Saturday, December 5, 2009

Turkey Left-overs = MMMMmOle!

video

It was the day AFTER Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring.....
we were still recovering from the tryptophan crash of the day before!

Whatever were we to do with all that heirloom turkey that Besty and Jamie brought from Santa Fe? I had actually thought ahead of time and prepared a super concentrated Mole Paste at home before we all traveled to our extended family meet up on the Oregon coast in Manzanita.

Here's how I did it: FIRST I contacted my Father-in-law, the Spanish professor who is also an amazing and intrepid cook. I hoped he had "the secret recipe to a great Mole sauce"...indeed, he immediately loaned me two huge volumes on Mexican and Oaxacan cooking, both of which included several individual Mole recipes. One even had all sorts of historical fact and fable about this Sauce of Fame. (Hint: Both of these books are now on my "wish list" for Christmas!)
As I read through the recipes - many of which took days to prepare, as well as a surprising number of ingredients! I realized that as a good but "every day" cook, I needed to simplify or I'd never fulfill my promise to proved the sauce to make a Mole Fest happen on T-day 2. I decided to use....the Vita-Mix!! After that, I honed the lists of ingredients down a bit, consolidating recipes as well as being sure that the important flavor combinations weren't missing. (Jon ate 2 prior batches before declaring this was "the one").



MmmmmmmmOle Concentrate
Assemble the following ingredients in one place before beginning. I found that shopping took longer than the actual preparation!
  • 4 dried Pasilla chilies, stems & seeds removed
  • 4 dried Ancho chilies, stems & seeds removed
  • 1 (I used a canned) Chipotle chile, seeded
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes & juice
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds,
  • 1/2 c. almonds
  • 1/4 c. tasted pepitos (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 organic corn tortillas, torn in pieces
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2" pieces of cinnamon, broken up a bit
Place all the above into the Vita Mix (or heavy duty blender) and puree until smooth. Really really smooth!!

In a large skillet, heat
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
Scrape the pureed chile mix into the pan and saute the puree for at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently to dissuade any little crusty bits from forming. Add
  • 3 1/2 oz. bitter chocolate (I used 1 2/3 bars of Newman's Own organic 72% chocolate - if you use unsweetened chocolate, you made need to add a small amount of sugar to balance the flavors at the end)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
Continue stirring and cooking over very low heat for about another 15-20 minutes. The sauce will become extremely thick and paste-like. It should "feel" like a thick tomato paste does!

This made almost 1 full quart of paste - which I froze and took to our Turkey day rendezvous.
When ready to serve, we thinned the paste with chicken stock (for the turkey mole) or vegetable broth (for the bean mole). Here are the variations!

Vegetarian Mole
Saute a chopped onion, and diced celery in a deep pot. Add left-over roasted vegies (we had parsnips, sweet potatos, and beets) from Turkey dinner. Add 3 cans of assorted beans- black, kidney, pinto. Throw in 1/2 a head of chopped kale!! Stir in about 1 cup of Mole paste and 4-6 cups broth.
Turkey Mole
Saute a chopped onion, and diced celery in a deep pot. Add left-over roasted vegies (we had parsnips, sweet potatos, and beets) from Turkey dinner. Add chopped, left over turkey. Throw in 1/2 a head of chopped kale!! Stir in about 1 cup of Mole paste and 4-6 cups broth.

Serve your Mole Variations over hot rice, and pass the tortillas (if you are lucky, your Aunt Louise will have brought the tortilla press and the masa to make them fresh for dinner!!)

Hang out and play lots of music after dinner!!
video

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful



In this busy life, a moment of reflection with Sarah McLachlan and St. Francis of Assisi.....

We have been very busy (typically, October/November are our biggest months of the year!)Here's Jon taping up boxes yesterday - and then there's Sean (our UPS Angel!) flexing his muscles to begin the pickup!


Besides "work" I have added quite a bit more to the canning pantry, including several pints of our home-fermented Sauerkraut, and Wool-Wash. Well, the wool-wash isn't for eating.... but it will help get those stains out of Jon's sweater after he's eaten the sauerkraut...


I got the "recipe" for Wool-Wash from an Australian friend...
4 cups boiling water
4 cups pure SOAP flakes (not "detergent! - if you can't find it, just grate a bar or 2 of pure castile soap)
Pour the hot water over the flakes, and beat with a whisk or mixer, until well blended. It gets "foamy - that's alright! When well incorporated, add
1 cup rubbing alcohol ("mentholated spirits" if you live in Australia!) PLUS 1 Tbs or so of essential oil - I used eucalyptus -just enough to smell "fresh"!
Incorporate some more, and pour into wide mouth containers (I got these little ones at the Dollar Store). It will be foamy and cloudy, then go through a clear stage, and lastly firm up into a white gel.
To Use: Swish about a TBS of the gel in warm water, to soak your hand-washables and woolens in.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Medicare-for-all, Round 4! It could Happen this week!!

Please follow this link to support the Weiner Amendment extending MEDICARE for ALL to the Health care Bill in front of Congress. The link take you to a fax you can send from your computer- and gives you phone numbers for your representatives as well as the major players, and the White House. Let your will be known! Here's the scoop:

Breaking news from PNHP (Physicians for National Health Plan). The Weiner amendment 'could' come to a floor vote on Friday or Saturday with maybe a 20 minute debate allowed. Your calls and faxes were instrumental in making this happen.
Now is the time to push hard on your congressperson to vote for the Weiner amendment. Even if it fails, it is very important to show that it has support. If the entire health reform bill fails, as it very well may, then Medicare For All has a real shot at enactment when Congress realizes it MUST address health care.

Here's the link to the FAX YOUR REPRESENTATIVE page.

Here's the link where you can easily find your congresspeople's phone numbers!

The Birthday Spurtle and what I did with it...


My birthday is Hallowe'en, and yes, the apostrophe indicates that you know how to properly spell the word! ("e'en" is a contraction for "evening") As a child it was much akin to a Christmas birthday -but it's gotten much more fun the older I get. This year, my friend, Joni happened to be visiting from Scotland where she's lived with her husband for many years. And she brought me a spurtle!!! I was soooo excited :-) The spurtle is that lovely turned piece of wood in the pic above - and it's been used since the 15th century to stir.... porridge! The Golden Spurtle Porridge Making Championship competition is held in Carrbridge Scotland every year.

I quickly chopped and steamed up some of the delicious apples Stan and Bev brought down, ran them through the chinois, and added some spices for Apple Butter making...



The spurtle lived up to it's reputation - the rounded end fitting evenly against the ceramic sides of the pot - not one lump was left after a few minutes of stirring. So, we sent the butter into the oven for a few hours, and later canned it up - yum!!
Very Good Gingered Apple Butter

*this is more like "the technique" than a recipe with measured amounts *

Core and roughly chop several apples -you don't have to peel or seed them, but cut out the bad spots. I filled up my 5 qt. cast iron enameled pot.
add about 2" water to the pot and simmer until the apples are easily mushed -
about 15 minutes.
Place your chinois or food mill over a large bowl or another large pot, and press the apples through. This separates the peels and seed out, and also creates a "saucy" texture!
Pour the apple mush back into the (wiped out) original pot, and place on the stove top over medium heat. Turn on the oven as well - to 300 degrees, and let it heat up a bit.
Add the following spices, to taste :
cinnamon
ginger
cardamom
anything else on the shelf look like a contender?
for my pot of sauce, i used about 2 tbs. each. then i added more ginger :-)
Now, get out your sugar bin. Add some in - maybe a cup or two. Taste it - should taste like good "applesauce". We don't really like ours too sweet - and after everything is cooked down, the flavors will be greatly concentrated. Stir everything about until it's nicely bubbling.
Pretend you are a Scottish witch from 1709 if you are using your new spurtle.
When it's nice and bubbly, open the oven and place the pot, uncovered, in the oven on the middle rack. Let it simmer there for about 2-3 hours. You'll know when it's done because not only will it smell lovely, it will have reduced by at least 1/3, and be thick and dark brown.

I can it in pints or 1/2 pints - 15 minutes in the water bath canner.





Friday, October 30, 2009

The "Public Option" IS our bail-out, America

"Be not simply good, be good for something." -Thoreau



Contact your congress people and representatives!
Email, web sites info, and ground address for US Senators/Representatives can all be found here.

And here is NY Congressman Anthony Weiner's site, Countdown to HealthCare, where you can sign petitions, get up-to-the-minute informatin on what and how things are moving through congress. I am tempted to move to NY state, just to claim Weiner as my rep!

Don't you wonder how a Democratic President, elected on a platform of reform, with over whelming Democrat majorities in the House and the Senate can take a hugely popular social program and turn it into a corporate give away? This is about as good for us as Medicare part D (which essentially gave billions of dollars to the pharmaceutical companies!)

That's just what's happening with the "HealthCare for America" act recently introduced by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. the way it reads, right out of the box, the "public option" is described as "requir(ing) most individuals to obtain health insurance but do too little to make sure they can afford it. But beefing up insurance subsidies would drive up the cost of the bill, which not only would threaten Obama’s $900 billion spending cap but would unnerve centrist Democrats already worried that the bill does too little to constrain healthcare costs." (TheHill.com)

"We think that it was eight times normal volume and it was certainly higher than the demand that we had when the first stimulus bill went up," he said. "It was probably the highest volume of traffic we've ever seen." -Jeff Ventura, White House spokesperson, on the flood of calls, email, and faxes to the White House in the 24 hours after the announcement about the bill was made. (see full story here)

Late October 2009 MSNBC Poll asks "is it important to give people a choice of a public option? -- a combined 72% answered that it was either "extremely important" or "quite important," while just 23% said it was "not that important" or "not at all important."

October's CBS NewPolls tell us Americans continue to overwhelmingly support a Robust Public Option - the question was:
DO YOU FAVOR A GOVERNMENT HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN LIKE MEDICARE

Now 9/2009 8/2009 7/2009 6/2009
Favor 62% 65% 60% 66% 72%
Oppose 31% 26% 34% 27% 20%

While fewer people answered "Favor" than back in June, still almost 2/3 of the people polled want a Public Option that covers everyone, no exceptions, equally. How simple is it to see that what we WANT, what we VOTED FOR in November, was to CHANGE the system that does not support "average Americans"?! If your Senators and Representatives are not helping to move this change forward, they are not listening to you and your neighbors. A Public Option will only work if EVERYONE is IN THE POOL. We must pester them into letting us ALL in.

"If the public option leads to a single-payer system, it'll be because private health insurance couldn't offer as good a product to consumers -- that government-run insurance turned out more affordable, of higher quality, and better overall. It'll be because consumers preferred government-run health insurance to private insurance. Isn't that their choice?" succinctly stated by Sahil Kapur in his blog post today.

Paul Krugman (Nobel prize winning Economist, and columnist for The New York Times) wrote an opinion piece supporting the recently unveiled House plan here. "For this is the moment of truth. The political environment is as favorable for reform as it’s likely to get. The legislation on the table isn’t perfect, but it’s as good as anyone could reasonably have expected. History is about to be made — and everyone has to decide which side they’re on."




P.S. check out this link if you want to know what some people think this is really an Insurance Company Bail Out bill.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Canning & Preserving 2009









From our little garden this year, a bounty of food!
Stan's apples trees contributed quite a bit of fruit for us as well (it was low yield year for the pear tree - so we only got a few. I still have jars of Pear Sauce, Pear Butter, and several litres of "Poplar Pear" wine from last year!)

Completed :
  • Tomato sauce, 6 pts
  • Diced tomatoes, 7 pts
  • Enchilada sauce, 4 pts
  • Ketchup, 6 - 1/2 pts
  • Bar-b-q sauce, 6 - 1/2 pts
  • Garlic Dills, 6 qts
  • Icicle pickles, 8 pts
  • Cardamon Applesauce, 6 pts
  • Apple Pie filling, 5 qts + 1 pt
  • Cranberry Sauce w/Port 6 - 13 oz.
  • Apple Cranberry Brandied Mince filling 6 pts
  • Cranberry Pear Chutney 4 pts
  • Plum Walnut conserve 4 pts
  • Honeyed jalapenos, 6 - 1/2 pts
  • Hot Thai Vinegared peppers, 1 pt
  • Grape jelly 6 - 1/2 pts
  • Ginger Marmalade 9 1/2 pts
  • Sunrise Marmalade 13 1/2 pts
  • Bitter Marmalade 8 1/2 pts
  • Gingery Apple Butter 9 1/2 pts
  • Sauerkraut 9 pts (11/15/09)
  • Brown Sugar Applesauce 10 pts (11/15/09)
Yet to Can:
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Gingered Honey jelly (for sore throat days)
  • What else? I need a few more apple suggestions - and any other "special requests" will be seriously considered :-)
  • I also have about a gallon of huckleberries in the freezer- 2 quarts for holiday pies, and the rest for.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Better Bread - Gluten-Free and Smiling!




Well, it's not the end of my quest, but here is what I've come up with - it is a tasty, yeasty, and scented with warm grainy-goodness. (remember the last loaf that I said smelled a bit "bean-y? By the 2nd day - the beans had won and the loaf was out!)

I know it's a long list of ingredients (especially when "Bread" used to mean only 3! flour, water, yeast) And I used my bread machine again, but this is my own creation - and it's good enough to make the weekly kitchen schedule!

Robbin's Better Bread -GF recipe

Melt 1/4 c. butter
Off the flame, whisk in 1 3/4 c. whole grain rice milk, then
whisk in 3 whole eggs.
Place these wet ingredients in the bread machine.

Mix the following thoroughly with fork or whisk:
3c. Gifts of Nature GF Baking mix
(there are no bean flours in this mix !)
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. teff
(I used it whole-grain , not flour. It's smaller than poppy seeds, but I think this is what smells so good!)
1/4 c. quinoa flakes
2 tsp. whole, golden flax seeds
1/4 c. expandex (modified tapioca starch)
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
Scoop the dry ingredients into the machine, on top of the wet ingredients.
Make a shallow "well" on the top, and sprinkle in 2 1/2 tsp. yeast.
Set machine for "Quick" breads, or use the shorter setting (only one rise)

Jon's dad, Stan has once again supplied us with bushels of tasty apples this fall, and I've been busy preserving their goodness. Besides eating out of hand, and the Apple Pie Filling last week, we now have several jars of Cardamom Applesauce to see us through the year. We love cardamom, so substituting it for the cinnamon I would put in the sauce was a no-brainer. Smelled lovely and tasted even better. Jon ate a bowl of warm sauce that didn't fit into the jars, with grated cheddar cheese, and declared it Cardo-yum (I kid you not).



And here's the TAMontana that I created for Karen to thank her for that scrumptiously beautiful Montana wool she gifted me with last week!!


TAMontana Instructions

Super easy, and really works up quickly because the middle section is a fish-net lace.

Implements required:
set of size 6 double point needles
stitch markers
a functional brain
size 8 24" circular needle
dk - light worsted weight yarn: less than 50 grams.

Starting at the crown, with size 6 dpn, cast on 8 stitches and divide evenly across 4 needles.
This is where you are allowed to say a few bad words, but keep your focus. It's all down hill after the first 3-4 rows!
ROW 1: *K1, YO, K1* around (12 stitches)
ROW 2: Knit around
ROW 3:
*K1, YO, K1, YO, K1* around (20 stitches)

ROW 4: Knit around
ROW 5:
*K1, YO, Knit to 2 stitches before end of needle, YO, K1* around

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until you have about 100 stitches.
This is where you have to use your brain... if it seems like the crown is too big, begin the next section a few rows earlier, or if you want more room, extend the above section a few more rows! This is very flexible :-)

Second Section: Change to circular needle, and Knit one more row around.
Row 2 : *YO, K2tog* around.
ROW 3: Knit around
Repeat these 2 rows until this section measures about 3 1/2 -4 " long.
End with a Knit-around row.
Use this last row to make any adjustments to your stitch count so you end up with a number divisible by 4 for the ribbing section coming up!

Third section: Change back to smaller size 6 dpns (or a circ. 6) and begin ribbing:
*K2, P2*
repeat every row until ribbing is desired depth. (I like it about 1 1/2")
Cast Off ( I prefer to cast off knit stitches, knit wise and the purl stitches, purl wise.)
Weave in ends... the original cast-on tail can be pulled through the first round to tighten up the "hole" before weaving in!
Voila! You can block it, or not depends on how stiff you prefer your tams.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apples and Pears and Peppers and Squirrels! Oh, My!


Where have I been?!
First, there were pears..... later, there were pear tarts, pear sauce, and pear butter :-)
Then, there were apples!!!

Now there are many, many quarts of Apple Pie Filling, and there is yet to be applesauce and chutney!
Apple Pie Filling for Canning!
Peel and Core Apples - I think I had about 15#
Immerse them in a couple of quarts of water, + juice from 1 lemon
to prevent discoloration while working

Drain apple slices, and place in kettle, along with about 2-3" water, 1/2 c. maple syrup, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/3 c. minute tapioca..... and cinnamon - lots- maybe 2-3 tbs!
Simmer for about 10 minutes - you want the apples slices to get hot and fork tender, but not mushy . You might also want to dip in a clean spoon and adjust your seasonings at this point!
While the apples cook, sterilize your quart jars and get your lids ready. I got 6 quarts and 1 pint out of this batch.
Ladle hot fruit and cover with syrup, and add 1 tsp. lemon juice to each jar. Place sterile lids on , and process in hot-water-bath 30 minutes for quarts, 20 minutes for pints. I actually used my pressure cooker, and did one quart at a time - 5 minutes at 15# pressure, letting the pressure drop naturally before removing jars to rest.



Next came the march of the Peppers - so they had to be roasted, and mixed with some delightful tomatoes, and canned and voila! there are several pints of Enchilada sauce in the pantry!!

Enchilada Sauce (for canning) 4 pints

Roast 8 -10 large green chilies (Anaheims and Poblanos were used this time!) either over a flame (gas stoves) or in the oven (4" from the broiler- watch them, and turn frequently!) Remove from flame/oven and when cool enough, remove stems and seeds.
Saute 4 onions, finely chopped, in 8 tbs. olive oil until soft. Add 12 cloves (a whole head) of garlic, minced and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes,
Puree the chilies and 4 large, flavorful tomatoes (we used the last of the heirloom brandy-wines!) in a blender.Pour it all back into your cooking kettle. Add 6 oz. to
mato paste
, 1 tbs.. salt, 1 tbs. ground coriander, 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, 2 tbs. ancho chili powder, 1 tbs. ground cumin. Again, adjust your spices at this point! Cook over low flame for about 20 minutes - it will reduce slightly, and the flavors will begin to meld.
Ladle into 4 sterile pint jars and seal with sterile lids and rings.
Hot water bath for 30 minutes.

But now, there's the added dilemma of..... BREAD! if we are Gluten Free now (and we are)
bread becomes the "holy grail". I've made three attempts - This one is the best so far, although when toasted, the garbanzo flour can smell a bit, well, bean-y!

I'm still being forced to use the Bread machine to make it look like a loaf, but at least this one make pretty good "whole grain" sandwich bread. Moist, and slices well :-) I'll be questing for a configuration of flours that allow me to shape a loaf for awhile I think.

Sunday, Zuzu discovered that a downed squirrel is a yummy squirrel. She was so full of herself, and later, she was so full of squirrel..... ergh! I won't show you pictures of that one.

Lastly, we spent a really nice day, Saturday, up at Daniel and Karen's new (120 acres) sheep spread on Saturday. Look what Karen gave me?! 6 skeins of naturally colored Montana Sheep's wool! Shhhhhhhhh. don't tell her I've got a little plan :-)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Public Option -Too Popular in Wisconsin?!

Speaking about HealthCare.... I believe the polls that state that a large majority of Americans are so sick of how health insurance companies control the delivery of services, that over 60% (many plls place the figure more than 10 points higher!!)of us want - NEED!- a Public Option - (Medicare for All - type option!). Take a look at what has happened to just that type of program in Wisconsin - it is TOO popular, and the state is about to stop enrolling citizens!

On June 15th of this year, Wisconsin began experimenting with a public health option, BadgerCare, to adults without children in a program called BadgerCare Plus Core Program. It is very basic, has a one-time enrollment fee, no monthly premiums, small co-pays, and covers primary care and generic medications.

So many adults have signed up for the program that as of October 6th, sign-ups will be suspended and those who sign up after that day will be put on a waiting list. The Wisconsin legislature approved (it's essentially Medicaid) funding for 54,000 people…and over 60,000 have signed up “at a rate of 500 per day” and are still signing up!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gluten Free-Wheeeee?!

I just got back the test results - the test I procrastinated having done because I just didn't really believe it would show anything - and am shocked to discover that
Intestinal antigliadin IgA antibody was elevated, indicating that you have active dietary gluten sensitivity. For optimal health, resolution of symptoms (if you have them), and prevention of small intestinal damage and malnutrition, osteoporosis, and damage to other tissues (like nerves, brain, joints, muscles, thyroid, pancreas, other glands, skin, liver, spleen, among others), it is recommended that you follow a strict and permanent gluten free diet. As gluten sensitivity is a genetic syndrome, you may want to have your relatives screened as well.



So, it seems I am off on a new culinary adventure- because I sure as heck won't stop eating or cooking!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Can she can she can she?!


Yes, we CAN!!

I have been mad in the kitchen lately 'cause the garden has been put to bed, and I have boxes of pears, apples, tomatoes, plums, and peppers in our little house - and they invited a bunch of dark bellied dew lovers in to visit. Well, I really got annoyed that the DewLover family keep inviting more and more relatives over, so the produce.... is going to have to produce!

for this batch of Honeyed Pickled Peppers I used about equal amounts jalapenos, banana peppers, and ripened, red banana peppers.
I assume that you know enough to sterilize your jars and use proper pepper precautions such as wear gloves and don't touch your eyes!! ;-)

For 4 Pints (8 - 1/2 pt. jars):

Prepare about 2 - 2 1/4 pounds peppers: wash, slice into 1/2" rings, and seed.

Prepare brine:
4 c. organic ("live" - the type with the mother in the bottom!)) cider vinegar
2 Tbs. (or, my method: 2 large bloops out of the jug) of honey
2 tsp salt
2 heaping Tbs. pickling spice mix
Heat all of the above in a sauce pan to boiling.

Prepare (clean) jars: into each jar, place
3-4 black peppercorns
1 clove garlic -sliced

Equally distribute jalapeno/banana/red pepper slices in jars
Pour the hot brine over the ppeppers to 1/2" headspace, cover with sterile 2-part lids, and hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Let them mellow for a couple of weeks before eating - on a cracker with cream cheese, on a big bratwurst, scooped into scrambled eggs... oooh, pepper possibilities!

adapted: Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

Thursday, September 24, 2009

(Tonic) Water of the Gods


So, remember when we bought the Penguin to make sparkley water? The main impulse-to-buy was because I had come across the technique for making Tonic Syrup (the base for tonic water) and wanted to try concocting :-)

I love tonic water - most often drinking it with nothing but a slice of citrus, all through the summer. Oh, I admit to splashing gin in there after 4:30 some days, but I really could drink tonic water everyday! I became a tonic water snob - disdaining cheap supermarket brands for interesting (and expensive!) boutique brands... finally ending up understanding that this obsession must mean it's time to make it myself...



After reading several "cocktail" blogs (and there are at least as many of those as there are knitting blogs!!) it was clear that there were as many ways to create tonic water as there were cooks; the only constant was an infusion of powdered cinchona bark in water. Then, I realized that the most difficult step was going to be acquiring the Cinchona Bark powder (aka: Quinine Bark) as it's not readily available at Walgreens. Cinchona is the magic, bitter ingredient that inhibits muscle cramps, fever, and the mosquito-born virus, malaria. I ended up ordering it from here.

Cinchona belongs to the Rubiacae family which also includes coffee and gardenias! It is believed to have gotten its name from the Countess of Chinchon, wife of the Spanish Viceroy of Peru, who in 1638 fell desperately ill with malaria. Fortunately, she was cured using the ancient herbal remedy of "quinquina" bark, and in her honor, the tree was named Cinchona (Hobhouse,1987).

While playing in the kitchen, here's what I came up with:
In a 4 -5 qt pot on the stove, combine the following:
  • 4 c. filtered (and vitalized!) water
  • 1/4 c. cinchona bark powder
  • 1/4 c. citric acid (another internet order, which I had because we used it to make fizzy bath balls a few years ago!)
  • zest & juice of 1 lime +1 lemon +1 orange
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs slightly crushed juniper berries
  • 2 1/2 dropperfuls - maybe a tbs. - of (my sister-in-laws best!) Bitters



Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let simmer 20 minutes or so. Your house will smell delicious! Remove from heat, let cool down! and strain. The cinchona powder is very fine, so I poured all this into my French Press pot, let it settle a few minutes before plunging to strain it, while I washed out the cooking pot and put it back on the stove with
  • 4 c. organic cane sugar
Pour the cinchona infusion over the sugar in the pot. Bring it back to a boil, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. My first batch simmered enough to "jell" a bit, but it is still "tasty woo" as Jonathan declares!


To make Tonic Water:
  • 1 oz. tonic syrup + 3 oz. sparkley water