At the end of the year when snow is glittering on pine needles, the flavor my brain calls out for is reflective of that sentimental weather: cool, crisp, fresh, and bright. Peppermint candy canes have stolen my heart.
As the weather takes a turn into cooler temperatures I find myself longing for maple syrup. I want to imbue its flavor into everything I bake, be it savory or sweet. Well, if you're wondering where that sweet sap comes from and how we get it, look no further!
Looking for a new treat to spread on your morning toast? Want a wicked spoonful to stir into your cup of coffee? What if I told you there was a way to make maple syrup so thick that it wouldn't run off your waffles and pancakes? Well friends, the wait is over. With little more than some basic chemistry knowledge you'll be able to work magic in the kitchen with a bottle of maple syrup. Get ready, because this is your new addiction.
When the weather changes, and the air becomes crisp with wintery anticipation our minds turn to the burnished flavors of fall. Apple, cinnamon, pumpkin, and that king of all syrups: maple. At some point in our lives each of us has pulled a bottle of the liquid gold off the grocery store shelf and marveled at the price tag. Indeed, maple syrup is a costly item, but one that is more than worth the investment
Once you've graduated from the Strawberry Shrub, it's time to incorporate fresh herbs. A noseful of basil pairs well with most fruits and I am partial to swooning over its combination with fresh plums. Indeed, on the road to this shrub I ate fistfuls of torn green leaves wrapped around slices of bleeding plums.
Preserving fruit with sugar is a centuries-old tradition that seems to rear its head every Christmas. As we celebrate Christmas in July with Hallmark, take to heart some candying tips. Get started on this now and you'll have gifts aplenty on your shelf to dole out come December!
This is not a new trick, it is simply good, old, cooking at its best. When we slowly replace water content in food with sugar we act to reduce the amount of H2O necessary to support the growth of bacteria and microbes. Which is to say, we preserve the food. Sugar is a most excellent prison for your lemons. Keep them alive far past their due date with this solution.
Simple syrup isn't rocket science. Quite literally, in fact. When you mix equal parts water and sugar, you have a perfect solution for crying flavors of all sorts. Boil a few vanilla beans or some sliced ginger in the mixture and you'll be set for cocktails and soda alike.
A cake I've long pined for, now solidly in my arsenal of treats. It took me a while to attempt this cake (for no good reason), I hesitated to tackle its structure and chemistry. Suffice it to say, there are few things as delightful as a cake soaked in milk.
Shrubs represent one slice in the enormous tradition of preserving food around the world. Originally intended to make fruit last through the winter, the process of soaking foreign gems in vinegar and sugar had an unintended side-benefit. The sweet, fruit flavored vinegar was perfect for mixing into cocktails and seltzer water! Try this one with rum, lime, and a splash of vermouth.
- 600 grams Pineapple
- 400 grams Palm Sugar
- 1/4 cup Black Peppercorns, toasted
- 2 cups White Wine Vinegar
- Mix pineapple and sugar in a large bowl and allow to macerate overnight.
- The following day, strain the liquid from the solids, you should have about 2 cups of syrup.
- Toast the peppercorns until dancing and popping in pan, then add them to your strained syrup.
- Add vinegar to the syrup, stir in a large jar, and allow to mellow in the fridge. IT will keep indefinitely.