Food Friday: Belly Water

Earlier this summer, Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen posted a link to Belly Water, apparently originally from the Steve Harvey show. I thought the idea of steeping water in lemon, cucumber, ginger and mint sounded pretty nice for summer and I’ve been drinking variations on this for the last few weeks. I’ve got a pitcher that belongs to an iced tea maker that I chuck a sliced lemon, cucumber, some ginger, and fresh mint into and leave in the fridge. You can refill the water and reuse the stuff inside 3-4 times until you need to pitch it and start over.

(Does this even count as a recipe?)

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Food Friday: Rhubarb Ginger Syrup

Sorry for the blog silence; moving and settling in to the new place has turned out to be an even more time-consuming process than I expected. The great part is that I’ve got my sewing room 75% functional and am slowly unpacking all the bits and bobs. Maybe I’ll actually sew something (other than mending) soon!

The kitchen is 90% there and I’ve begun cooking a lot more. I recently purchased a charming new cookbook called The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, by Alana Chernila. Apparently Alana has a blog, called Eating From the Ground Up, and I suspect a lot of the recipes started there. The book is a bit of a rambler, not focused on any one type of food or cooking/preserving process. I’m not sure that I’ll actually use that many of the recipes as written; I might recommend it as a library book before you see if it’s worth the price for you. There’s a section on drinks, including making your own tea blends, homemade hot chocolate, and that sort of thing, which has the following rhubarb ginger syrup recipe, designed to be used as a concentrate with seltzer, etc.

I love rhubarb, but the spouse is not the biggest fan, so I only test his patience with a strawberry rhubarb pie once every month or so in summer. This is a nice alternative that encourages me to drink more from our Sodastream. It’s very good mixed half and half with plain Sodastream carbonated water and ice. I made it basically as written using mint; if I were to make it again I’d cut the water down so I’d end up with a more syrupy consistency for my purposes, and I’m not sure that the mint really did that much at all. If you don’t have any fresh herbs around, don’t stress.

Rhubarb Ginger Syrup
from The Homemade Pantry, by Alana Chernila

2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 cups water
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste
a few sprigs of fresh thyme or a handful of lemon balm, mint, or a combination of the two

1. Combine the rhubarb and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is almost dissolving. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the rhubarb.
2. Add the lime juice to the rhubarb water, along with the ginger and sugar. Raise ht heat to medium-high and cook at a low boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened.
3. Remove it from the heat, add your herb of choice, and cover. Let steep for 5-10 minutes. Taste and add sugar if needed. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a jar or bottle and let cool.