or, “Healthy things in jars, Boozy things in jars”
by Cat Glennon
So, a little fact about me. Growing up in California we had a garden with all sorts of vegetables, we grew our own tomatoes and carrots and corn and on and on, but my favorite were the radishes. I loved them. Then I moved to New York and discovered that when you buy radishes in the store they taste like bland crap. They only taste peppery and delicious when you grow them yourself year round in your backyard in CA.
However after years and years of suffering someone recently told me that I could grow radish sprouts in a jar, in my house, in New York, year round. This not only solves all of my radish rage, but allows me to grow food ALREADY in a jar. How convenient is that? Here’s how you do it.
The first thing you need is the sprouting seeds. You can’t just go to the Home Depot and buy planting seeds because they’ve been treated with chemicals. You can buy sprouting seeds online from any number of hippie websites, or you can get them on Amazon.com, which is awesome.
Once those get shipped to you you’ll need a jar and some cheesecloth and a metal sieve.
Put the cheesecloth in the sieve and rinse the seeds in luke-warm water. Put them in the jar, cover with water and let soak for 8-12 hours
Drain the seeds and rinse them again with the cheesecloth and sieve.
Put the drained seeds back into the jar with the cheese cloth laid over the top. Keep the jar out of direct sunlight or high heat. Rinse the seeds with the cheesecloth and the sieve every 8-12 hours (2-3 times daily) for five or six days until the majority of the seeds have a single opened leaf sprouting from them.
When they’re done sprouting place them in a large bowl and cover them with water. Stir the seeds with your hands until the hulls of the seeds come off. Skim off all of the hulls and drain the sprouts. Once the sprouts are completely dry put them in your clean dry jar and seal tightly. They’ll last up to a month.
Now for a more fun and less kid friendly summer project, infusing alcohol.
The easiest infusion is citrus vodka. Peel the zest off an an orange and a lemon (or any combination of citrus fruits you’d like) so that there’s no white pith on the peel. Using a potato peeler works well. Then drop it into your vodka and wait a day or two. DONE!
Cucumber vodka takes half a large cucumber and about a week.
Pepper vodka (with 1 jalapeno and 1 habanero pepper) takes 24-48 hours depending on how hot you want it.
Herb vodkas, such as rosemary or basil, take 3-5 sprigs and 4 or 5 days.
Vanilla vodka takes 3 pods for 3 to 5 days.
And if you don’t like vodka you can make vanilla orange bourbon. Add the peel of an orange and two vanilla pods to the bourbon and wait a week or two for the flavors to come through.
Infusing alcohol is so easy! Plus it looks pretty and makes a nice last minute gift. So whether you’re growing your own food or making your own booze grab some jars and get that summer project going. Then invite me over to indulge with you.