Fire Cider Recipes

It's A Medicinal Tonic. It's A Cocktail Mixer. It's Both…and More!

Pallet Garden and Hops Update

Our little pallet garden has been growing strong, we’ve picked a bunch of cilantro and made a few salads with all the greens.  The radishes never make it into the house, got to have something to eat while I’m picking food for a meal!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Meanwhile, our garden in Richmond has turned into a Comfrey field.  And while Comfery is an amazing medicinal plant, it can not be eaten and it choked out all the rest of our plants!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we'll grow vegetables?!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we’ll grow vegetables?!

We covered the whole garden up and will see if we can get a fresh start next spring.  What our garden at Green Means Farm lacked in vegetables this year, it made up for in hops, four different varieties, although the Cascades are doing the best by far!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Dana dried them out and has already brewed a 5 gallon batch with some of what we picked.   The brew should be ready by Friday, and we’ll certainly enjoy it after our first day at the Big E!  Dana, Sean, Brian and I hope to see you there, we’ll be on the Rhode Island side of the Massachusetts building all weekend!

Nurse Moon’s Quick Fire Pickles

Pretty pickles made with Fire Cider!

Pretty pickles made with Fire Cider!

This recipe was sent to me by my friend Helen, yes, she’s a nurse and she knows what’s good for us- whole, organic foods!  This quick pickle recipe is an excellent way to preserve all those cucumbers that have taken over your garden.  Raw cucumbers are a cooling summer food.  When combined with some hot pepper, garlic, ginger and vinegar these pickle become a perfect fall condiment or snack.  Enjoy!

Fire Cider Pickles:

  • 2 or 3 cucumbers sliced into thin rounds
  • half an onion sliced into half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a thumbnail of ginger, peeled

For the Brine:

  • Few pinches of kosher salt
  • Crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup Fire Cider
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Boiling the pickles

Boiling the pickles

 

Method:

1. Put the cucumber, onion slices, ginger and garlic into a clean quart canning jar.

2. Add the remaining brine ingredients to a pot an boil on the stove top for 5 minutes.

3. Pour the hot liquid mixture over the  cucumbers and onions in the jar and close lid.  Let it set for 5-10 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid back into the pot and boil another 10 minutes. Pour over the cucumbers and onions in the jar again and set for another 10 minutes with the lid on.
5. Now, bring water to a boil in the pot (enough water to cover the jar at least half way when submerged)  and set the jar, with the lid on and the cucumbers in the brine, in the boiling water.
6. Then turn off heat and let the jar (and hot water) cool.  Once it’s cool, refrigerate and enjoy!

Recycled and Biodegradeable: No More Plastic!

Plush recycled paper wrapping and biodegradable food starch packing pillows- be the change you want to see in the world- one shipment at a time!

Plush recycled paper wrapping and biodegradable food starch packing pillows – be the change you want to see in the world- one shipment at a time!

We are celebrating another small step in the right direction: our new packing materials just arrived!  Every Fire Cider order will now be wrapped in recycled, recyclable and reusable cushioned brown paper.  Goodbye plastic bubble wrap.  We are still using compostable food starch packing peanuts, which you can easily compost at home.  Only now, the peanuts are wrapped in a biodegradable pillow so they are contained and easy to re-use or toss into the compost.  Don’t you wish every business used earth friendly packaging?  It’s never too soon to start or to at least start bugging your local haunts to make the switch!

Coming later this fall: 100% post consumer custom Fire Cider boxes and paper tape.  Yeah,  paper tape instead of plastic, it’s stronger and recyclable, how cool is that? In about a month everything from our Fire Cider bottles to our promotional material to all of our shipping material will be recycled, recyclable, re-usable and/or home compostable.  Oh yeah!  Love your Mother Earth and have a happy Labor Day weekend!

 

Zucchini and Basil Sautee

Originally posted on The Candida Diaries:

Zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces.

Zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces.

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy all the zucchini that’s super fresh right now.  And it’s really easy, just some time and a few ingredients and you’ve got a healthy delicious side dish or meal to go picnicking with!

Ingredients:

Zucchini

Onion

Butter and/or Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Basil

Shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

Method:

Chop up some onion, I usually use about a 1 to 4 ratio of onion to zucchini.

Add the chopped onion, a few pinches of salt (go easy on the salt if you plan to add cheese to the finished dish, which I highly recommend!) and a healthy dose of butter and olive oil to a heavy bottom pan, the wider the pan the better.   You’ll start with a lot of fat in the pan to cook the onions and then when…

View original 193 more words

Sean Callaghan Joins Team Fire Cider!

Dana and Sean with our other new addition!

Dana and Sean with our other new addition!

We are getting ready for our biggest fall yet and so we have hired our first full-time employee, welcome to team Fire Cider Mr. Callaghan!   Sean’s actually been helping us out, officially and unofficially, for years.  Sean and Benny ‘Fingers’ Kohn wrote and recorded a rock n roll theme song for Fire Cider in 2012.  Sean has helped us in the kitchen making Fire Cider, and has personally hand washed many, many pounds of horseradish roots.  Sean is now offering in store Fire Cider tastings and attends the SoWa Farmer’s Market in Boston every Sunday.

Ready to rock at the SoWa Market in Boston.  Nice T-shirt!

Ready to rock at the SoWa Market in Boston. Nice T-shirt!

Now that he’s officially, finally, part of Team Fire Cider, you’ll see Sean all over New England offering free samples of Fire Cider at festivals, shops and cafes.  Sean will be working closely with our retail partners too.  Want to see Fire Cider for sale somewhere?  Feel the need for an in store demo aka free samples?  Sean can be emailed directly at, you guessed it: Sean@FireCider.com

The Big E is held in Springfield MA every year.  Sean, Dana, Brian, Sheri and I will be there, next to the Massachusetts building on the weekends, Friday September 12 through Sunday the 14th, the weekend of the 20th and 21st and Friday the 26th to Sunday the 28th.  Last year we gave out about 15,500 samples of Fire Cider (in biodegradable cups!) over the course of the event.   Let’s see if we can’t beat that record this year!

Sean and Dana having a laugh in the warehouse.

Sean and Dana having a laugh in the warehouse.  DIY Halloween costume!

Homemade Mayo is Wicked Easy

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Mark Bittman’s recipes?  They are easy, accessible, reliable and, of course, delicious!  Here’s one that Dana and I have been making up weekly because mayo goes with everything.  Seriously, my friend eats banana mayonnaise sandwiches!

Mayonnaise by Mark Bittman from ‘How To Cook Everything’

This is the easiest, quickest way I have found to make mayonnaise at home. Making it yourself means it’s made from organic high quality ingredients and costs a lot less than the stuff at the store, win win.  

I have a Bamix wand blender made in Switzerland, it’s the ultimate wand blender and unlike most other versions, it will last forever because it’s all one piece. On models where the stem detaches, eventually the connection point wears down and then you need a whole new one. No good. You can also use a blender or a food processor to make this mayonnaise. Or use a whisk, but remember, when whisking by hand you must add the oil only a teaspoon at a time and whip it in between. It’s a bit of a work out!

Ingredients for 1 Cup:

  • 1 whole egg at room temperature
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard or organic Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice OR 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, sunflower seed oil, grape-seed oil or a combination, or more if needed, at room temperature
  • Pinch or two of unrefined sea salt, to taste

Method:

  1. In food processor or blender combine the egg, cayenne, mustard, lemon juice, salt and ¼ cup of the oil. Blend for about 30 seconds.
  2. Then, with the processor or blender running, add the oil in a slow, thin stream. After you have added about ½ the oil, the mixture should start to thicken. You can add up to 1 ½ cups of oil, to the desired consistency.
  3. That’s it! Taste and adjust seasonings: more salt or lemon. Place in a glass jar with tight fitting lid. It will firm up even more in the fridge and will last about 2 weeks.
  4. If you’d like to, you can add 1 tablespoon of whey (which you can easily strain out of your whole milk yogurt) in the first step, before adding oil. In this case, let the finished mayo sit at room temperature for 7 hours and then place in the fridge. It will last several months this way and contains beneficial bacteria.

Variations…

Fire Cider:  Use Fire Cider in place of the lemon juice- 1 tablespoon Fire Cider plus 1 Tablespoon of water

Garlic : Add 1-2 crushed cloves garlic to the egg yolk mixture. Be sure to use fresh garlic cloves, not jarred paste or jarred cloves, which can have an acrid taste.  This one is great with the Fire Cider version.

Cilantro Cucumber: Replace lemon juice with lime juice. After the mayo has thickened, add 3/4 cup cilantro leaves and 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber. Puree in blender until smooth.

Herbs: When the mayonnaise has thickened, add 1/2 cup fresh parsley and 1/4 cup single or mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon, mint, or chives. Puree in blender until smooth.

We Made A Pallet Garden

Last weekend Dana and I spent just 45 minutes – plus gathering materials- to build this sweet little pallet garden!  We have a lot of pallets at our warehouse in Pittsfield, so, if you like this idea and want to make your own, please email me: Amy@FireCider.com and we’ll hook you up with as many pallets as you’d like.  Someone mentioned to me they were concerned about the pallet wood being treated with chemicals.  That is a worry for international shipping pallets, as those are treated, but the ones we get are used for shipping only in the U.S. and are made from the cheapest (it costs money to chemically treat wood!) scrap wood available.  We picked a pallet that was sturdy and unpainted, made of plain, raw wood.  I can’t wait to pick lettuce in a few weeks!

Dana filling the pallet garden with organic dirt, yum!

Dana filling the pallet garden with organic dirt, yum!

First, gather your materials:

one pallet

weed cloth

thin board to cover the back of your pallet

powerful staple gun, tacker or some small nails and a hammer

enough organic dirt to fill the pallet, about 5-6 bags should do

seeds!  choose smaller foods with little roots like lettuce, herbs, flowers, nothing too big, like corn or too deep like root veggies.

How To:

Use the top of the pallet, with the most boards/small spaces for the front.  Tack weed cloth all around the back, bottom and sides, this will help keep the dirt inside the pallet. Leave the top open so you can grow taller plants/flowers in that space.

Using a tacker to cover the back, bottom and sides with weed cloth.

Using a tacker to cover the back, bottom and sides with weed cloth.

Now tack a thin board over the back of the pallet to keep it stable so the dirt doesn’t fall out.

So, can you tell Dana was taking these photos!  We used a thin board leftover from packing material to cover the back of our pallet.

So, can you tell Dana was taking these photos?! We used a thin board leftover from packing material to cover the back of our pallet.

Lean your pallet against a fence or building at an angle and fill it with organic dirt.  Pack it in well so that it’s filled up and won’t wash out when it rains.

About 5 bags of dirt should do.

About 5 bags of dirt should do.

Now plant each row, in the spaces between the front slats.

Planting herbs, flowers, lettuces and more!

Planting herbs, flowers, lettuces and more!

Water regularly and enjoy your little garden!  I’ll be sure to post updated photos of our pallet garden on our Facebook page once things get growing.  Here’s how it looked five days after we planted the seeds:

Radishes are taking off with herbs, lettuce and flowers not far behind.

Radishes are taking off with herbs, lettuce and flowers not far behind.

 

 

Cool Drinks for Hot Summer Days

Drinking vinegar for its myriad health benefits goes back to ancient Greece, no wait, even further, to 5000 BCE when Babylonians were using date palms to make vinegar.  Warriors throughout history have used vinegar mixed with water for strength and energy. Vinegar drinks and vinegar tonics infused with herbs, roots, flowers, you name it, have been around for many centuries.  In New England farmers have been making a drink called ‘switchel’ to keep them hydrated and ward off heat stroke during the long, hot summer days:

“They drank a quenching beverage that functioned much like modern Gatorade: switchel, also called switzel or haymaker’s punch. It contained water, a sweetener—either molasses, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar—ginger, and cider vinegar. All the ingredients (except water) happen to be sources of potassium—an electrolyte. Molasses is especially high in potassium.” Read the rest of this article HERE!

Apple Cider Vinegar is an incredibly medicinal food since it contains several different beneficial acids plus beta-carotene, amino acid, bone building minerals, enzymes, magnesium, potassium, pectin and tannins.  No wonder humans have been using this super food since we figured out how to preserve apples in the form of vinegar!

Here are my three favorite vinegar drinks, aka, switchels, to help keep you cool and healthy this summer:

Dana’s Pomegranate Switchel

Ingredients to make one cup of Switchel concentrate:

  • ¼ cup of Fire Cider
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh ginger juice
  • 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey

Shake well to combine all ingredients.

Serve about 2-4 ounces of concentrate over ice, top with soda water to make a pint.

Store leftover Switchel mix in the refrigerator.

Citrus Switchel

Makes 2 servings-

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider
  • juice from 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons, or more to taste, raw, local wildflower honey
  • Soda water or plain water
  • 2 lime wedges

Combine the first 3 ingredients and makes sure to dissolve al the honey.  Fill two pint glasses with ice and split the switchel mix between the glasses.  Top with soda water and garnish with a lime wedge.

Dr. Earl Mindell’s Switchel- from his book ‘Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar‘ which is also where I got some of the information for this blog post.  Makes 2 servings-

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider

1 1/2 tablespoons black strap molasses

2 cups warmed water (to melt the molasses)

Combine and pour over ice.

Fire Cider Photo and Video Contest

Show us your best Fire Cider face!   Or your Fire Cider tattoo (no, seriously, we heard this was a real thing!), your friends trying Fire Cider for the first time, the funniest, weirdest, coolest way you use Fire Cider.  Get creative and you could win one of four $25 gift certificates to your favorite Fire Cider retail shop.  Sound like fun?  Here’s how to enter the contest:

Send us one photo OR one 60 second or shorter video along with your favorite place to buy Fire Cider.  We’ll let our Facebook fans pick two photo winners and two video winners and each will receive a $25 gift certificate to the shop of your choice.

Amy and Dana say: Beware The Underdose!

Amy and Dana say: Beware The Underdose!

Email your photo or video with the subject line “Fire Cider Contest” to Amy@FireCider.com by Monday July 14th at midnight est.  We will post your photos and videos on our Facebook and Twitter during and after the contest.  Brian, Dana, Sheri and Amy will narrow down the entries to our top favorite picks and let people vote on our Facebook page starting on Tuesday July 15th.

Our daily doses, down the hatch!

Our daily doses, down the hatch!

Like us on Facebook if you haven’t already!  The four winners will be emailed directly with how to redeem their gift certificates.  You can send in as many submissions as you like, one per email please.  Here’s Amy and Dana’s Fire Cider faces, show us yours!!

Hurts so good!

Hurts so good!

Curry Fire Cider Marinade

This past Father’s Day weekend I did what all good children do: grilled with my dad!  It was really fun, especially since I was trying out a new marinade that Chef and Butcher James Burden recommended to me.   I went to Berkshire Organics in Dalton to stock up on everything we needed for dinner.  I picked up fresh, organic veggies: eggplant really soaks up marinade so it’s great for grilling, plus onions, zucchini and some red and orange bell peppers.

Red Apple Butchers, at Berkshire Organics, had 30 day, dry aged steaks, so I had to try a few of those.  And I also bought about 2 and 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs with the skin on.  Here’s the marinade recipe plus a bonus curry mix from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything, which is as useful as it sounds.   Last week I wrote to Mr. Bittman about Fire Cider and his assistant wrote me back saying she had tried it the last time she was in the Berkshires and would be happy to share a sample bottle with her boss.  How cool is that?!

Marinade for 2-3 pounds of Chicken 

Yes, of course you can use this marinade on tofu, fish or veggies.  For fish and veggies, about 20 minutes in the marinade will do.  For meat, like the chicken, make the marinade the day before and let the meat marinate overnight.  I made double this recipe, one half for the chicken and one half for the veggies.

Ingredients:

a generous 1/4 cup Fire Cider

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons salt

1 big tablespoon fragrant curry powder blend (see photo below for the recipe! Yes, you can use store bought as well.)

a pinch of asafoetida

a pinch of chipolte pepper

1 teaspoon garam masala

 

Method:

First, make up the fragrant curry powder blend, this will make enough for this recipe plus plenty left over for all your curry spice needs, it’s awesome on pop corn!

Mark Bittman's curry blend.

Mark Bittman’s curry blend.

Get the spices together and toast the spices in a dry skillet.

Whole spices ready to toast!

Whole spices ready to toast!

Mmm, toasty and very fragrent!

Mmm, toasty and very fragrant!

Use a small spice grinder to turn toasted spices into powder and then add

Use a small spice grinder to turn toasted spices into powder and then add powdered ginger and turmeric.  Homemade curry powder!

Once you’ve made the curry blend,  combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Yes, that's a gallon of Fire Cider. Beware the underdose!

Yes, that’s a gallon of Fire Cider. Beware the underdose!

Pour all the marinade over the chicken and marinate over night in a sealed bag or sealed container.

The next day, when you are ready to cook, remove the chicken, discard any leftover marinade and grill the chicken til it’s done!

For veggies: chop bite sized pieces of onion, bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant, make up more marinade and marinate for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat each piece.  Slide onto skewers and grill with the chicken.

Grill ready chicken, veggies and steak.

Grill ready chicken, veggies and steak.

The 30 day dry aged steaks were perfect as is so I let them sit out at room temp for about an hour, lightly salted them and then grilled them for a few minutes on each side for perfectly rare, melt in your mouth awesomeness.

Happy grilling, all summer long!

Happy grilling, all summer long!

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 114 other followers