Sorrel

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

What is sorrel?

You probably know the plant as hibiscus. What Trinis call sorrel is not the sorrel plant, but a drink which is produced from steeped hibiscus fruit or flowers and spices.

The drink is a brilliant red color,sour, sweet, and spiced. Also, it will stain anything forever.

For Trinis, it isn’t Christmas without sorrel! I can’t remember a year without it. When I was little I couldn’t wait to smell sorrel on the stove and drink some Poncha de crème with my Christmas Cake.

We are lucky enough to have a West Indian market nearby so that we can pick up sorrel whenever we want, but during this season, the shelves are empty. I know that in nearly every West Indian house nearby someone is getting out the big sorrel pot and steeping some flowers.

Obviously, that’s what’s going on at my house.

Ingredients

  • 10z dried Sorrel (if you don’t have a West Indian market you can get it here, or if you prefer organic, here
  • 330oz Water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 5lbs granuated sugar
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/4 liter Strawberry syrup

Directions

  1. Boil water in large pot
  2. Remove pot from heat and add dried sorrel, cinnamon, and clove
  3. Cover and leave overnight
  4. The next day, add sugar, bitters, and syrup to pot
  5. Stir to mix
  6. Strain sorrel and pour into container
  7. (optional) Flavor with rum for an alcoholic kick


Kefir

November 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

 Have you ever heard of kefir?

I learned about kefir a few months ago when I was trying to find an alternative to yogurt making. I had sold my yogurt maker and I was looking for an easy way to get in my probiotics. After a bit of searching, I stumbled upon kefir.

It is a fermented milk drink that if full of probiotic bacteria strains. Where it originated in the Caucasus region, milk was left out in animal skin bags over doorways to turn into kefir, the movement from visitors jostling the bacteria enough for them to distribute evenly. It is sour, slightly alcoholic, fizzy, and somewhat like runny yogurt. But while yogurt has only 3 or 5 strains of bacteria, kefir made from kefir grains has around 50 different strains!

Not only that, it is way easier to make than yogurt. No boiling! No billions of tiny glass cups to sterilize!

I got my grains at Cultures for Health, but if you aren’t willing to make your own just yet you can buy Lifeway Organic Kefir.

How to make kefir

  1. Procure grains
  2. Place grains in around 1 quart of milk in a shady area
  3. Leave alone for 24 hours (less in hotter climates)
  4. When the texture is jiggly but the whey hasn’t separated from the rest of the drink, enjoy!

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