…And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least…
That’s Shakespeare saying that! That’s Shakespeare feeling discouraged and envious! Good lord! So I’m keen to share all of this love with Malcolm and Isaac. I know they’re a bit young, but Shakespeare is a language, the more you understand it the more you love it, and it’s good to start them on languages young. So we watched some animated tales with them. They’re nicely done! And the boys watch with rapt attention. Although we started with some comedies, and Isaac went stomping out of the room saying, “Do they all have to be about people falling in love?” He’s not a big fan of romance, our Isaac. He has a horror of people kissing on screen!
It was nice sharing Shakespeare with them just in the way it’s nice to cook with them. Creative and nourishing and hopeful. Malcolm and I have been making ginger beer, lately, and this is how we’ve been doing it. It’s a very simple method. I’ve read about putting a batch in a bowl under your bed until it turns alcoholic, or brewing it with yeast until it gets bubbly, but we didn’t do any of that. We made a concentrate of fresh ginger, lemon, lime and raw sugar, and then we added bubbly water. Then we drank a glass each, and poured the rest back into the bottle the fizzy water had come in. We used a sieve, because we like pulpy bits of ginger, but you could use a cheesecloth if you want it clearer and with less bite. We used turbinado sugar because it has such a nice, warm taste. You could use any kind of raw sugar, or white sugar or even brown sugar. I’m going to try it with honey, but I have to buy another bottle of fizzy water, first. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Here’s Shakespeare’s Sister by The Smiths.
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/2 cup turbinado sugar or other raw sugar (or brown sugar or white sugar)
1 lime, sliced into chunky pieces
1 lemon, sliced into chunky pieces
1 quart (+/-) carbonated water
Peel the ginger and cut it crosswise into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. You want to cut across the fibery parts.
Put the sugar into a small bowl or pitcher. Squeeze the lemons and limes in and then drop in the rinds.
Boil about 1 cup of water. Put the ginger in a food processor or blender, add a few spoonfuls of boiling water, and process until the ginger is mostly pureed and the water is cloudy. Pour the rest of the boiling water over the sugar, lemons and limes, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the ginger puree into the lime/lemon/sugar mixture. Stir.
Set the whole thing aside in a warm place for a least an hour. The longer the better.
Pour the mixture through a sieve. If you like bits of ginger, use a mesh sieve, as I did. If you don’t like bits of ginger, use cheese cloth. If you use a sieve, press with the back of a spoon to get out as much of the juice and flavor as possible, and remember to scrape the underside of the sieve to get all the nice juicy pulp. If you use cheesecloth, squeeze very hard, to get out all the juice. Squeeze the limes and lemons into the mixture to get all of their juice out.
Pour fizzy water into the mixture, and mix well. You can now pour the ginger beer back into the bottle the fizzy water was in, but you’ll have to drink a glass to make up for the ingredients you added.
Refrigerate, and shake before drinking.