Steep It!

Lately, I’ve been coming across recipes that call for steeping items over a period of time, so savor the spirit of slow with me!  I started homebrewing recently, and while I don’t know that I’d describe the brewing process with “steeping” at any point, essentially that’s what I did with the last batch to infuse some cherry flavor during the fermentation process.  As long as we’re on the subject of alcohol, let’s start with a primer on extracts.  Those tiny bottles in the stores aren’t the cheapest item on the shelves, so let’s see how to make our own vanilla extract:

I’ve got a batch processing in a small canning jar, and it has gone along nicely.  It is handy to know that it is essentially an endless/bottomless recipe, too!  I was also referred to a similar recipe by a friend and found it again in a vanilla cookbook at a resale store (it also mentioned vanilla sugar!)

For more adult beverages, we can make coffee liqueur or orangecello.

Another intriguing idea was to infuse honey using lemon verbena leaves to impart the lemon flavor (pouring the honey over the leaves in a small canning jar).

Steep it good!

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Happy New Year! (A Future Toast and Dandelion Redux)

Dandelion Wine (from Allrecipes)

Happy New Year to all!  Wisconsin’s January still means we are still in winter’s grip, but that reality doesn’t stop my thoughts of upcoming warmer days or garden planning!  I’d be lying if I wrote that I wasn’t thinking about what to plant and harvest in the upcoming year, even though we are still a ways away from anything resembling spring planting weather.  New this year for our family and for my blog will be recipes for homemade baby food.  I am hoping to avoid store bought mush as much as possible.  But first- a springtime recipe more for adults!

We are in pre-dandelion status, and I have written before about my ‘natural’ and dandelion-strewn lawn.  Now that we have a larger yard and undoubtedly a forthcoming abundance of the not-a-menace-for-me, I thought I would find a recipe to eventually try making dandelion wine.  I never have before, but there appears to be no shortage of recipes online.  (It almost goes without saying that it likely is not a good idea to spray your lawn with herbicide if you intend to make some…)  Cheers to 2015!