This week has been about making lots of ginger beer, elderflower champagne and loquat syrups. Next on the list is rhubarb fizz and rosepetal lemonade...mmmmmm..
It seems like alot I suppose, but it means that we can entertain for the cost of the sugar or honey that goes into the bottles. oooh - and remember to keep any softdrink bottles that people have finished using so you can make your own - if you cant use them, I know lots of people who will.(including me).. so pass them along!
The weeds are taking over at the moment and with the clement weather it's time to get serious about reclaiming small patches that have become a little over run.The strawberries are ripening nicely over the brick wall and the currants and rasberries are putting on a spectacular show of leaf and flower and even some fruit from the blackcurrants. Remember to prick out the tips of the rasberry and blackberry leaves for drying your own tea. Nothing you purchase can compare.
We have 2 little polish banton chicks that we placed under the bottom of our broody chook (allowing her to have her natural process with another chickens eggs has worked wonders) and 4 little kittens from our beautiful cat Rosie - the most spectacular ratter! The footpath is sprawling with ducks and their little ducklings - I worry for them on the suburban roads - ah well - that's what happens when you build houses so close to creeks.
For now the sun is shining beautifully and the beach walks are beckoning... see you next time.

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Comment by Derek & Julie Craig on November 18, 2009 at 7:04pm
Hi Linda - Where do I get the recipes from?...well.. it's a combination of medieval and victorian texts and then the library of cooking books that I have in the kitchen gets pulled out and they're everywhere when I'm on a mission to find something. Also, some recipes are just good old fashioned trial and error to see what tastes good.

Ally - feel free to call me on 815-9077 to organise a time to collect the plant - If you come on Saturday afternoon, I can also show you how to make it....soooooo easy!!
Comment by Derek & Julie Craig on November 15, 2009 at 5:38pm
hi Angie - yes - it doesn't matter if you do it late - so long as you have fed the plant and kept the yeast happy.
It may taste more strongly of ginger though.

Hi Cat - yep- really easy to make - I will be dividing the yeast plant for ginger beer in the next few days if you would like some. In fact - there will be 3 to go, so if anyone else wants one aswel, they are welcome to take it too - perhaps just bring a jar to put it into.
Comment by Angie Gibbons on November 15, 2009 at 10:32am
Julie, we are about to bottle the ginger beer from the bug you gave us, a day late but hope its going to be ok fingers crossed!
Comment by Nat & Pete on November 14, 2009 at 9:32pm
Sounds lovely -- I will have to make ginger beer one day soon!
Comment by Linda Lucas on November 14, 2009 at 8:26pm
Where do tyou get your recipes from for these wonderful beverages?
Comment by Ally Rogers on November 14, 2009 at 3:40pm
Thats so lovely... funnily enough i'll be up visiting my daughter in Morningside sometime soon so I'd be able to pick it up..only if that would be okay with you... Thank you for such a kind thought.
i also clearly remeber an exploding batch of ginger beer..must have been par for the course!

What do you need for the whole brewing process?
Comment by Derek & Julie Craig on November 14, 2009 at 11:30am
haha - we brew also - so we have one of those contraptions - I think that the softdrink bottles are the better option though - cause if the dimples of the bottle are blown out - it's time to gently burp the gas out.
Once when making elderflower champagne I din't move gently enough to burp the extended bottle and it exploded at both en, leaving a lovely schweppes indentation on our laundy ceiling! Needless to say - the clean up was excruciating!
Comment by Megan on November 14, 2009 at 8:33am
my mother used to make ginger beer when I was a child back in the 60's and I still remember the time that a batch exploded in the garage, we all had to help clean up the sticky mess. We were very popular with the neighbourhood kids, fizzy drinks were a huge treat. She used to use recycled soft drink and beer bottles and had a contraption for putting on proper metal caps. Mum's in her 70's now, must ask her what happened to the bottle capping thingy.
Comment by Derek & Julie Craig on November 13, 2009 at 7:00am
Thanks Ally - I have a ginger beer "plant" which is the starter - if you would like some. Every week it needs to be divided, so it's a fantastic way to share the love. Let me know if you're interested.
Comment by Ally Rogers on November 12, 2009 at 8:07pm
wow that all sounds amazing... and so cool to read about... how inspiring that you are managing all of that on a section in Mt Albert way to go!!.... and the fizzy fun sounds delicious...i haven't made ginger beer since i was a child...a very very long time ago :)

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