BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Friday, July 05, 2013

A taste of nature

I wouldn't lie and say that camping with a 6 month old was easy... but it went much better than expected!  Uliana never did figure out how to sleep with the noise and brightness of the tent, but she was a trooper and made it through three days before deciding that enough was enough.  And her protest took the form of being permanently latched to her mother.  Every time I put her down or gave her to another set of hands she would start to call for me (currently a stream of nanana/mamama with an angry inflection).

Rathtrevor Beach is a great campground.  It was full with families, and there were kids to meet and play with EVERYWHERE.  Nikolai and Layla made lots of friends. 

The beach was on long and shallow sandy inlet.  So the normally chilly ocean was bathwater warm.  And it would have taken the kids quite a while to hike to anything deeper than a tea cup, which made it perfect for us.
There was also several playgrounds, a nature house, a bike track and ample opportunities for climbing.
However, as the weekend got progressively warmer, we decided to avoid the sun and heat of the sandy beach and went for a dip in the icy pools below Englishman River Falls.
So what did Uliana think everything?  Well... after a few handfuls of sand she learned that not everything was fun to put in your mouth.
Otherwise camping is pretty fun!
In the spirit of our continued heat wave, here are some recipes for homemade fizzy beverages.  The drink featured below is a ginger-plum lemonade.

Homemade sodas
My homemade sodas basically involve mixing juice and a flavour syrup with sparkling water.  They can be mixed to taste.

The standard recipe that we would serve to guests is equal parts of juice, syrup and fizzy water.  This is quite sweet.  On the other end of the spectrum is my preferred ratio is just a little bit of juice in a large glass of sparkling water.  No matter what ratio, a mix-it-yourself soda bar is sure to please everyone! 


Basic flavour syrups:

Ginger syrup: Mix in a sauce pan 3 1/2 cups of water, 1 1/4 cups of honey and 1 six inch piece of ginger peeled and thinly sliced.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes.  Strain out the ginger and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Mint syrup: Mix in a sauce pan 3 1/2 cups of water, 1 1/4 cups of honey and 2 packed cups of chopped mint.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes.  Strain out the mint and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Juices: 

Store bought juice is fine, but sometimes homemade juice packs more strength (and is preservative free).  To make juice (if you don't have a juicer) just use a food processor to process fruit, then pass the puree through a fine strainer to discard the pulp.

Most juices combine well with the ginger syrup. For example lemon, plum, apple, pear, peach or melon

The mint syrup is just as versatile. I would recommend: lime, lemon, berries, watermelon or cucumber.

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