How about some cordial?
Thursday I had this thing called a "babysitter"...See I am a "babysitter" quite often these days so actually getting one for myself just doesn't happen so much. But that day it did and I had one thing in mind. Work, errands and no one talking to me. Seriously...I think that is the one thing I have a tough time with sometimes with motherhood, homeschooling, being home 24/7 with kids...someone is ALWAYS talking to ya and demanding your time/energy/attention. It can be seriously exhausting and there are these moments where I just want...silence. Now I am not complaining because I truly love my chaotic life but everybody needs a "day off" to check out and eat a nice quiet lunch. Alone.
Most normal moms would probably just go to a mall and go shopping or something. Me? I jumped on a hay wagon and went out to a blackberry field. Sounds about right for me doesn't it? The rain...never far away this Summer..loomed and threatened in the background. The thunder rumbling miles away reminding me I had limited time in this isolated, quiet...beautiful field full of delicious fruit.
The berries...the field...the Cicadas and I... We bonded. Totally had our "moment". No screams of "Mom! Mom! Mom!"...just Cicadas so loud they could make your ears hurt and that calming thunder rumbling in the background. Just enough to make your head clear and think about...nothing but the delicious cordials, pies, and jams these berries will be making!
It was time to take them home and make them "into something".
This round of berries became cordials. So the next question...what is a "cordial"? At this point I tend to explain it as "mother moonshine" of sorts...lol! Minus the missing teeth and still in the backwoods of the mountains. Nope all you need is a couple of jars, some fruit and herbs and patience. Because this is a "ferment" and will take a few months. ALL good things take time...patience and the knowledge that this stuff is going to be amazing and STRONG. Yes, I know...I sound like a lush but really I seldom drink. Perhaps a glass of wine once or twice a month. I think that is why the cordials appeal to me so much!
A little goes a very long way. When this is finished I will warn those making it along with me to start off with a shot size glass and realize this stuff is very strong and since it tastes so yummy it is easy to go overboard. And mommy doesn't want a hangover...seriously. FYI...these make fantastic gifts!
I first had this version by Krista out at Forrest Green and let's just say lunch was a whole lot of fun at that class ;-) She used geranium leaves with raspberries and it was amazing! I however do not have geraniums around here so I went with variations of herbs that I had in my own gardens and pantry.
4 cups of fruit (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches etc...) 4 cups of Vodka 1/2 cup of white wine 1 to 2 cups of sugar 1/2 cup of water herb/spices of your choice
Crazy easy... Grab those lovely half gallon Mason jars (they now sell them at Walmart in the canning section but I found mine at yard sales;-) For this batch I did three different jars today. 1~Blackberries/peppermint/vanilla bean 2~Blackberries/bee balm/vanilla bean 3~Blueberries/lemon balm/vanilla bean
At the end of it all...put a tight lid on it in the pantry for 4 weeks. Yes...4 weeks...4 long weeks. Be sure to leave some space between the lid and the liquid. I am kindof curious to see how well it does in a mason jar without the venting lock that Daryl uses in his beer brewing. Everything I have read and heard says a tight lid will keep it all in by I will admit...I will probably open the jar and let the gas from the ferment escape every once in a while for fear if I don't it would explode. But I am always game for a good kitchen science experiment. If you are brave enough to try this too.... Be sure to give it a shake every once in a while and stick it in a dark cool location. Mine is in my pantry. In four weeks I will post the next step and we will see how this ultimate experiment is going. Or if it all exploded and I have to resort to just drinking the vodka straight with some berries bobbing in the glass. Oh and by the way! You can use frozen fruit for this but be sure to let it thaw first! Happy brewing!