I’ve finished my work for the week and am tucked into a squishy chair on the veranda listening to kookaburras make a racket in the bush and Bear rattle away doing wood-work in his shop.
Autumn is here, making her presence felt in chilly mornings and early nights. I’ve been making soup and hot chocolate, baking scones and roasting nuts, those lovely things that feel cozy and homey as the world around us changes from the lush green of Summer to the brittle beauty of Fall.
My friend Carolyn kindly shared part of her lime harvest with me a few weeks ago – what a treasure!
The green beauties have been juiced into pico de gallo, stirred into shredded chicken with ground cumin and precious green chilies sent from dear friends in Nova Scotia, and turned into several bottles of Cranberry Lime Beer.
I really love home brewing, whether it’s making a big batch of ginger beer or filling giant glass demijohns with apple wine.
Last year I made Finnish Sima – a gorgeous fizzy drink made from lemons that is lusciously refreshing, especially on a hot afternoon. Imagine ginger beer (ginger ale for my Canadian friends) but with lemons instead of ginger.
It’s one of the easiest drinks to make since it only takes a few days to brew before it’s ready to drink.
I thought that if it would work with lemons, surely it would work with limes. So I fiddled around a bit with my recipe, using brown sugar for the sweetener and dried cranberries to kick off the fermentation process.
It worked beautifully. The brown sugar provides a mellower sweetness with great depth of flavor, and the cranberries add a sprightliness that goes brilliantly with the lime juice.
I brought a bottle to my friend Sue’s house and we swiftly realized that just one bottle was not nearly enough. I’m under strict instructions to bring at least two next time.
Be sure to serve it chilled for the very best sipping experience.
It’s been a good week on the farm. We had a tremendous storm a few days ago, nearly 4 inches of rain in about 30 minutes!! I looked out the window in awe as it pelted down, amazed to see our entire farm yard become a river that flowed past our house.
As a result my poor heat-ravaged gardens are flourishing again, with beans, radishes, beetroot, Jerusalem artichokes, greens, eggplants, chilies, and tomatoes.
I’m looking forward to a quiet Easter weekend eating Mexican leftovers and sipping cold glasses of Cranberry Lime Beer as we thoroughly relax.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend too. xo
Cranberry Lime Beer
3.5 litres of water
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 heaped Tbsp lime zest
1/8 tsp yeast
handful of dried cranberries
1. Place water, sugars, juice, and zest in a large pot and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and sit until lukewarm.
2. Pour into glass demijohn (or large glass pitcher), add yeast and stir. Cover with clean tea towel and leave overnight.
3. Sterilize 4 1-litre plastic bottles with lids.
4. In each bottle add one tsp brown sugar and 5-6 dried cranberries.
5. Strain beer into each bottle and seal well, giving it a vigorous swirl to help dissolve sugar.
6. Let sit at room temperature for 2-3 days until cranberries have all risen to the top of the liquid. Make sure you loosen the lids at least once a day to keep bottles from exploding.
7. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This should nearly halt the fermentation process and stop the bottles from exploding, but check the bottles now and then just to make sure. Gentle open tops to release pressure if necessary.