Apples we are drinking: Old Testament Cider

Sparkling Apple Cider
I picked up this cider during a quick trip to the supermarket – one of those ones where you have no list because you only need a few things but you end up with a trolley load of other stuff you don’t need.  It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered it is made right here in our fair city.

We’re lucky to have a Cidery right here in town – they have a shop that not only sells their cider but also some lovely bacon salt from Ma Prenzel as well as highly perfumed candles set into old tea cups.  I’m fairly sure I bought a bottle of olive oil that had something to do with garlic but I seem to have mislaid it …… my new pantry doesn’t seem to be as organised as it “should” be.
Sparkling Apple Cider
But back to the cider – here in NZ cider means hard cider or alcoholic cider as opposed to fresh unfiltered apple juice.  Cider has had a resurgence of sorts over the last five years or more – new cider varieties appear on my apple radar with regular occurence. And we’d much prefer to sit down to a cold cider than to beer or wine.
Sparkling Apple Cider
With so many New Zealand produced cider’s available, the imported name brands are relegated to the ‘meh’ pile.  Thomas & Rose Fine Fruit Cider, also produced by Harvest Cider here in Gisborne is one of my favourite.  I do a real good frownie face when the Mopp comes home with non-NZ made cider but he hasn’t cottoned on as yet.

I’m not real fond of plastic bottles, I much prefer glass.  However, in the interests of trying this sparkling apple cider, I pushed aside my niggles and popped the bottle into my trolley.  I’m glad I did as this cider is fresh, fruity, crisp and very good to drink.  The apple taste really shines through which may be a dumb thing to say but some apple cider doesn’t much taste of apples.
Sparkling Apple Cider
I enjoyed my glass of cider while sitting on the deck covered in fallen apple blossoms.  I also found that one can buy a “proper” cider glass rather than just any old glass  – there is an interesting article over at the Cider Journal.  And to correctly compare one cider to another, then the correct glass is imperative.  Oops – I do have a wine glass somewhere but we drink wine so seldom, the glasses are in a box buried in the back of the china cabinet cupboard and it was much to difficult to dig them out.  My recycled glass did just fine.

Limited Edition: Granny Smith Apple Juice

Granny Smith Apple Juice

I love love love single variety apple juice.  I imagine (pretend) as I am drinking it that I can taste the individual nuances of apple flavours. Well, there is no pretending with this Granny Smith apple juice.  The inside of my cheeks water and pucker just like they do when I eat a Granny Smith apple.
Granny Smith Apple Juice

I had a photo bomber today – he was very interested in what I was up to.  Especially when there was cake and biscuits at his eye (nose and tongue) level.

This is the second bottle of juice we’ve bought.  The first I bought for the purposes of this blog but the bottle appeared in the recycling bin before I realized it was even open proving it is appreciated by someone in our house.
Granny Smith Apple Juice

Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry Syrup
While preparing my regular recipe for our local paper The Gisborne Herald, I went into the local shops I frequent to make sure all the ingredients were still available.  A while ago I had purchased a large bottle of Giffard Strawberry Syrup and had plans to add the Peach Syrup to my pantry.  However, as it often goes, products come and products go.  And the Giffard range of syrups has disappeared from our local stockist which upset my muesli plans.
Strawberry Syrup
So what to do….. I had a search all around our fair city for another Strawberry syrup that would suffice.  Other than the Barkers Fruit Syrups (in particular the Squeezed Rhubarb with Raspberry & Rosehip, which isn’t Strawberry but is a red berry fruit so was a good option in my mind), or Baker Halls & Co Fruit Syrups (I have used the Apple & Pomegranate in my homemade muesli), the next best option was the Raspberry & Boysenberry Compote from The Dollop Kitchen.  It must be fairly popular compote as the shelf was empty.
Strawberry Syrup
Other ideas were to buy strawberry jam and heat it until liquid (I often use jam in my muesli as it is a great way to use up jam flavours that the kids haven’t appreciated); use a icecream topping such as Delmaine Strawberry Topping or try to track down some Milkshake Syrup (such as Supreme or Six Barrel Soda Co. – the later requiring a trip to Napier or Havelock North).  I could order online but I needed it, like, yesterday and I also wanted something available locally.  On another note, the Raspberry & Lemon or Cherry & Pomegranate from Six Barrel Soda Co. both sound really good, maybe I’ll order some anyway).
Strawberry Syrup
The only other option was to make some strawberry syrup.  I make fruit syrups regularly as they are easy and use three ingredients: fruit, sugar, water.  So here is my strawberry syrup recipe (the muesli recipe is coming in the next few posts).  I have used frozen strawberries as NZ-grown frozen strawberries were preferable to tasteless imported fresh strawberries.  This coming summer I will make sure I freeze plenty of strawberries so I can whip up this syrup.  I thought about adding a vanilla pod, or some black pepper.  Both are well suited to strawberries but I decided in this instance to stay with simple strawberry.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Strawberry Syrup

Ingredients

  • 250 ml water
  • 225 g (1 cup) white sugar
  • 250 g frozen strawberries

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan.
  • Bring the ingredients to a boil then turn down and simmer until the fruit is soft and pulpy (about 25-30 minutes).
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve or jelly bag.
  • Pour the syrup into a bottle and store in the fridge once cooled.
  • Makes about 325 ml.
  • Use to make muesli or add to cold milk for a strawberry milkshake. It is also delicious poured over ice-cream.
  • Mash the leftover strawberry pulp and add to 2 cups of unsweetened natural yoghurt or add them to a smoothie.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://sevengreenapples.com/dessert/strawberry-syrup/

The syrup can be used in many ways – not just in muesli.  Put a tablespoon in a glass and top up with cold milk for a strawberry milk drink, or add some vanilla icecream and use the blender to make a strawberry milk shake.  We use it to flavour our natural unsweetened yoghurt and serve with muesli for breakfast.  It is also nice with vanilla ice-cream.

Mocha deliciousness

Mocha Milk
There has been a lot of press recently about Chelsea Winter & Lewis Road Creamery’s collaboration creation of Fresh Double Caramel Milk – a caramel milk with two layers of caramel flavour – a golden butterscotch & a deep caramel.  First up, I am not a fan of caramel flavoured milk as they are usually overly sweet.  Chocolate milk is okay now and then but my go-to flavour of flavoured-milk is coffee (preferably strong coffee). I had to try the double caramel milk after reading the reviews on-line and this is a caramel milk I’d drink again – for me, it was sweet but not too sweet. The Mopp is addicted to it and frequently goes out on errands to restock the fridge.
Mocha deliciousness

The collaboration effort between Chelsea Winter, Masterchef New Zealand’s Season Three (2012) Winner and Lewis Road Creamery got me imagining what flavour milk I’d create should I ever have the opportunity.  As Lewis Road Creamery already offer Fresh Coffee Milk with Supreme Coffee which is, in my opinion, really good coffee-flavoured milk as it isn’t sweet at all, I decided a Mocha Milk was the next best thing to Coffee Milk.  So off I toddle and purchase one bottle of really good coffee-flavoured milk and one bottle of really good chocolate-flavoured milk (flavoured with Whittaker’s 5-Roll Refined Creamy Milk Chocolate no less) – just a wee (300 ml) bottle of each.
Mocha Milk
I didn’t give much thought to the coffee/chocolate ratio to begin with.  I just started with 50% of each, carefully measured out into a glass jug.  The Mopp (the above-mentioned caramel-milk addict) was my helpful taste-tester.  I wanted more coffee flavour and he wanted more chocolate flavour so next time around (and there will be a next time around) I will have Chocolate-infused Coffee Milk (with 75% Coffee/25% Chocolate) and he will have Coffee-infused Chocolate Milk with the remaining milks.  Perfect.  So until Lewis Road Creamery cotton onto the Mocha Milk idea, we shall continue concocting our own.
Mocha Milk
Note: I am not related to or connected to any of the companies mentioned in this post nor have they paid me or provided product for samples.  This review is purely my own opinion.
Mocha Milk

Mocha deliciousness

Ingredients

  • 1 x 300 ml Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Coffee Milk
  • 1 x 300 ml Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk

Instructions

  • Pour half the coffee milk into a tall glass. Give the chocolate milk bottle a good shake to redistribute all the chocolatey goodness that has settled on the bottom then pour half the chocolate into aforementioned glass. Pour the remaining coffee flavoured milk into the half empty chocolate milk bottle and recap. Hide it in the refrigerator for another Mocha hit tomorrow.
  • Give the milk in the glass a stir to combine the two milky flavours then drink.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://sevengreenapples.com/drinks/mocha-deliciousness/

Spiced Chai Discoveries

Spiced Chai
Much has happened in our life since my last post but that is another story for another time. This is just a quick post to leap back into the world of sevengreenapples.  While I was away (from blogging and from home) I took the opportunity to check out some wonderful places in New Zealand.  One of those places was a little town named Woodville – a town we often wave to as we pass by on our way to somewhere else.  This time I made time to stop and browse a few shops.  They have some good second-hand shops but it was food that I was really interested in.   Continue reading

Hot Juice: warm up with winter beverages

Citrus defences
Poverty Bay is known for great citrus so we’re lucky to have access to plenty of mandarins, oranges, tangelos, lemons & limes.  We have an overgrown tangelo tree out in the back yard – the fruit isn’t fully ripe until early Spring but we begin juicing them as soon as they are a decent size.  They’re quite sour but nothing a little honey won’t fix.  We also have oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and grapefruit in various stages of production.

Our most recent additions to the back yard orchard are two easy-peel mandarins.  We planted a Silverhill & a Richard’s Special about 8-9 years ago and these produce plenty of very sweet flavoursome fruit.  However they are not easy to peel and they are very very seedy.  I end up buying bucket loads of the easy-peel seedless mandarins for school lunches so this year we decided to add two of these trees to our citrus bonanza (one is a Kawano and the other, well it’s too cold to go outside to check the label – I am sure there’s snow on the hills….brrrr). Continue reading

Spiced Hot Apple Drink

Spiced Hot Apple Drink 1

I am a coffee addict.  I admit it – I have no problem admitting it, and for every ten people that tell you coffee is bad for you, another ten will tell you about the health benefits of coffee.  So while the jury is out, I am on the coffee is OK in moderation side of things.  Actually, most things are OK in moderation including chocolate, the occasional meat pie or mini bag of Burger Rings.  As for how much coffee is a moderate intake – well who is counting?  On a good day I can fit in four cups of coffee – on a bad day, only one.  Some people, including The Anster and Zoe would consider the one cup of coffee day a good day but I am going to disagree on that one.

And to open another can of worms, I have no problem admitting Continue reading