5 February 2013

Coming home to ginger fizz

My sister Tricia recommended an Australian book to me recently - Coming Home by Cathy Armstrong. I was pleased to see it was published by my publisher - Lantern, an imprint of Penguin. It's described on the front cover as 'recipes for comfort food and cosy kitchen crafts'. Anyone my age and a little older and younger will recognise many of the crafts as being common in our childhood; those younger than us will love them for their 'vintage' appeal. I guess we're vintage ourselves now.  :- )

These first two photos are from the Coming Home book.

There are chapters on wonderful breakfasts, drinks, desserts, sandwiches, main meals, cooking for visitors and fetes/fairs. The design is fabulous and Cathy has dotted the book with a page here and there about her upbringing. It's interesting, warmly nostalgic, an easy read, and Cathy's recipes are wholesome and from scratch.

I tried her Ginger Fizz and I think it tastes very much like my ginger beer, but without the probiotics. Still, I loved the first batch, and while it won't replace my ginger beer, it's an excellent standby when you have guests coming and you haven't had the seven days it takes to make the fermented ginger beer.


  • 50g/2 oz fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup lime juice
Sparkling plain mineral water (or soda water) to serve, with ice.

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan with ½ cup water. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 - 7 minutes. Strain the liquid into a sterilised container and store in the fridge. You can use the ginger again for a second batch. The recommendation is to store for up to two weeks but I'm sure, with the sugar and lime juice, it would store for 6 weeks with no problems.

Serve your drink with enough ginger syrup for your taste and fill the glass with sparkling water and ice.

It can also be used as a soothing tea: add to hot water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

- - - - - - - - - - 

And speaking of books, I still haven't publish my dairy book yet. It's finished but I have yet to publish it. Like everything else, I learn about these things as I go, so sometimes it's a slow process. Also, my brain isn't as nimble as it once was so the learning takes more time. I hope it will be out sometime in February.

And speaking of dairy, I picked up four litres of Guernsey cream from the dairy yesterday so today I'm making butter. I'll have a look through my stored cultures in the freezer later to see if I have the right culture for making cultured butter. If I do have it, that will be on our bread here for a while.

I hope you have a lovely day.



  1. Glad you're back on again Rhonda.
    I've never made a ginger drink before, might try that one of these days. Also that sponge looks delicious!
    love Angela (south England) UK

  2. Can't wait for the dairy book- my daughter and I are both currently enjoying my first batch of homemade yoghurt as I type! Cultured butter sounds delish!

  3. Thanks for sharing the book,Rhonda, I'll look out for it in the bookshop.

    Have a beautiful day, Madeleine

  4. I would really like to make ginger beer one of these days. My husband's parents live in New Zealand and one of my favorite things about visiting them is the ginger beer so readily available in the stores. I have never tried homemade but I'd really like to.

  5. I too am 'hanging out' for your dairy book Rhonda. I've tried lots of stuff since getting my two Jersey girls (sadly cream is still scarce as I'm sharemilking with the calves and Mamas rightly holds up the rich hind milk for babies) but love to try new things and see how other people do it.

    If you find a resource that help 'translate' the dose of rennet between manufacturers, it would be so helpful. At the moment I'm committed to doign algebra if I use an American recipe or one from someone who uses another cheese making supplier.

  6. That looks delicious!

  7. Hi Rhonda the coming home book sounds gorgeouse! Cant wait for your ebook too : ) Also I love the baskets hanging on your banner. Are they all yours having an airing?! x

    1. Helloe Rue. Yes, they're some of my baskets that had been cleaned with the Karcher and are hanging to dry.

  8. Hi Rhonda, I have this book, it was a treat to myself last year. I really enjoyed the spinach and ricotta pie. I will give the ginger fizz a go now. Maria

  9. Hi, I've just ordered your book to be delivered internationally (west coast, USA), and I'm really looking forward to getting it. Your blog has been such a comfort to me, and helped me work through (and learn to value) the mixed up feelings I have had about being a homemaker. When I'm down, I look through and feel better, and when I'm up (which is most of the time) I look through and think, "Right! Right, you're oh-so-right!" I wanted the book not just for all the great stuff I'm sure is inside, but also to show you I think your work has value. So, thank you for everything you do.

    1. Thanks Melissa, I appreciate that. I hope you find a lot of joy in the book.

  10. I have rather strange memories of home made butter. One part of me is nostalgic for the taste and texture of it and the other starts quaking as for some reason I always did something that required those rather large butter pats to make connection with my bottom. When i chastise my mother now she tells me i was quite a cheaky kid and probably deserved it. Funny how we connect a period of time to food and for me it home made ginger beer and home made icecream and butter (and the pats).

  11. Oh, the ginger fizz sounds lovely! I will have to give that a try. And I can't wait for your book on dairy - I'd love to make my own cheese one day! Kirsten x

  12. The ginger fizz sounds excellent, I'll have to give that one a go for sure. The book looks lovely.

    Sue xx

  13. Hello Rhonda,
    that ginger fizz looks delicious. I must try it - although I think I'll try the tea first. Here in the South of Germany it is snowing again.
    Will your ebook on dairy be available for European customers, too? I'd love to get a few new ideas for dairy and cheese.
    I've just "opened" my fist blog and I'm working on my first ebook too, a novel set here in the Odenwald and in Provence in France. I must be suffering from "old age slowness" too (LOL),because it is indeed sometimes slow going. But those grey cells get rattled around and have something new to think about, so I'm quite optimistic that I'll stay sound and sane.
    Best wishes from the South of Germany.

    1. Hey Heike. I just published my first ebook too! It's called "Manufacturing Beautiful Daughters: The World Will Thank You Later." I can't wait to read yours.

  14. One thing you forgot to mention, when making this Ginger Fizz syrup, the house smells incredible! This stuff is a keeper! I've printed out the recipe and taped it to the inside of my tea cabinet.

  15. Hi Rhonda
    I use a great probotic called kefir, i culture it in milk. When cultured i add some in with my cream and let it do it's thing. I just leave it on the bench for a day, the next day i make the butter. As the culture is a living organism, i don't need to add anything else to it.It lasts for ages.
    I love drinking it. But it is an acquired taste. My dad says it reminds him of butter milk. You can look it up on the internet I think the best site is
    Dom's, link below. I don't think im explaining it very well.
    If interested i can mail some up to you.

    1. HI Wendy, thank you. I've enjoyed kefir quite a few times.

  16. I think it would keep fine for 6 weeks or so but please not in plastic as the acids will leach chemicals out of that. That said - it does sound like a good recipe so will try it out :)

    viv in nz

  17. I thought from your header that you were going to tell the story of how you came home to laundry wall decorated with ginger fizz! Brings back memories from many years ago when my father did just that, and the family never let him forget about it;) So I am very relieved that yours wasn't a 'disaster' story - the ginger and lime sounds delicious, and so easy!

    Lesley xx

  18. I'm gonna make this soon. Thanks so much for the recipe and the inspiration. I'll post pictures of my outcome, too



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