March 21-27, 2010 marks UNICEF’s annual “World Water Week”, where restaurants all over the country will be asking guests to donate money for the tap water they consume. Even $1 will supply a child with safe water for 40 days.
The project started in 2007 with just 300 restaurants in NYC, but now has spread to thousands.
All of the funds raised go to UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programs, with the goal of bringing clean water to millions across 100 different countries.
Their website is full of troubling statistics: of the 900 million people who don’t have access to clean water; half are children, water-borne illnesses are the second leading cause of preventable death in children, 4,100 children die per day from water-related illnesses and the list goes on. Get out and do your part.
…for ice cream pops.
Gearing up for summer (should it ever decide to arrive), I purchased Tovolo Shooting Star Pop Molds. They also make them in a bomb pop shape – those red, white and blue beauties were always my favorite from the Mr. Frosty truck – it was a tough call. We made our inaugural pops with wild strawberries and drinkable yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm. Milk Thistle’s a family-owned farm in the Hudson Valley and in addition to making some very tasty milk, they claim to know all of their cows by name. This last tidbit was especially welcome news after having seen the movie, Food, Inc. a few days ago.
Wild berries are in at the market
We added some sugar and some water, thinking they might freeze better and tossed everything in the blender. I’d probably omit the water next time around, to get more of the tangy, yogurt notes.
This was not a very scientific recipe, but the quantities were something like this:
*8 oz. yogurt
*8 oz. water
*8 oz. strawberries
*4 tablespoons sugar
We filled the molds, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top, to let them expand and we left them for about 8 hours. The Tovolo company says to wait at least 4, so kudos to us.
- the finished pop, turned to hide a bite mark
Yesterday, we made an agua fresca mix of pineapple, mango and strawberry and some of that mix has made it into the molds of the recently-eaten strawberry pops. Their status remains to-be-eaten – I’ll keep you posted.
In true thirsty fashion, I also have some ideas for adding some spirits to the mix. Frozen juleps, daiquiris, fruit caipirinhas – on a stick, with a drip tray! Sure would beat a brown bag on a stroll through the city.
No, this is not an announcement about a new flavor of your favorite soft drink.
My friend Ana told me about a great recipe for agua fresca in the New York Times. I told her I would use it in a cocktail, so here you go.
By the way, agua fresca is a refreshing mixture of fruit, sugar and water.
I chose watermelon and the hardest part was waiting the hour for it to chill in the fridge.
For the tasty cocktails that ensued, click here
I was introduced to a new beverage this week – sparkling white jasmine tea.
The Golden Star Tea Company takes jasmine silver needle tea, a rare white tea from the Fujian province in China, and puts it through a controlled fermentation with Champagne yeast – controlled to produce only trace amounts of alcohol (less than 0.5% abv) but to still capture the brioche, tropical fruit and floral notes created by the action of the yeast.
Some of the bubbles are from the fermentation process and some have been supplemented. There’s a touch of caffeine as well as a touch of sweetness from raw sugarcane juice.
They recommend serving it well-chilled and straight up, in a Champagne flute. But, as is usually the case when I’m introduced to a new beverage, I decided to make a cocktail out of it.
The tea had lots of stone fruit and honeysuckle notes, which I thought would pair nicely with the fiery earthiness of an unaged tequila. I wanted to add a little spice to the mix, so I chose Domaine de Canton, a ginger-infused Cognac.
Go Go Ginger Jasmine
1.5 oz. white tequila (I used Sauza Blanco)
.5 oz. Domaine de Canton
1 oz. Golden Star Sparkling Jasmine Tea
splash of simple syrup
juice of 1/2 lime, 1/4 lime to finish
pinch of salt
Combine tequila, Domaine de Canton, simple syrup, lime juice and salt in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, strain into chilled martini glass, top with sparkling tea and squeeze the juice of an additional 1/4 lime on top. Candied ginger or an edible flower would make a nice garnish.