Recipes: Farmhouse Favourites

HOMEMADE GINGER BEER

This beer is a favourite in our home.  It is based on a recipe from the RD South African Cookbook.

25g fresh green ginger
1 lemon, scrubbed
450g sugar
25g cream of tartar
4,5 litres boiling water
1 package dried yeast

Bruise the ginger by folding it in a clean cloth and pounding it with a hammer to release the flavour.
Using a potato peeler, peel the rind very thinly from the lemon.  Squeeze the juice from the lemon.
Put the ginger, sugar, cream of tartar and lemon rind into a large plastic bucket.  Pour on the boiling water – in two lots, if necessary.  Add the lemon juice and stir well.  Leave until the liquid has cooled to 21 degrees C.
Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water and pour into the bucket.  Cover the bucket with a clean cloth or leave the lid balanced but not sealed.  Leave in a warm undisturbed place for 24 hours.  Skim off the froth and bottle the beer in strong bottles, leaving the lids loosely turned.  If using corks, secure the cork loosely with a little string.  Leave the bottles in a cool place and monitor fermentation frequently. If vigorous, loosen the stoppers to relieve pressure, until fermentation quietens down.  After 2 days store in the fridge and enjoy!



HOMEMADE ICED APPLE MINT TEA

This tea is a favourite in our home - it is extremely refreshing on a hot, humid Summer's day!  Be warned, however, that if you do not enjoy peppermint it is not for you!

5 Rooibos Tea Bags, 8 teaspoons sugar, 500ml apple juice, 2 sprigs peppermint

Put the tea bags and the peppermint sprigs into a large jug and pour over 1,5 litres boiling water.  Let the tea brew for 5 mins (or more if you prefer). Strain the tea.  Add sugar and stir.  Let tea cool to room temperature and add apple juice. Chill in the refrigerator.

SPICE INFUSED ORANGE ICED TEA

I love the taste and aroma of cinnamon, and I also enjoy experimenting with the different spices.  Pour 1.5 litres boiling water over two or three cinnamon sticks (if using cinnamon bark, use as much as you dare!), and a couple of anise stars and about 6 cloves.  To this mix add 8 teaspoons honey (or sugar) and stir well.  Let steep overnight, or for at least 3 hours, before adding about 750ml orange juice.  Chill and enjoy.  Adjust the elements to suit your tastebuds when you make the next batch!

OLD FASHIONED FARM BREAD (MADE IN THE WONDERFULLY CONVENIENT BREAD MACHINE!)
(by special demand of the young participants of our farm camps who LOVE this bread at snack time!)

320ml water, 3 tablespoons sunflower or other cooking oil, 500g white bread flour, 1,5ml salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 1/4 tsp dried yeast.

Put all in the bread machine and press the buttons for a 900g loaf and just wait for the delicious aroma of fresh baked bread to fill your kitchen!