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There really was only one recipe to accompany our theme of the month ...

Make your own ginger beer for an Enid Blyton adventure

Mentioning food in books and our readers immediately recall Enid Blyton’s picnics and midnight feasts all accompanied by copious amounts of ginger beer.

As Julian says in Five Run Away Together :

“I must say Ginger Beer is a gorgeous drink - it seems to go with simply everything ...”

So get going and in little more than a week you can washing down your tomato sandwiches and hard boiled eggs with lashings of home made ginger beer!

This recipe is adapted from The Cultured Club by Dearbhla Reynolds. Thanks to Gill Books for permission to publish this version here. Check out The Cultured Club for more of Dearbhla's ‘Fabulous Funky Fermentation’ recipes.

How to make your Ginger Bug

You will need:

1 litre container (a wide necked Kilner jar is ideal)

750ml water

3 tsp cane sugar

3 tsp finely chopped unpeeled ginger + extra for feeding.

Method - Part 1

Combine all ingredients in a clean one litre wide necked glass or plastic container. Close and give it a good shake. Keep it at room temperature where the temperature remains stable.

Feeding - feed your ginger bug starter with two tsps spoons of sugar and chopped ginger. The mix should begin to bubble by the end of the week. Once it bubbles nicely it's ready to use. It will keep for around a week in the fridge.

You can simply add this to fizzy water or keep feeding with a tsp of sugar and use to make ginger beer or lemonade.

Makes 2 litres

2 lemons peeled and sliced

4 tsp freshly grated ginger

6 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp ginger bug liquid


Method - Part 2

Fill a clean two-litre jar with peeled sliced lemon and ginger. Add sugar - this will feed the bug - add the ginger bug liquid and fill the rest of the jar with water.

Important! Leave 2.5cm space at the top of the jar to allow for fermentation and bubbling process.

Leave for two to three days and then decant into clean bottles. These can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.

Warning - if you are using glass make sure to use suitable bottles as considerable pressure can build up. Plastic bottles may not look as nice but are safer to use.

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