Fresh Ginger Syrup

1/2 to 3/4 lb fresh washed ginger
4 limes
3 cups sugar(Heather uses honey)
2 qts boiling water
Break nubbins off ginger, peel larger roots and grate coarsely in food processor or by hand.
Take the peel off two limes by using a potato peeler.  Squeeze all 4 limes.
Place ginger, nubbins, lime juice, lime peel and sugar in large glass jar or pottery crock.
Pour in boiling water and stir just to dissolve sugar.
Cover and let stand in a warm, dark, draft free place for 2 days.  Strain liquid through several layers of cheesecloth and pour into bottles.  Put lids on bottles and keep for 3 more days at room temperature.  Refrigerate. 

It will keep for weeks.  Makes 4 to 5 pints.  To serve mix with equal amounts of water, seltzer, or add it to your fave cocktail for some zing .  Enjoy!


 We LOVE a delicious summer salad; and though we are all have our favorites, we thought we would ask Vanessa Barchfield, who is a legit salad whisperer to share one of her favorite salad recipes:

Vietnamese Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite food bloggers - the Minimalist Baker - and has been on heavy rotation in my house this year. I discovered it a few months ago, and at first followed the original recipe as closely as I manage to follow any recipe. Now that it's a thousand degrees outside, it's really the only thing I want to eat - but my version has evolved quite a bit. I love peanut and color and tang...and that it's light and filling at the same time. 

Peanut Dressing: 

1/3 cup peanut butter
about a 1/4 cup of water (to thin)
juice of 1 or 2 limes (start with just one and adjust accordingly)
3 or so tablespoons of tamari, soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 tablespoon (or a little less) of Vietnamese chili garlic sauce
3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 package of vermicelli rice noodles
A few hearty handfuls of spinach or arugula
1/2 red cabbage, sliced thinly
2 carrots, peeled into ribbons
1 Red, yellow or orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
1 cucumber, halved and cut into thin disks
1 handful of chopped cilantro
1 handful of chopped mint
1 package of tempeh
sesame seeds for garnish


Cook the vermicelli noodles. When done, rinse them under cold water and set aside. 
Cut tempeh down the middle and then into small slices. Sauté with a little coconut oil, then a few splashes of tamari. Sometimes if I'm in the mood I'll put a splash of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon too. Set aside. 

To make the dressing, stir peanut butter, water, lime juice, tamari, chili garlic sauce and maple syrup in a mixing bowl. Taste and then add more water if it's too thick...or lime if you want it tangier, chili sauce for heat, tamari for salt, or maple syrup for sweetness.

Throw all of the veggies and greens into a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss.
(Start with maybe half the dressing and then add if you need more. If you have any leftover, put it on the table for people who like more heavily dressed salads). 

To plate, serve salad and then top with a small handful of noodles, a few pieces of tempeh and a sprinkle of sesame seeds over the top.

You can hear and sometimes see  Vanessa  on our local NPR news stations:

For a light and refreshing beverage pair with a fresh ginger drink, with or without your favorite boozes!