Saturday, January 28, 2012

Be Still and Listen.

While on a hike last September in Tennessee, I took a small break to just sit, watch and listen.  It is amazing what you miss while hiking, when you don't take the time to be still and just listen to the surrounding nature.  My camera was ready and my ears were in tune to all the movements of the creatures around me.  The midday sun was out, and only a slight breeze blew through the trees that carried the strong scent of their native Jasmine.  It wasn't long until this amazing little bird landed just a few feet away from me.  He posed just long enough for me to get a shot of him.  

I saw deer, turtles and a red cardinal which I chased for about a half mile on my hike just trying to get close for a good picture.  He out smarted me and I since I could not remember what poison oak looked like to ensure a safe hike off the beaten path, I never got my picture.  Turtles on the other hand are very slow, so capturing their picture was easy!  I thought it very funny as there were just as many turtles heading north on the log as there were heading the same time mind you!  I could not stay long enough to find out what happened when they met in the middle. 

You're Cordially Invited.......

"You're Cordially Invited" the name of the article from the Nov/Dec 2011, Hobby Farm Home Magazine, which includes several great recipes for cordials and liqueurs made from fresh picked fruits.  Today I was thinking about the raspberry infused vodka I started back in late October when I picked my last harvest of fresh ripe raspberries.  I know that I have to be patient but the little "sneak" taste was wonderful.  This particular recipe takes about 7 months from beginning to end and is absolutely beautiful in each and every step.  I plan to give away most as gifts. 

You can use this cordial in a variety of ways
  • Served Straight
  • Poured over ice
  • Mixed into other drinks such as margaritas
  • Mixed into seltzer water
I have included the recipe below, but if you ever get a chance to subscribe to this magazine I know that you will enjoy the recipes, the gardening ideas and the articles about farming, sustainability, fiber crafts and more.

Raspberry Cordial

4 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups vodka
3 cups sugar
2 cups water

Mix raspberries and vodka in a sterilized gallon-sized glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  Let stand in a dark, cool place for about four weeks.  Shake and stir every two to three days.  Rack the mixture by straining through a fine-mesh sieve or a standard fine mesh strainer to remove berries. 

Bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear.  Remove from heat and cool to room temerature.  Add this to strained raspberry liquid and stir well.  Pour into sterilized glass containers and age in dark, cool spot for at least six months. 
Happy Waiting!

Makes about 6 cups.