"Commentary from the Countryside"
Thoughts on current events,
history, homesteading, preparedness, real food, and anything else I find interesting, from a cranky, middle-aged woman's common-sense perspective.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunshine and Ginger Ale

It's that time of year when it is 20 degrees and snowing one day, and 50 degrees and sunny the next.  Confusing!  I can settle in to mittens and boots; frosty laughs and coming in to sit by the fire, or I can run around washing windows and raking the yard.  But this going back and forth day by day gets exhausting, and it's one of the reasons I'm not overly fond of early Spring.

There are some great days, though, like yesterday when the stiff northwest breeze was a hound, swiftly herding the clouds before it.  The clouds tumbled forward, gray-blue edged with gold as they passed the sun, and snowflakes spun and danced in the sunlight, catching in the pines and melting on the grass.  The birdfeeders were wildly spinning about but a stubborn woodpecker steadily worked away at one of the suet blocks, probably enjoying the lack of annoying sparrows.

Decided to try something new today:  making home-made ginger ale.  This being Michigan, we of course have that wonderful Vernors Ginger Ale in every store but I still wanted to give this a try.  I found the directions at: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/ginger_ale_ag0.htm  He has a lot of good information and gets into a little of the science behind the carbonation process.

Basically it calls for an empty 2 liter bottle, 1 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. of grated ginger, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. of yeast.  Using a funnel, pour the sugar into the bottle and follow with the yeast.  Mix the grated ginger with the lemon juice, and pour that into the bottle and follow with enough cold water to flush out the funnel. Put the cap on the bottle and shake well to mix the ingredients, then fill with cold water.

Set the bottle in a warm location for 24-48 hours.  The yeast/sugar combination will set up a fermentation process and carbonate the ginger ale.  The bottle will pressurize, so once it doesn't give under a firm squeeze, put it in the fridge.  Leaving it out where it is warm could allow too much pressure to build, causing the bottle to rupture and make a real mess.

I had never used ginger root before and had trouble grating it so I had coarsely grated ginger instead of finely grated.  The root has a wonderful fresh lemony scent that I really enjoyed!  I didn't have any fresh lemons, so I added just a bit of bottled lemon juice.  A fairly cheap and simple experiment, and I guess in a few days I'll know if we have drinkable ginger ale.  Next we'll try the home made root beer!

Making Ginger Ale

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