Summer is now in full swing and the temperatures have been in the mid to high 80’s (up here that is a heat-wave my friends). And there is just nothing better than an icy cold delicious glass of homemade Ginger Ale to beat the heat. It really is simple to make homemade soda and truly homemade soda is chocked full of great health benefits, like wonderful probiotics. The best part is that YOU control how much sugar goes into the soda and the artificial colors and preservatives and other bad stuff is non-existent. It’s so easy you won’t believe you are really doing it! Once you taste it you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along.
September of 2014 I published a post called Ginger Ale, Ginger Ale, Where for Art Thou Ginger Ale! on how to make a ginger bug. Ginger bugs are easy to care for. If you leave it on your counter top just feed it a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of minced ginger root once a day. If you keep it in the fridge just feed it a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of minced ginger once a week, let it bubble back up and then put it back in the fridge for another little nap. Always replace the liquid you use with non- chlorinated water, and if it gets too full of ginger root scoop some out and discard it into your compost. Once you have a ginger bug established you can make all sorts of soda, but Ginger Ale is my personal Favorite, to date.
1 to 2 knobs or knuckles or Tablespoons of minced unpeeled ginger root
2 quarts non-chlorinated water
½ to ¾ Cup raw sugar or granulated sugar plus ½ Tablespoon molasses
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ Cup lemon juice
½ Cup Strained Ginger Bug (Don’t forget to add non-chlorinated water back to your ginger bug jar)
In a large pan add the water, sugar, (molasses if used) and ginger root and sea salt, bring it to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave cool to room temperature. This is referred to as wort. Once your wort is cooled completely, strain it into a pitcher and add the lemon juice and ginger bug. Mix and pour into bottles with tight fitting caps. I prefer Grolsch-style bottles. Leave the bottles on the counter for 48 to 72 hours then refrigerate and enjoy! Take care not to forget to refrigerate the bottles after 72 hours as they can continue to carbonate until they explode. (VERY MESSY INDEED)
Watching the people around our small community and their hustle and bustle, too busy lifestyles, makes me long for those yester years that were not all that long ago, yet seem to be forgotten. I’m not sure exactly when people started making daily trips to the supermarket or worse the convenience store. I remember shopping as the “monthly family outing”. We drove “all the way to town” 25 miles or so, picked up a month worth of supplies, got treated to a frosty rootbeer float and made the trek back to the farm. Planning meals was essential, strategic. We were not poor, but had a wealth of love, comfort, talent and knowledge. Our summer Sunday dinner would be hearty beef roast with potatoes, carrots and onions with a side salad of fresh picked greens, with a crusty bit of sourdough bread. A meal worth a king’s ransom (which is what it would cost at a restaurant). And thus the week’s menu is born. The left overs would become, BBQ Beef on a bun, Beef Fajitas, Roast Beef Hash and finally with the left over veggies and meat and saved beef stock….Voila…Vegetable Beef Barley Soup! Mmmmmmmm delicious. Enuf said!
Pictured above: From Scratch Leftover Vegetable Beef Barley Soup, Sourdough Bread with homemade sweet cream butter and a frosty glass of home brewed beer. (Not pictured: The homemade chocolate ice cream for dessert!)
“That’s fine” you say, “But I don’t live on the farm” says you? Well, you can garden on your deck or patio. I prefer to use self-contained planting systems like the EarthBox.
Pictured Below: Container Garden
Patio gardening is easy and convenient and oh so tasty. And reinventing your leftovers is so economical and time saving. A win for your wallet, a win for the environment, a win for your health. Simply Enjoy … D. Yelle