Monday, October 28, 2013

Party Like It's the Roaring 1920's with Prohibition-Perfect Non-Alcoholic Drinks!

This is a "Prohibition Sour," featured in 1920s soda fountains as "a drink for men." But anyone who enjoys a tart, tasty drink will love it. 

This was one of the thousands of drinks, ice cream sodas, and sundaes created during the Dry Decade to refresh young and old alike.  Not like the Shirley Temple drinks of my youth, these beverages pack their own flavor punch and are deliciously refreshing.  Mix up a batch of the flavor concentrates and keep in the fridge for a couple of days or for weeks in the freezer. Add to sparkling water, toss in some ice.  Delicious and there won't be any worries about hangovers!

Prohibition Sour
By the drink

1 ounce lemon syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 ounce orange syrup
freshly squeezed juice of one lime
crushed ice
carbonated water, 6 ounces approximately

Put the syrups and lime juice into a 12-ounce glass.  Add a scoop of crushed ice. Fill with carbonated water, stir and serve garnished with a slice of lime.

By the pitcher -- enough concentrate for 12 8-ounce drinks
Will keep in the refrigerator for two or three days, or in the freezer for weeks.

1 1/2 cups lemon syrup
3/4 cup orange syrup
juice from 6 limes

The Minnehaha Maid was created in a Minnesota soda fountain during Prohibition using local cranberry juice and white grape juice from California growers who turned to selling juice now that they could no longer make wine. It is a delightful beverage today.

Minnehaha Maid Concentrate
Makes 16 5-ounce drinks
Will keep in the refrigerator for two or three days, or in the freezer for weeks.

1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/2 cup lemon syrup
1/2 cup simple syrup (see recipe below)

Combine syrups. Use one ounce to a 7-ounce glass.  Add a small scoop of crushed ice and about 4 ounces carbonated water. Finish with a twist of lemon.

Simple Syrup

This easy-to-make syrup is the basis for a wide range of beverage flavorings.

1 cup water
1 cup white granulated sugar

Put the water into a medium pot. Gradually add the sugar. Warm over low heat, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Do not even bring to a simmer.  Just heat it enough to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Simple syrup keeps for days in the refrigerator.

To Make Flavored Syrups
You can buy bottles of flavoring syrups in grocery stores or on the web. But for basic fruit flavors it is easy to make them using your own simple syrup and frozen juice concentrates.

1/4 cup simple syrup
1 tablespoon concentrated juice mix such as lemonade, limeade, orange juice

Stir the concentrate into the syrup. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for two or three days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Free Soup for Cold and Colds

Cold temperatures and a family full of runny noses took me to the store in search of chicken soup. I wanted low sodium or salt-free broth. Horrors! Other shoppers had purchased all the broth except for one carton. I put that in my cart and pondered my possibilities. Was it worth a trip to any of the other grocery stores in my neighborhood? I had gone to the store that I knew had the largest supply of low salt products in the first place.

Bingo!  I remembered the bag of leftover roast chicken bones sitting in my freezer. I had tossed them in a couple of weeks ago when I didn't have time to make stock. Frozen chicken bones to the rescue! I put the bones with their clinging shards of meat into a 3-quart pot. Tossed in a couple of chopped carrots, a bit of onion, some celery and covered the ingredients with cold water.

A couple of slow-simmering hours later I drained off the broth. I'll pick the remaining bit of chicken off the bones.I may make it into a small bit of chicken salad, or put it back into the stock. Given the health of the family, I'm pretty sure this quart of soup won't last long.

But it is worth remembering that at the end of every meal we have an opportunity to look over what is left and consider how we can make the best use of our food resources. You never know when you might just need it to keep yourself healthy!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Backyard Chicken

This summer our pear tree finally produced enough pears so that we got many more than the squirrels. Tim, the bee-keeper neighbor up the street, installed a new hive. His bees feasted on our garden blooms all summer long.

The pears ripened all at once, as pears usually do. I had plenty to make a few pints of my favorite Pear Salsa. Tim shared a couple of pints of neighborhood honey.

 Looking out at the snow-covered backyard this morning, I thought about making a dish to bring those "remembering summer" ingredients together. I marinated the chicken for about four hours in the salsa, baked it, and then finished it off with a light summer honey glaze. Even if you don't have a pear tree or a bee-keeper neighbor you could enjoy this dish. There are winter pears in the stores now. It wouldn't take too long to make a half batch of the salsa. It is delightful on chips, too.

Backyard Chicken

2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken parts, breasts and thighs
3/4 cup pear salsa (recipe follows)
1/4 cup honey

 Wash the chicken and combine with the pear salsa in a plastic freezer bag. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least three hours, or overnight. Shake the bag every hour or so for the first three hours to distribute the marinade evenly. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pick one large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer without touching and with at least half-inch sides so the baking juices won't run into the oven. Put the chicken on the baking sheet. Bake until done, turning once. The amount of time will vary with the size of the pieces of chicken. Tenders will take about 15 minutes, full breasts much longer. When chicken is done remove pieces to a plate, put a baking rack on the foil and the put the chicken on the rack. Turn the oven to broil. Drizzle the chicken pieces lightly with honey and broil until golden, about five minutes.

Pear Salsa 

10 pears (good-sized and ripe, but still hard)
1 red pepper 1 green pepper
1 red onion
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper (minced)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1/4 cup white vinegar

Peel and core the pears, core the peppers, and peel the onion. Process in a food processor until chopped, do not over process. Put the mixture into a large pot, add the liquid ingredients and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, add the jalapeno. Cook for ten minutes or until pears just begin to turn transparent. Put into sterilized jars and store in refrigerator for about a month. Or you may seal in pint or half-pint canning jars by processing in boiling water bath for 10 minutes, following USDA recommendations.

Copyright 2013 Rae Katherine Eighmey All Rights Reserved