Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Packaging Pleasure: Podpiwek

There's a Polish grocer not too far from me that sells all sorts of delightful specialty products, including sour cherries in jars, poppyseed filling for pastries, and various hard-to-find grains. They also carry Podpiwek, a mixture of dried beets, barley, chicory root, sugar, and hops.

Yes, I bought it because of the package. I'm a sucker for the retro look, and this has definitely got that 1950s-does-16th-century aesthetic. (And if you love that look, check out this nifty vintage paper bag I found in an old hat!)

This is what the contents look like:

Since it has chicory root, I kind of assumed it was a replacement for coffee, so I brewed myself up a cup.

That was a mistake.

This stuff is actually used to make a weak, 3- to 5-day-old beer. Of course if I had noticed that the man on the front is holding a mug of frothing beer, I could have saved myself an unpleasant experience.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Joy of Juice

Summer is a time of bounty, when the plants that spring from the earth share with us their bright and flavorful riches. Summer is also the time when my local grocer offers discounted fruits and vegetables, packaged at the peak of ripeness and needing to be sold immediately.

Yesterday morning I decided to finally do something with those many packages of strawberries and blueberries sitting in my refrigerator. Typically I make jam with such fruit, but lately I've been experimenting with homemade wines, so I decided to make juice from them using a Saftborn steam juicer I bought at a second-hand store last year for 10 Euros (!).