Saturday, August 25, 2012

Too many goodbyes

There have been a lot of goodbyes in my life lately. My parents left on Sunday, as did my friend Shayna, who had been in Israel doing research for the past half a year or so. On Tuesday, another friend left the country, and slowly, slowly my network of "can I borrow a cup of sugar" friends are moving to neighborhoods farther out and less accessible for last minute sugar borrowing. But the biggest upcoming goodbye will happen next week when my sister, who has been my roommate for the past four years will up and move to Tel Aviv and this little home will be a different sort of home. That will be the hardest goodbye of them all.

But we live in a wondrous age; one in which my one-year old niece gurgles in recognition when she sees my face on Skype; one in which I can hold almost daily conversations with an old friend from college who just happens to live across an ocean; in which my mom can email me from a cab to let me know she and my father have landed safely; one in which I can message my friend Shayna, who has been my eating partner, my recipe supplier, my fellow watcher of Olympic swimming to tell her that I am making homemade ginger-ale and despite the fact that she is currently in New York, within a second I will get her reply: YUM.

Still, it has been hard and it will be hard and if you ask me how I'm dealing, I would like to say, well, I'm marshaling my courage, concentrating on what is in front of me and putting one foot in front of the other. In reality, I have been drinking ginger-ale. And beer. But mostly ginger-ale.

I was pointed toward this recipe from my friends Yosef and Yael, who thankfully, are not moving. Yael is great cook but is pretty reticent about it. It is usually Yosef who gets geekily enthused by food. So when it was Yael who told me that they'd been making their own ginger-ale and it was "awesome", as she put it, I knew that I just had to try it and I knew that I had to share that fact with Shayna, because she would inevitably say: YUM. This ginger-ale is sweet, but it's also loaded with ginger and packs a punch. It's also easy as pie to make- it's a essentially a simple syrup infused with a hellalota ginger, thyme and sage, mixed with seltzer and squeeze of lime, and that's it. And yes, it is awesome and it is yum and I will be drinking a whole lot more of it in the weeks to come.

Homemade Ginger-Ale
Adapted from Biggirlssmallkitchen

1 1/2 cups (or more, if you'd like) peeled, sliced ginger
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sage fresh sage leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 quart seltzer
lime (lemon will do if limes are not available)

1. In a saucepan combine the ginger, herbs, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Discard the herbs and ginger.

2. Pour about 1/4 cup syrup into a water glass. Add 3/4 cup seltzer and a squeeze of lime. Stir and taste. Add more lime or more syrup, as needed. Drink. Share with friends or hoard it all for yourself.

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