All posts filed under: Beverages

Chilled Rhubarb Juice

Rhubarb juice is highly prized in our house-hold – especially when chilled and served with one or two raspberries and a slice of lemon. The juice I make is a by-product of making rhubarb jam and compote.  Since rhubarb is so seasonal enjoy it while it lasts. Soon the tastes of summer will replace those of spring and our enjoyment of rhubarb will fade into mere memory. Once again no measurements – you the cook decide how much you want to make. Ingredients Rhubarbs, strawberries, sugar. Method Slice the rhubarb into 1 cm thick pieces. Hull and cut the strawberries and mix together with the rhubarb. Add as much sugar as you like the taste of. Add plenty of water – at least 3-5 cm over the top of the rhubarbs and strawberries. Bring to the boil. When it has reached boiling point leave the rhubarb to simmer for 30-40 minutes on a low heat. When the fruit has stewed for long enough, pour the stewed rhubarb over a sieve resting on a deep pot. Bottle the …

Yahoo – and the peculiar tale of the missing Ginger Beer Plant

From what I have read ginger beer plants were very common in England at one time.There must be someone who still has it growing. I’m sure one will be found eventually. : -), Bruce Stordock, Yahoo GBP Group, September 2004 What a mysterious organism this GBP is, I wonder what happened to them all and where they came from in the first place? Beau, Yahoo GBP Group , September 2004 The ginger beer plant MUST be found!, Yahoo GBP Group You’d have thought – wouldn’t you? – that the ginger beer plant, common amongst home brewers in Britain for hundreds of years would have been sourced and found within a matter of months. Wrong. The ginger beer plant was, indeed, very common in Britain probably up until the 1970’s. To this day everyone in the UK still remembers an uncle, a grandmother, a friend or a neighbour brewing their own ginger beer. No children’s picnic was complete without lashings of the stuff. Most homes had a stone bottle of ginger beer in their pantry or cellar. …

KA POW – the explosive power of fizzy ferments!

In the same week that Putin annexed Crimea my home-made kvass detonated. Kvass, a typical Russian beverage, entails soaking dark rye bread in water overnight, straining the juices, adding sugar and leaving it to ferment. The recipe I used was a more modern interpretation of this ancient beverage and called for the addition of cultivated, packaged yeast and not the traditional sourdough starter. This combination – rather like modern Ukrainian-Russian relations – was explosive. We were away on holiday so thankfully no one got hurt. Had someone been standing next to our fridge they would almost certainly have been seriously injured or worse. The build up of carbon created by the mixture of sugar and cultivated, packaged yeast tore the glass apart at high velocity, which in turn forced the fridge door open and out shot small, sharp shards of glass. Every available surface area in the immediate vicinity was covered in a sickly brown liquid. Our Ukrainian baby-sitter, alone in the stillness of her bedroom above the kitchen and already nervy about events in …

SCOBY-doby-do and the origins of the mysterious symbiotic!

If you’ve never heard of a SCOBY fear not –   it’s not like they’re up for sale on super-market shelves, displayed behind counters in the corner shop or neatly aligned on tables in the local farmer’s market. SCOBYs are part of the collaborative economy and are passed on or shared between friends rather than being big commercial bruisers capable of making the Big Bucks, big time. Health food gurus, fermentation fans and food bloggers may be familiar with them. The vast majority, however, may be forgiven for thinking that a SCOBY is a Scooby-dooby-doo typo. SCOBY is, in fact, an acronym standing for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast” and SCOBY’s are an essential element in the fermentation of some milks, tonics and foods. Harry Marshall-Ward a Victorian botanist was the first to identify and classify them through the study of the Ginger Beer Plant. To recall most wild fermented foods and beverages are fermented either by yeasts (such as wine) or by lactic acid bacteria (such as kimchi). In the case of a SCOBY …