this week’s contributor is andrea from the maiden metallurgist. i first discovered drea’s blog on apartment therapy, what has to be at least three years ago now. i loved it and followed it and soon found out her and i have many similarities (she moved from denver to chicago to be w her hubby and i moved from chicago to denver to be w mine, for one). we both had babies around the same time and both give a lot of real estate on our blogs to talking about motherhood, marriage, home, and how awesome our little ones are. we’ve gotten together in denver a couple of times and, let me tell you, this woman is not only an excellent writer, but also intelligent, thoughtful, fun, and honest.
since her and her hubby bought a home outside chicago, they’ve become avid gardeners and she’s diligent about using her goods to the fullest. today she talks about what she does w her produce (and what she buys at the farmers’ market) to make refreshing summer drinks.
Shrub, aka drinking vinegar, is my summertime obsession. The drinking vinegar is infused with fruit (and at times herbs and spices) for use in mixed drinks.
The American version of the shrub has its origins in 17th century England where vinegar was used as an alternative to citrus juices in the preservation of berries and other fruits for the off-season. In our home, we keep a variety of shrubs on hand for quick-mixing sodas or cocktails. The flavor both mellows (the vinegar) and becomes deeper (the fruit) the longer it sits in the fridge. It might sound weird, drinking vinegar, but it is so refreshing and cool.
I like to make different drinking vinegars seasonally with what we grow in the garden or what I find at the farmers market. Or, if it’s too early in the season for fresh local fruits, whatever looks good in the organic section at the grocery store.
My basic recipe for shrub is equal parts fruit, sugar, and vinegar of your choice. Macerate the fruit and sugar for several hours letting the sugar draw out the fruit’s’ juices, then add the vinegar and let sit overnight. The next day, strain and discard the fruit pulp (or serve over ice cream, yum) and reserve the infused vinegar. Combine with seltzer, gin, vodka, white wine, champagne or prosecco… use your imagination!
The beauty of shrub is that there are enough combinations of fruits, vinegars, and herbs/spices to keep your mouth excited all season long. And, if you plan ahead, well into the winter.
Shrub 101- basic fruit shrubs
- Raspberry and champagne vinegar
- Blueberry and apple cider vinegar
- Strawberry and champagne or balsamic or white balsamic vinegar
- Rhubarb and white wine vinegar
- Stone fruit (peach, plum, nectarine) and apple cider vinegar
- Blackberry and red wine vinegar
- Mango and rice vinegar
- Pineapple with coconut vinegar
- Grapefruit and white wine vinegar
- Watermelon and white wine vinegar
Shrub 102- now add some depth
- Herbal- Mint, Rosemary, Lemon verbena, Basil, Tarragon
- Floral- Elderflower, Violet, Rose, Lavender
- Spicy- Peppercorns, Ginger
thanks, drea! i am so glad you introduced me to something i had absolutely never heard about. i am looking forward to trying a few concoctions myself this summer.
if you are interested in contributing to A Denver Home Companion, please submit original writing (or ideas!) to emily [at] adenverhomecompanion [dot] com. though i may not be able to publish everything, i certainly consider all of them!
i’m very glad the weather is starting to stay on the warmer side in denver. it’s been chilly! and looking at these photos makes me miss the warm sun and the cool water of holmes beach. oh, and having nothing to do all day except play w our cute babies, drink mexican beer, and read library books. that was awesome too.
what fun to be invited to the media preview of the denver art museum‘s new exhibit, spun: adventures in textiles! last wednesday i (along w other bloggers and newsies in denver) got a sneak peek of what’s on view starting may 19.
the show runs 5/19 until 9/22 and showcases a “wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography.” it was beautiful. pieces that are part of this can be found campus-wide through the large (and wonderfully laid-out) museum.
i didn’t see everything (babysitters and nap time and other tasks and events called to me!) but what i saw was quite amazing. the colors and uses and histories and evolutions of the items in the galleries tell so many stories and instruct the viewer on the deep and rich narrative of the cultures and customs of the times they’re a part of. the exhibit shows actual textiles as well as paintings that address their uses. there’s also interactive stations for children and adults alike. i am very much looking forward to bringing ramona to see it.
if you go (and you should!): they are building a three-story community quilt, planting a garden to use the plants for dying fabrics, and will have a new activity every weekend. the focal point is Cover Story, examples of all the different ways textiles cover our lives and what textiles tell people about us, our homes, and how we feed our spirits. part of this is also how we carry things and the rites and rituals in creating sacred spaces.
for more information on visiting the museum, please see visit this page.
photos of the exhibits c/o denver art museum. outside shots are my own.
you sure do love your endless alphabet app. we cannot believe what you’ve learned from it, how you’ve mastered it, and what a wondrous distraction it can be when mama just needs to make dinner and you just don’t want to let me. and now, when we are reading books, you not only point to the figures in the pictures to name them, but point out and name individual letters too! technology can certainly be a grand thing.
i love you, miss smarty pants. love, mama.