20 March 2014

Startin' Some Shrub

One week old!
I started to get into water bath canning about the middle of last year, so I always have my eye out for good recipes. I also have a mild obsession with strawberries. (I planted 13 bare root strawberry plants in my patio container garden just a few weeks ago!) Add all that to some 'net trollin' and you'll get the sudden, desperate need to try some strawberry shrub.

Shrubs are (not talkin' foliage here!) fruit flavored vinegars. They actually have been around for centuries. For what coincides with my purposes, this is what Wikipedia has to say:
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. Fruit preserves made in this fashion were themselves known as shrubs and the practice carried over to colonial America. By the 19th century, typical American recipes for shrubs used vinegar poured over fruit — traditionally berries — which was left to infuse anywhere from overnight up to several days; afterward the fruit would be strained out and the remaining liquid would be mixed with a sweetener such as sugar or honey and then reduced to make a syrup. The sweet-and-sour syrup could be mixed with either water or soda water and served as a soft drink, or it could be used as a mixer in alcoholic cocktails. Shrubs eventually fell out of popularity with the advent of home refrigeration.
Shrubs as alcoholic mixers made a comeback a couple of years ago, so that's likely why it's not too hard to find many recipes online.

I learned today that there is more than one route in shrub-making, but I went full steam ahead with my first recipe find: Spiced Pickled Strawberry Shrub at CanningAcrossAmerica.com.

Berries bathing in sugar, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar.

I wanted to half the recipe, but quickly discovered that halving the amount of liquid would not even cover my 3 pints of strawberries. Not to mention the fact that some of my first batch boiled over onto my stove top. Yep, I'm a whiz in the kitchen.

Anyway, just lettin' ya know I needed a full batch of the recipe's liquid to go with half the recipe's amount of strawberries.

After that little debacle (and I'll admit it caused me to curse), everything went very smoothly. I'll let ya know how it all finished out tomorrow.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. The price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through another link. Though this will not likely make me rich, it may offset some of the fees associated with compiling this blog. Thanks for your support!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...