Friday, December 7, 2007

Ginger Beer and Ginger Bread

Ginger Beer

I have always wanted to taste ginger beer...I remember reading about it in some of the Enid Blyton books as a girl...sounded much nicer than ginger ale - though I guess the name concept is the same.

It might have been in the "Sea of Adventure" where the kids go exploring some islands to get out of the way of the bad guys and of course meet up with the bad guys anyway. The children loved adventures, and eating of out of doors, and consuming ginger beer.

I came across some Jamaican ginger beer and figured this was the time for the taste test. For some reason I was thinking it would taste like root beer...which is pretty silly because the operative word was "ginger".

Of course to make children (or teetotaler folks like myself) want to try it, it is packaged in a bottle that looks very much like a beer bottle. I did look at the label closely to make sure it did not contain any alcohol before serving it to the kids. The bottle clearly stated it was SODA. There is an alcohol and non-alcohol version of ginger beer.

We each had a small fizzling bit in a glass and even though it was OVERPOWERINGLY gingerful, we still enjoyed it. I wouldn't compare the flavor at all to gingerale which is a much, much milder flavor...this kind of tasted like you'd expect it to taste if a large knobby ginger root was left to steep in some 7-up for about a month. After swallowing it - there was a slight burning in the throat that made me wonder if the labeling was incorrect :)

I don't think I'll switch from coke to ginger beer but it was fun to finally taste it and to realize I'm definitely not missing out on anything.


These look and smell so delicious but I would not allow the kids to taste them. Sound cruel? They are tempting little treats but they contain white glue - and though I want my kids to expand their taste buds - I don't think they need to get a glue addiction.

The other day we made some apple cinnamon gingerbread type ornaments to hang on the tree.

We had made some about 3 yrs ago and still have about 3 left, the rest having broken. This time I searched around and found a recipe that included glue and baking them in the oven (our old ones had to sit out and dry and that took forever!).

I kind of combined some recipes but this is basically what it contains:

1 Cup cinnamon
1 TBS ground cloves
1 TBS nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce
2 TBS white (Elmer's) glue

You mix it all together, roll, cut out and use a straw to make a hole so you can thread a ribbon through it. Then then pop in the oven at 200 degrees for about 2.5 hourss. Once I took them out I let them dry about a day longer on a cookie rack and then we painted them. They did shrink a bit and the hole for the ribbon sometimes closed over - so once they were out of the oven but a little soft I used a nail to clear out the holes a bit. I almost doubled the recipe too to make sure there was enough dough for everyone to make at least 1/2 dozen ornaments.

I think they turned out great - they do look like you just want to start munching on them (though less so the ones with paint). My dd said she'd try one if it was not for the glue in them...well I would say something with that much cinnamon would not be a tasty treat!

We used model paints to paint the ornaments and then plan to put some colored year or thread or ribbon through the holes.


The Correspondent said...

We've come across several references to Ginger Beer in the literature we've read as well, and I've always wondered what it tasted like. Thanks for the explanation.

The ornaments look lovely. We made gingerbread this past week, too, but ours was the edible kind. :-)

And thanks for the recommendation in a previous post for Melissa's Great Book of Produce. I'm eager to find a copy now.

~ The Correspondent

David and Amy Campsall said...

My husband loves to drink gingerbeer! It's funny i came across this post just now as it had been ages since I had last bought him one.Just last week i spotted it on my grocery store trip and he was so delighted to have it! I don't like that burning sensation so It's all his. Besides I try not to drink too much of the fizzies while breastfeeding:)