Sunday, August 2

Hay-Time Switchel

Now, if I haven't made mention of it often enough, you all know I went to Pennsylvania from July 19th to July 24th. Of course I went to see some of my favorite bands of all time perform. To see family, and to spend time with Stacey. But I also made sure to pick up a cookbook. What sort of cookbook? An Amish recipe cookbook, actually.

And you thought I didn't bring anything back for you.

How is this for you? Because I'm going to share my journey through the cookbook with you. Photos, recipes, stories and all.

I was paging through the other day for a quick one to make. Some people go in order, I go by what draws me in. This recipe drew me in not only for the very quirky, cool name, but also because at that time, it was the first one I had all the ingredients for. That, and it's a drink that isn't soda, which earns bonus points in my book.

So I present to you...

Hay-Time Switchel

2 cups sugar
1 cup molasses*
1/4 cup cider vinegar*
1 tsp ginger
1 gallon water, divided

Now, if you're anything like me, you're looking at that ingredient list going, "Is she serious?" Buckle up and bear with me, because this is worth it. Beyond worth it. Also, the * is to indicate that I used blackstrap unsulphured molasses, and that the original recipe doesn't call for cider vinegar specifically, however when compared with other recipes, it's the better option of the two. So use cider if you've got it. If not, no sweat, use white.

To start, take your sugar, molasses, vinegar, ginger, and 1 quart of the water. (That's 4 cups, just so no one else is rushing Google for conversion measurements like I was.) Dump them all into a pan on the stove and heat until dissolved. (Note: don't boil! Low/Medium heat works well.)

Here's what it will look like on the stove. Very easy to tell when everything's dissolved, too. I know, I know. You're looking at it and going, "Really? Brown... stuff?" Hang with me. This is the ugliest - and most difficult - this recipe gets.

Unless, of course, you have troubles getting that all into your gallon container. I used a wide funnel and managed to pour most of the molasses mix back into the measuring cup before pouring it into the funnel.

Fill the rest of the jug back up with water and pop it in the fridge until it's thoroughly chilled.

Serve in a tall glass with plenty of ice.

According to various websites I visited regarding the history of switchel, it was drank by the Amish farmers during hay time (hence the name of this one) and was a great energy booster and aided in replenishing electrolytes.

MarvMan isn't a fan, but he's not a fan of molasses, though, so that could have a major part in his dislike. I don't bale hay or anything, but after taste testing, I'm hooked. This one is going to become a staple in the fridge and may, in fact, get me off soda.

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