Hello Use Good Stuff-ers, hope you’re doing well!
Life continues to be hectic (show #2 opens in five days) so today I thought I would simply share a gift idea that I used recently. Behind the glitz and jazz hands of a stage show lies hours and hours of tireless work from a dedicated team. I wanted to thank the director, choreographer and musical director of show #1 for all their work – what better way to do this than with homemade Lemon, Honey, and Ginger Cordial made zero-waste style? It felt appropriate because of the high level of winter snuffles that were going around the cast and crew. This cordial is great to give to a sickening loved one, or y’know, keep it for yourself because they’ll probably just pass the plague along to you anyway.
Step 1: Collect lemons.
I have two great lemon trees but these got a little cold over winter and the lemons have suffered. Instead I chose to go for a stroll through the Red Zone here in Christchurch and forage for sour goodies! While many of the houses have been demolished, the trees have been kept standing and I found lots of great citrus trees. I also spotted an old plastic bag blowing around so I ran it down (this took an embarrassingly long time) and reused it as my gathering bag.
If you are keen to grow your own lemons then check out E Cus’ post on lemon trees!
Foraged lemons from the red zone!
Step 2: Collect other ingredients.
I wizzed in and out of my local Bin Inn with my trusty reusable jars and came out with sugar and citric acid. I already had ginger at home – I buy it from the Lyttelton market (which is my favourite market). You can also get zero waste honey from Piko’s! They have various types of honey and you can just fill your own jar with the runny goodness. I had ‘home grown’ honey from the bee keeper who tends the hive I got for Christmas. Unfortunately the latest news is that the hive died this winter – from what I hear, bee keepers around the country are losing large numbers of hives to cold, disease, and other problems. Check out James’ article on bees for more general reading. It’s all pretty scary but hopefully we can start to do something about it!
Step 3: Collect your containers.
I reused the glass Lemon and Honey Cordial bottles which are bought for hot drinks at my work. Before I put any cordial in them I made sure to fill the bottles with boiling water to make sure they were completely clean and sterile.
Step 4: Improvise your own recipe based on a random selection from Google.
This is pretty much how I do all my cooking – I’m a rebel yo.
Basically I combined the lemon juice, lots of rind, grated ginger, and water in a saucepan and then boiled these up. I then sieved out the bigger hunks of ginger and rind. Adding the honey and sugar sweetened and thickened the cordial, with a wee bit of citric acid to kick up the sour taste! You can make this recipe without the sugar, acid, or water but I needed to make a large amount so these helped bulk up my mixture.
Step 5: The Thank You’s.
I reused old wrapping paper and ribbon to write thank you notes and tie these to the bottles. Mine came out looking pretty snazzy!
The finished product!
That’s all this month folks! Get out and enjoy the beginning of Spring!!