Must kids always fill up every possible second of free auditory space, bickering, asking, yelling, singing, repeating the same fucking phrase over and over again, calling the dog, demanding, to the point that it becomes impossible to formulate a coherent thought and you pour olive oil into a glass of milk, hot sauce in your coffee and you burn the toast?
Archive for: September, 2012
Somehow we never get around to going blueberry picking until some point in September when late-season varieties are ripe, and when we do, between the kids, supercoolwife and I we end up with pounds and pounds of blueberries. Which means blueberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as various pies, muffins and buckles. And even then we still end up with way more than we can consume. Thus it becomes time to pull out the cider vinegar and make one of my favorite drink-additives: blueberry shrub.
A shrub is a sweet, flavored vinegar which you add to water or seltzer to make a refreshing drink. This was a typical drink in the 1900's. Or so they say. You can make it with any fruit (raspberry shrub is delicious) and blueberries are specially amenable to "shrubbing". So here's a delicious recipe to try with your extra blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pears and what not:
Take about a quart of blueberries and rinse them well, removing any overly mushy ones. Put them into a glass pitcher or ceramic bowl and pour over enough apple cider vinegar to cover the fruit. The better the vinegar, the better the drink, but any ol' cider vinegar will work great. Mush up the fruit with a wooden spoon and cover tightly. Let it sit for 3-7 days on the counter, stirring it around once a day or so.
Pour the fruit mix onto a small saucepan, and add 1/2-1 cup of sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes and open all your windows because it'll make a big vinegary stink.Take the boiled mix and filter it through a fine colander onto a bowl or small pitcher. Pour into sealable jars, bottle or whatever's around. This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 months (though you'll likely drink it before then).
To make a drink, take a tall glass and fill it with ice and bubbly seltzer. Then add 1-3 tablespoons of shrub (to taste) and stir. Now drink it!
I'll leave it to my friend Doc Becca to come up with a blueberry shrub based cocktail.
As some of you may remember, almost 2 years ago I got pretty sick. Thankfully I'm doing somewhat better now and am in the middle of a two-year long maintenance treatment. I'm currently writing this as I receive medicine through a port implanted in my chest by my shoulder and I've been here all day, I still have another 150 ml to go. I decided that rather than watch another episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix, I should write a little blog post. The clinic is essentially run by nurses who have received specialized training in oncology and totally kick-ass at their jobs. One thing I was thinking about just now is that several of the nurses in this room have literally saved my life multiple times, they have given me drugs to treat my disease, and when the going was rough given me life-saving blood transfusions and other medication. And I see them running around the room saving other people's lives too, all day long. How many people can say that they directly saved several lives today? I certainly can't. Probably most of you can't either. You might say, "wait a minute you and we are performing basic biomedical research that will unlock key insights that can one day save peoples lives". And I know basic research is necessary, without it none of the treatments I've received would have been possible, and having a basic science background certainly has helped in understanding various options. But still, my job seems completely trite and meaningless compared with the direct impact that these nurses have on their patients. And I really admire them for this.
So, if you ever meet a nurse, thank them on my behalf, if you are one reading this, thank you. Oh, and please go donate blood, this will certainly help someone directly, and thank you for doing so! Maybe we should start a little campaign to get science bloggers and their readers to donate blood, if you do donate send me a note, and I'll publish the tally a month from now. See if we can get a modest 15 people to donate blood and thank a nurse, here we go!