. I poured a bit over ice and topped with seltzer and a wedge of lime.

Especially nice during the evening when you're sitting in your back yard watching your chickens.

Since I was so pleased with my switchel success, I made a rhubarb lime syrup for more beverage goodness. And it turned out great too.

Here's how I made it:
I took some rhubarb (a few pounds I think), cut it up and boiled it with a few cups of water on the stove.

I strained out the rhubarb mush and was left with about a 1/4 cup of rhubarb juice. I added just over a cup of lime juice to this and boiled it on the stove with some honey and agave nectar. I didn't measure, just kept adding until it tasted right to me.

 I served this syrup in the same manner as the blackberry switchel. And adding some tequila to this got a thumb's up from Matt.  Enjoy!

What yummy drinks have you been making this summer?


  1. Hmmm. No rum? Seems like a perfectly good addition to these tasty beverage concoctions. I'll just assume you forgot to mention it...

  2. Ken-All this stalk of beverages just makes me sad you don't live closer!