“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside…As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” Anne Frank
My heart doesn’t know what to do with the onslaught of pain, grief, and fear that has inundated the news recently. I’m gutted for those who’ve lost loved ones in horrendous attacks. I ache for the families whose homes and neighborhoods have been destroyed by floods and fires and now have nowhere safe to go, no place of their own where they can rest and connect with those they love. I feel like throwing up after finding out an old friend has been horrifically abused by her husband for years and none of us knew, none of us could protect her.
I feel helpless and angry and afraid and sad. And I don’t know what to do.
So I cry and I grieve and I wish for healing and comfort for all those in pain. I look for ways to do good in my small part of the world. In the grand scheme of things they are insignificant, the sending of a card, or giving of a hug, but they’re things I can do that hopefully convey “you matter”, “you’re not a burden”, or “I’m so glad you’re in this world.”
For my own well-being I go outside.
I wander through our orchards, smiling at tiny fruits that have somehow survived in spite of drought, searing heat, torrential rains, and the ravages of wind storms and hungry creatures. They seem so brave and plucky.
This weekend I made a big batch of ginger beer, that delicious concoction of fizzy, zingy goodness that is so refreshing on a piping hot day. I loved seeing an unappetizing slurry of ginger root, molasses, raisins, and other things transform into something delectable and restorative.
Today I got to share it with Bear and our friends Ann, Neil, and Katy. It was so good to sit in front of the fan, sipping the cold, bubbly drink and talking for hours. The ginger beer didn’t fix or transform anything, but it brought us together in love and friendship, and that always makes a difference.
What helps you process the painful things?
1 cup water
1/2 cup ginger, unpeeled, cut in chunks
2 cups raw or white sugar
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
juice from two lemons
1 Tbsp molasses
1/2 cup raisins
14 cups water
sterilized glass bottles
In a blender pour 1 cup water and ginger. Blend until a slurry forms.
Pour into medium saucepan and add sugar. Place over medium high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep for at least one hour.
Pour mixture through strainer into large stainless steel bowl or pot and add yeast, lemon juice, molasses, and water. Stir until molasses dissolves.
Pour liquid into sterilized bottles, add 2-3 raisins to each bottle and seal.
Set bottles in warm, dark place for 2-3 days. Every day VERY slowly undo the lids to allow gases to escape. (If you don’t do this, your bottles will explode!) Re-seal.
Ginger beer will be drinkable within 24 hours, but for more fizz wait 2-3 days before drinking. You will know it’s ready to drink when the raisins rise to the top.
When the ginger beer is ready to drink, remove lids to release gases one more time, then re-seal and refrigerate. This will slow down the fermentation process and your ginger beer will be out of danger of exploding.