i don't know about you but i am a child of the 60s and was raised drinking hoffman's and dr. brown's sodas, seltzer brought by irving the seltzer man in beautiful blue glass bottles, egg creams from seymour's luncheonette and chocolate milk made with u-bet chocolate syrup and pasteurized milk. in the 70's we took the nestea plunge, went to the moon with tang and got our country time on with "convenient' powdered drinks. who knew?
other fermented beverages we like to make at home are beet kvass which calls for freshly peeled and cut up beets, liquid whey, sea salt and filtered water. this rich, silky drink is a great tonic to start the day and is a great blood builder - not to mention a great base for a salad dressing! my son loves to make fermented ginger ale. it is different from bottled ginger ale in that is has no C02 added. it gets it fizz from liquid whey, rapadura sugar and natural fermentation. fresh ginger, fresh lemon and lime juice and some chopped dried apricots lend a beautiful sweetness to the brew. we often add fresh mint or thai basil to create a freshness when we serve it. it goes so well with spicy thai dishes and home made sushi.
the egg cream is something that i hold near and dear to my heart. it is a soda fountain experience that brings back memories of my old neighborhood in queens, my grandma sylvia and my uncle mitch. in the old days it was a combo of pasteurized milk, u-bet chocolate syrup and fountain seltzer. these days i make it with a vanilla balsamic syrup i make by reducing balsamic vinegar with a split vanilla bean till it's a thick syrup. you can store this in the fridge for ages and it will be good to go, no worries. in an 8 oz. glass i use 3 TBS. syrup, then fill the glass half way with raw milk or raw milk kefir, then slowly add naturally sparkling mineral water while vigorously stirring to create a head of foam on the top. this drink takes me right back to my childhood and begs me to eat a good kosher beef hot dog and knish.
another summer favorite, and a recipe i contributed to Nina's book is a cucumber lemonade with ginger, mint and stevia. fill up a pitcher with good filtered water and add a generous handful of thinly sliced cucumbers, a TBS. of freshly grated ginger and 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. feel free to use lime, orange, grapefruit, etc....find your favorite. add stevia to taste in very small amounts (it can go wrong quickly) and then mottled fresh mint leaves - basil is beautiful too. you can let this sit out in the sun to infuse if you like and then refrigerate or just serve over ice. a major refresher.....for the adults, add chilled vodka or gin. makes a nice summer martini! garnish with pickled cucumbers or preserved lemons.
did you know that drinking your breakfast is an awesome way to start your day? here is our favorite smoothie recipe:
1 cup of either (raw) milk, kefir, yogurt, colostrum, etc.
1 cup raw coconut water
2 crazy brown ripe cold bananas
1 tsp. camu camu powder
1 tsp. barleans greens powder
1/2 tsp. macca powder
3 capsules dr. ron's organ delight emptied in the jug
2 raw pastured egg yolks
1 cup frozen berries of your choice
whip it all up with a hand blender, vitamix or counter top blender and enjoy!
before i sign off and head to the kitchen to create something beautiful and delicious for lunch i want to remind y'all that what i mostly put into my glass these days is pure, clean water. i don't go overboard and swill it all day long but i do get what i consider to be my fill and what's more important it is clean and pure. we have a three stage counter top filter that we purchased at pure-earth.com that removes flouride, chlorine, bacteria, sediment, etc. there are many types and brands on the market but i do recommend that you have a look and see what works best for you and your budget. some of the popular, excellent filters come from radiant life, berkey and pure earth. our bodies depend on water, please make pure and clean water a priority for you and your loved ones.
kombucha and water kefir are a great alternative to store bought sodas that are full of chemicals, refined sugars and unwanted additives. herbal teas, tonics, smoothies and ades are health restoring, thirst quenching and delicious! what we can do with drinks in the creative kitchen is a super satisfying, loving and innovative way to save money and introduce new, fresh flavors when bringing your friends and Family2Table and i will always drink to that! cheers & enjoy!!
- 1 gallon glass pyrex bowl or 1 gallon glass anchor jar (an old fashioned candy jar)
- 2 air tight glass bottles to store the kombucha in the fridge (i use the Ikea bottles. they are tight and cheap)
- a box of 365 brand organic black tea from whole foods
- a bag of 365 brand organic evaporated can sugar from whole foods
- masking tape
- a tea towel
- a stainless steel pot to boil and brew
- pure filtered water
- a starter culture (from a bottle or a friend)
1. place 3 quarts of filtered water in a pot and bring to a boil
2. add 1 cup organic evaporated cane juice (i use whole foods organic 365 brand) to the pot and stir till dissolved (about 5 minutes)
3. add 4 tea bags (i use whole foods organic 365 brand) to the pot and turn off flame and cover
4. when tea has cooled to room temp (at least 5 hours - i put mine up at night and let it brew and cool till morning)
5. remove tea bags and put tea into 1 gallon capacity glass bowl
6. add 1/2 cup kombucha (starter to inoculate)
7. place scoby on top - it will float - sometimes it sinks. that's okay
8. using masking tape, make a criss-cross over the bowl and date with marker
9. put tea towel over the bowl and put in a warm place (i put mine on top of the fridge)
10. check after 5 days (the sweetness and the tea flavor should be gone) depending on the temp. in your house,
warmer cultures faster, it could take up to 10 days.
remove scoby and baby - which will be attached to each other - and place liquid in bottles with air tight stoppers.
refrigerate and drink. save 1/2 cup for next batch and now you have a scoby to share or put in a glass jar and refrigerate
with some kombucha until someone asks you for it.
(you can do a secondary fermentation in these bottles if you want it extra fizzy.
instead of putting it in the fridge, put an extra teaspoon of sugar in each bottle
and let stand for another 3 days before refrigerating).
as always, if you have any questions about the drinks please contact me at email@example.com