What the heck is shrub? Wikipedia explains it well enough. I'm shocked that I've never heard of it. Rum, sugar, citrus, time. Drink over ice(?).
I had to try it.
I had to try to make it.
CeeLee, my new husband, helped me make a batch.
An old high school friend makes it and I saw a version in Philadelphia, at the Ben Franklin museum. Popular in 17th and 18th century England, it's a simple home made liqueur. Sounds tasty. Really tasty!
CeeLee haz mad skilz...He did a great job removing the orange skins.
I used three oranges and a heaping half cup of sugar.* I may also leave the peels in the rum for an extra day or two.
I'm even using a local rum: Below Deck. (Ha,I don't think I've ever linked to a commercial web site before.)
It has a highly botanical flavor.
I'll add an update in a few weeks when the shrub is done. Happy summer!
Eat well and love big.
* I wonder if oranges were easy to come by in Colonial Philadelphia. If not, this was quite a luxury. I'll look into it and report back.
Somebody give me a hand, I'm ready to jump on the bone broth bandwagon.
It's winter so I've been thinking a lot about broths, stocks and meaty elixirs. Plus, half of my tribe has had walking pneumonia in the past month. Everyone knows that soup is curative, so I made batch after batch of soup. Most recently, I made chicken (tortilla) soup and dug beef and lamb bones from the freezer to make beefy lamb soup. Both soups yielded a lovely batch of cooked-over bones for stock.
But should I make stock? Or should I make bone broth?
There was a guest on the radio program Splendid Table who talked about bone broth. I usually tune out stuff like that but the guest discussed adding egg shells and apple cider vinegar so I listened.
'Bone broth' is to me just remoulage or the stock made after stock has been made.
Like so: buy bones, roast bones, chop mirepoix, make stock. When the stock is done, instead of throwing away the bones, the French 're-wet' the bones and cooked veg creating a weak stock called remoulage.
But bone broth is a kissing cousin to stock. What I did this morning is re-wet beef and lamb bones in the crock pot with mirepoix and vinegar--cover with water and add 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar per quart.* It looks like so: -->>
I also added celery and onion trim that I saved in the freezer for stock making.
It'll spend 24 hours in the crock pot. Start it on high until it simmers then turn it down to low or warm.
I'll know in the morning if it's good or a dud!
-- next day --
Yay! It works! The stock is hearty and thick. It has so much collagen that when it cooled, it was as stiff as jell-o.
I seasoned it as if it were soup, not a salt-free stock. It freezes well and has settled so beautifully, it looks like consomme.
I don't know if it's curative, but it is damned delicious. The vinegar flavor vanishes, leaving a deep, meaty flavor. And the soup has a great mouth feel. I think it has to be 'good for what ails you' because anything with so much good mojomust be good for you.
* This is a rough average. I put in 1/4 cup of vinegar but -- alas -- I had no egg shells. CeeLee put 'em in the compost bin.
Last week, our friend Maxene came over for dinner. She made an amazing galette for dessert. I posted a photo of it on Facebook and a couple of friends asked for the recipe. Max complied and here it is:
1/4 cup sour cream or room temp. cream cheese
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 C cold water (less will render a flakier dough)
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C chilled butter
1. Whisk cream, lemon juice and water and put in freezer while you prepare the next steps of the recipe (want it cold, but not frozen)
2. Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and drop into flour then mix with a cuisinart until butter is in small, pea-sized bits
3. Add liquid, mix, and let chill for at least one our.
And for the filling:
2 C cranberries
2-3 T crystallized ginger
lemon or orange zest
1/2 C sugar
Roll dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch and transfer to a baking sheet. Spread filling evenly over the dough, leaving a two-inch margin around the edges. Fold the dough over the edges of the filling. Brush with egg wash, using the wash to affix the folds of dough.
For a shiny, golden crust, use an egg wash (one egg beaten with a teaspoon of cool water). If you want a dark but not shiny crust, wash with cream or milk.
bake at 350!
(for 45 minutes)
Thanks Maxene for the wonderful dessert and well-written recipe.
This is for Gray, a wonderful man I work with who is the source of all my Persimmon-y Goodness. His tree has yielded four cups of persimmon puree, enough to make two batches of bread, as well as pulp for mead and a few other projects.
I didn't know I loved persimmons until I had a bunch of persimmons to process. The flesh of the pretty orange fruit is a little slimy but the flavor is fantastic. Sweet with a little spice. It reminds me of mango.
Unfortunately, one must pick them just prior to full ripeness to save them from hungry birds. Allow them to ripen in a cool place and they'll turn from astringent to sweetly perfect in a few days (or weeks).
I froze them, thawed them and scraped the pulp from the thick skins.
I modified a classic zucchini bread recipe to make this version of persimmon bread. I cut down on the sugar and oil as the persimmons have plenty of sweetness and are the pulp is quite moist. Enjoy!
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup neutral oil
(I used peanut oil and avocado oil)
1 tspn vanilla
1 Tbsp grated lime peel
(lemon would work but all I had on hand was limes)
3 cups AP flour
1-1/4 tspn salt
1 tspn baking soda
1/4 tspn baking powder
1 tspn cinnamon
2 cups persimmon pulp
1 cup chopped walnuts (any nut will do)
Oil two loaf pans. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and set aside. In a mixer (with the paddle) combine sugar and wet ingredients: oil, eggs, vanilla, lime zest.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix slightly (about a minute or two). Add persimmon pulp and nuts.
The batter will be thin enough to pour. Fill loaf pans 3/4 full and bake undisturbed for 55 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. My first batch of test loaves took an additional ten minutes. The second batch (in slightly smaller loaf pans) took exactly 55 minutes.
I'm going to freeze a loaf to eat on Christmas morning.
My Sweetie and I spent two weeks in Ireland last October. Not only were we blown away by the complicated food we had in Dublin (like an octopus 'head cheese' -- see photo at right -- or an Italian take on chitterlings) but the simple things like home-made Irish soda bread for breakfast every morning.
Fade Street Social, Dublin Ireland
Beer quick bread, specifically this quick bread recipe, is so easy it's in a pan before the oven heats up. No joke. It's the perfect go-to addition to a meal if friends drop by unexpectedly.
I adapted (mostly snatched) the recipe from "Half Baked Harvest' one of those blogs that puts up a dozen shallow-depth-of-focus shots before you get to the damned recipe.
Here's the nut graf. You can put anything into this bread. Cheese, different kinds of beer, sub part whole wheat flour, nuts, fruit, anything.
Here's the recipe:
Basic Beer Bread
3 cups flour
4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar (or any granulated sugar)
12 ounces beer (one bottle of beer)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Add beer and stir until just incorporated.
Spoon batter into a greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until an internal temp of 180 to 190 degrees is attained.
I love a tasty project and Century Eggs are just that.
(to be continued)
The following was inserted/edited into the century egg post by me, the blog's writer on May 3, 2015.
so sorry these eggs were so bad...
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT MAKE THESE EGGS!!!!!
A week or so ago I cracked into my Century Eggs.
Nasty does not even begin to describe how awful these eggs were. At the time, I believe I described them as 'exploding little pockets of pus.'
Yea. Pretty gross.
I guess you have to hard cook them first.
If you've eaten congee at a dim sum joint or if you've ordered a cold jellyfish salad, most likely it came with 'century egg.'
A century egg is an egg that is packed in a caustic mud and allowed to 'cure' for 100 days. The result is an egg white that is transparent and amber colored, like stained glass, and a yolk that is creamy and slightly green. The photo at the right is taken right from the interwebs.
Really, really delish. But, what an undertaking!
The basic ingredients I cobbled together from a number of blog posts and recipes, most notably Silk Road Gourmet and Recipe Source. The latter employs a charmingly archaic HTML/DOS font for the recipe.
3 pounds inexpensive rice (what I used) OR rice chaff (which I couldn't find)
Brew the cup of black tea leaves in 6 cups water. Steep/cool for 30 minutes to one hour. The tea should be hella strong.
In a large glass bowl or stainless pot, combine sea salt, lime and ash. Add two cups of strong tea (un strained). Strain tea reserving the tea. Add the wet tea leaves to the ash mixture.
Cool completely. The mix should resemble loose cement. Add more tea, slowly, until the mixture is thin enough to work with but thick enough to stick. Coat the eggs to a depth of 1/4 inch with the mud. In a separate bowl, place rice chaff (or cheap rice -- I used broken jasmine rice). Roll the mud-egg-ball in the chaff and set aside on a plate. Similarly coat all the eggs, segregating the duck from the chicken eggs. I coated the duck eggs first and layered them in a bucket of dirt. The chicken eggs went into dirt last so they'll be easy to test in February, when the eggs are done rotting.
Eat well and love big.
PS: I don't think you need gloves. I did half the eggs without and didn't suffer any damage to my digits.
* When I initially read the recipe I though it said 'lye' not 'lime' so I searched all over for food-grade lye only to find it and realize later that it wasn't what I needed.
When life give you lye, make kick-ass home-made soap. Which I did.
I love everything about autumn. Sweaters, golden sunshine, long nights, rain, and winter squash.
Especially winter squash.
I picked up a kabocha squash at the Portland Farmers Market on Wednesday and roasted* it for dinner last night. Mashed with a bit of butter, salt and a drop of agave nectar, it was magnificent with pot roast.
I also got a few of the last ears of corn from the market. Hmmm. I was going to cook and freeze the corn but I decided to make corn fritters instead... squash and corn fritters! Fantastic.
1 cup roasted Kabocha (or any sweet winter squash flesh like Red Kuri or even butternut) flesh
1 cup (or two ears) of cooked, shucked corn
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil for frying the fritters
Put squash, corn, egg and flour in a mixing bowl. Mix with a paddle until combined. Mixing on low, slowly add melted butter. When combined, add baking soda. Slowly add half the milk. Continue adding the milk until the consistency resembles really thick pancake batter. It should stick to a spoon.
Heat a deep sided skillet to medium. Add coconut oil and fry fritters in batches until dark brown on both sides. Hold on a wire rack. Serve immediately.
They were so good!
Love big and eat well!
*cut into quarters, de seeded, wiped with coconut oil and roasted at 350 degrees F for an hour.