Prince Snow Farm


Old-Fashioned Strawberry Soda, PERFECT for Valentine's Day!

A repost because it is so yummy!

Well my daughter got a soda making machine for Christmas….back in the 1970's it was the Easy Bake Oven, then Snoopy Sno-Cone, and now a soda machine! Kids these days get real appliances, which in a way is great, because mom can borrow them!

I have been making lots of carbonated water, just plain, like a Club Soda….boy it sure has saved LOTS of $$$ on seltzer. Typically we buy four 12 packs a week. 

I am not so fond of the ingredients in the mixes….even the non-diet flavors have artificial sweeteners….something we just do not use. 
So I decided I would try my hand at a homemade syrup. Yes, it contains sugar, but we aren't drinking it daily, and it is also made with organic fruit, and water….and that's IT!!

When I was growing up, my dad was a pharmacist at a local drugstore. Back in those days he would even serve drinks at the fountain. It was here that I first fell in love with simple syrups. Not a summer has gone by since childhood that we haven't mixed lime rickeys on a hot summer afternoon….not the fake green ones, but the crisp, tangy ones made with club soda (soda water), simple
 syrup and fresh squeezed limes. 

I also made a cranberry simple syrup over the holidays for our homemade sangria. (see it here). 

I decided to make a small batch for us to taste test.

The syrup and the sugary strawberries were heavenly!

Just the right amount of sugar, and such a wonderful fruity flavor.

Of course, when I started to pour the syrup into the bottle of carbonated water(silly me), I created a volcano. It was the volcano of my childhood, pink foam shooting straight up and over! It was like a Brady Bunch episode for those of you old enough to remember. But I managed to save things and we had a BIG laugh. 

After that, we poured the syrup over ice and added the water. MUCH smarter. 

We each added the amount that made the taste right for us. 

It was so pretty….and soooo tasty. Perfect for a Valentine's Day dinner or party.

Strawberry Simple Syrup for 4 (double for a larger group):

 1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water (add more if needed)

On medium-low heat, combine sugar, water, and strawberries.

Stir until sugar dissolves. 

Continue cooking over a low flame, allowing strawberries to cook down.

Remove pan from heat. Strain strawberry mixture through a fine strainer over a bowl or measuring cup, pressing on strawberries to collect all juices.

Allow strained mixture to cool.

Store in refrigerator or use right away.

Serving suggestion:  Fill glass with ice, pour a small amount of syrup over ice. Add club soda, and stir lightly. Enjoy!

Please leave a comment if you try this!!!


What Gardeners Do in Winter

 I thought it was high time to interrupt this Massachusetts winter with a bit of garden talk.

Because all over the Northeast, as snow continues to fall., and 
winter has become a bore (and a chore)….

...there are gardeners who are thinking of things other than the icy driveways...

...the difficulties driving...

….the mile high snowdrifts….

….and the impending forecasts.

We are planning.

First it is a flash through our minds. A color, a texture a scent. It's a memory from a moon swept summer evening, or a dewy morning's lung-filling air. (so pure)

Then it is about glossy paged catalogs and reliable websites. We read up on our favorites. 

We work our budgets and draw our maps.

We check our seed supply from last year, our own personal seed banks. We nod at what flourished, and shake our heads at what did not. (But it's always fun trying).

The lists begin…what to plant and when to plant it.

Perhaps that tomato variety a friend recommended, or a flower that reminds us of a loved one.

The planning process is purposeful, yet delicate; it is eagerness and patience bundled pleasantly together.

Perhaps Mother Nature knew that gardeners needed this time...

…a time to plan what we will guide forth from this earth...

…a time to dream of a velvety petal or a golden pumpkin.

A time to relish in the past, yet hope for the future.

This year I feel I am being called to teach about gardening...

…to encourage new gardeners, to guide those who have become complacent ...

…but most of all, to show how something so simple can change us forever.

A request:

Please share a gardening tip, favorite plant, memory of the garden, or garden story in the comments section! I will be compiling your ideas into a future post. 

Please include your location.

Feel free to share this post on Facebook so that we can compile LOTS of ideas from gardeners everywhere!


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