Lavender Lemonade

August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

A leftover project from the weekend.

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Avery and I had picked the lavender for this delicious treat on Sunday but we didn’t have the time to put it all together, so today, just before nap, we got stuck in. The recipe came from our facebook / pinterest group The Unmendables (which I adore! Feel free to join in!!). Of course, as usual, I deviated pretty heavily from the suggested everything.

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Firstly I have to say that this is devine! And an amazingly fun activity to do with an inquisitive 3 year old. As far as the changes I made: I used 10 lemons and almost 1/2 a cup of lavender flowers. I would actually use more lavender next time as, although the flavor is there, it’s pretty subtle and I’d like a bit more of a floral kick. I also boiled the water, lavender and sugar on the stove for about 15 minutes. I felt like the colour really deepened in this time and the solution became nice and syrupy and fragrant. I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t pour off a little bottle of lavender syrup at this point. Silly Kate. I’m also really sad that I didn’t believe that the colour change would be such a pretty one. I had Avery stirring for me to see it but I didn’t pull Matt and Oliver over or record it (I had the thought in the back of my mind but for some reason thought…nahhhh). It was amazing! The liquid goes from a dusky purple to an almost neon pink, in heavy, lemony clouds, as you add the juice. I’m considering doing another smaller batch just to catch this change. Avery and I were smitten with it.

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Oh, also, one other thing we did that I didn’t see in the recipe, we strained out the lavender flowers. I guess, maybe the results would be more flavorful if we’d left them in and I wouldn’t be complaining about it not being lavender-y enough but there’s no way I’m going to get my kid to drink lemonade with floating flowers in it. Nor my husband either, for that matter. Anyway, after we’d boiled the mix for a while, I strained them out before adding the lemon juice.

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We let the mixture cool, Avery & Oliver took their afternoon nap and then we poured ourselves a long, icy glass of pink, floral lemonade. It was delightful! I think some of us could go for it a bit sweeter but I love the tang of a sour lemonade so I’ll leave the other parties to add their extra sugar should they so desire.

Make this. It tastes nice.

<disclaimer: I did not feel stoned after drinking this. I did however feel the need to lie on the floor for about 30 minutes but I think that’s mostly to do with the two tiny boys following me around and demanding hugs/tickles/piggybacks/etc>

Lemon Ginger Simple Syrup

March 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

There are few things that I go to the trouble of doing just for myself.

Generally, if I’m not doing it for someone else as well, then it’ll get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list and eventually, probably just fall off. This is most certainly NOT the case for this syrup. Matt is not a fan of bold, sour, spicy flavors and the combo of ginger and lemon might be one of his all time least favorite things, however, I could drink it by the gallon!

I stumbled across it mostly by accident after making limoncello for gifts over the holidays. I had around 20 peeled lemons and no ideas what to do with them. I also had a chunk of fresh ginger that I needed to use up as my ginger cookies were just never going to get made. I juiced the lemons, threw the ginger in the food processor and then dumped it into a pan with some scoops of sugar and boiled it up for about an hour. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it but I strained it into a bottle and popped it into the fridge. That night I tipped a bit into a mug with some hot water and rum and instantly, heaven. Matt snarled and wrinkled his nose in disgust. More for me! It’s fantastic for creating cocktails, just having with some hot water in the evening, or on ice cream…I could go on and on. I polished off that bottle within a fortnight and have been on the fence about making another batch ever since. Today, I couldn’t take it any more and made it official by writing down the recipe!

Lemon Ginger Simple Syrup.

7 lemons (this works out as about 2 cups of juice)

1 chunk of fresh ginger (3 tbsp chopped)

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

The best way to chop the ginger is to just throw the chunk into a food processor. You don’t have to worry about taking the skin off as you’ll be straining the ginger out later anyway.

Put all ingredients into a large pan and heat over high heat until it boils. Lower the heat slightly and let it bubble for 10 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn’t stick.  Turn the heat off and cover. Let the syrup sit for around an hour. This step isn’t essential but it really gets the most out of the ginger and that’s a huge bonus for me.

Uncover and return to the heat. Boil until bubbling happily and then continue to boil for 20 minutes while stirring to prevent sticking. You’ll want to do a taste test at this point (remember to let it cool on the spoon before putting it in your mouth! this stuff is HOT!). You might want to add a touch more sugar, depending on taste. When you’re happy with the flavor, turn off the heat and let it cool. It should be thickening slowly as it cools, ending up at a nice pouring consistency. The longer you boil, the thicker it’ll end up.

Strain the syrup into a large measuring jug and then, with a funnel, pour the mixture into a bottle that you can seal up and keep (or gift. Reluctantly). After it has completely cooled, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator. I mostly add it to soda water for a refreshing “ginger ale” or to hot water for a yummy, warming drink.

Enjoy!

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