Beer from pea shells
4l of unchlorinated water
5l pea shells
7.g fresh yeast
small piece of toast
50g bittering hops mixed with 50g finishing hops
Add the pea shells to the water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 3 hours. Strain the liquid into a sterile container (a brewer’s bucket is good), cover and allow to cool to lukewarm. In the meantime, combine the hops and water in a pan, boil and simmer for 10 minutes then strain and add to the pea shell liquid. When the mixture has cooled to about 40°C spread the yeast on the toast and float this on the top of the nettle liquid. Cover the bucket with a cloth and place in a warm draft-free spot for three days to top ferment. Strain the liquid after 3 days then pour the mixture into clean bottles to about 1.5 cm of the top. Cap the bottles and place these on their sides in a warm and draft-free spot. The pea shell beer will be ready to drink in about 5 days, but will keep quite well for an entire summer.
Sorry it’s all in metric….too lazy to convert it this morning.
1kg fresh, ripe, acorns (with worms to add morning protien! couldn’t resist )
Add the acorns to a large pan along with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling, uncovered for 15 minutes. Top-up the water as the acorns cook. Drain in a colander, then allow to cool and peel. The boiling process will make peeling the acorns much easier. Split the acorns then set aside in a dry but warm spot for the acorns to dry out for 48 hours then grind in a coffee grinder (just as you would, coffee). Spread the grounds on a baking tray and roast in a warm oven, stirring frequently and checking often to ensure that they do not burn. You are aiming for the grounds to be a brown coffee colour. To make a drink use a cafetiére and add 1 1/2 tsp per cup then pour water over the top and make the drink, just as you would coffee. Add milk and sugar to taste and serve. Don’t expect anything that tastes remotely like coffee or tea. It’s it’s own kind of drink, but pleasant enough for all that.
Nettle beer (St. Patricks day green!)
50 nettle stalks with leaves 5l of unchlorinated water 1.5kg honey (needs to be reasonable but doesn’t have to be too good) 25g cream of tartar 2 tsp yeast nutrient Yeast (Epernay II is good but champagne yeast would also work)
Add the nettles to a large stock pot and pour the water over them bring to the boil and add the honey a little at a time until it dissolves. Simmer for fifteen minutes then turn off the heat and allow to cool. Strain then add the yeast nutrient and the cream of tartar (to be more authentic add a good handful of lightly-pounded sorrel leaves). You now make it like any mead i’ve added. As a wine-like mead, once bottled, this preparation needs to be left to mature in the bottle for at least a year. This is a very refreshing mead and adding a sprig of mint and a cube of ice gives you a wonderful summer-evening drink.
2l elderflowers 4l water 3 oranges, cut into segments (with peel) 3 lemons, cut into segments (with peel) 900g sugar cubes piece of rye bread
Combine the water, oranges, lemons and sugar in a large pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Take off the heat and add the elderflowers. Set aside to infuse for 2 hours then pour through a sieve. Return the liquid to a pan and heat to blood temperature before pouring into a fermenting bucket. In this case, there should be enough natural yeast in the elderflowers to begin fermentation, but if you want to be sure add a piece of rye bread to the mixture. Allow to ferment for 3 days then rack into bottles (flip-top bottles are best). Stopper the bottles securely then lay down in a cool place. The beer will be ready to drink in 2 months.
Häggbärslikör (LEGAL bird cherry vodka)
Add the fruit to a food processor and chop roughly. Scoop the resultant pulp into a bowl, add the boiling water then cover and set aside to infuse for 24 hours. After this time strain the juice into a bowl (press down on the pulp with a fork to extract as much liquid as possible). Pour the liquid into a pan, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Now add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Take off the heat and set aside to cool completely. Strain the liquid through a fine-meshed sieve lined with muslin. Combine the resultant liquid with the vodka then pour into clean bottles, seal securely and set aside in a dark place to mature for at least 1 month before serving. The resultant liqueur is very sweet but will keep for many years.
For those unable to drink, don’t want to drink, or dislike liquor for what ever reason…I leave you with homemade hot chocolate!
250ml full-fat milk 50g good quality dark chocolate caster sugar, to taste 1 tbsp whipped cream
Add the milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Grate the chocolate into a bowl then divide between two mugs. Add 2 tbsp of the boiling milk to each mug then stir into the chocolate until smooth. Whisk in the remaining hot milk, dividing between the two mugs. Sweeten to taste with the caster sugar then garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.