Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

San Diego Bike Polo Outtake

How to Make Ginger Tea

I like ginger a lot, so I recently started to experiment with natural ginger root. My first goal has been to make my own ginger tea. It's ridiculously easy. First, get yourself a ginger root. Amazingly, my local Albertson's stocks them, but you could also get them at a good organic market. I found that a medium-sized root makes about a dozen 8 oz. cups of tea, according the recipe below, but I like stronger tea in larger quantities, so I'm using a little more when I make it.

To Dry & Grind the Ginger Root:
Peel the thin, papery bark off the root with a sharp paring knife. This is easiest to do with fresh root that hasn't started to dry out. Slice the root into roughly 2 mm-thick slices. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet and place in a very slightly warmed oven (our gas oven is perfect for this because the pilot lights keep it warm in there all the time). Let the root dry out completely until the slices are brittle enough to snap with your fingers (6-8 hours). Grind the dried root with a mortar and pestle (I don't have a real set, so I use an old spice jar and a small stainless steel mixing bowl). The ground ginger will be fairly coarse, but that's okay.

To Make Ginger Tea:
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger root
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup hot water (just shy of boiling)

In the photo above, I've used 1 1/2 cups of water for a larger mug and 1 tsp. ginger. I usually let the tea steep for a good 10-15 minutes.

According to John Lust, The Herb Book, ginger tea is good for: cleansing of the system through perspiration (I have not found this to be the case), suppressing menstruation (I wouldn't know), flatulent colic (yow), and to ease the symptoms of the common cold. Supposedly, it's also a stimulant and it's supposed to make yer brain wurk bedder. It's also a digestive aid, and it tastes good.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Late 18th c. Cure for Heartburn

I came across this recipe for a heartburn cure in the Lyne Estate Papers in the Durrett Collection at the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center. I was researching the salt industry in the late 18th/early 19th century in the Upper South/Lower Midwest, and just happened to find this little recipe. It was written in 1789, probably by Edmund Lyne of Blue Licks, Kentucky. Lyne died two years later; one hopes it wasn't from heartburn.
"As much Rosin as will lie on a Penny, same quantity of Alum, same of Ginger, mix them in a spoonful or a little more of Molasses, the whole of the above in a morning for three mornings together, it will effectively cure the water brush [sic].*"
*the ailment was waterbrash.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here's the Thing

I have been blogging in different formats for a little while now. Primarily, I have been a "bike blogger"; that is, I have been a part of the massive online presence of the global bicycling community. My primary endeavor has been the Old Bike Blog, supplemented by The World Awheel. I also blog about my (almost) daily experiences on a bicycle in San Diego, California at Life with Bicycle.

Recently, I have become dissatisfied blogging only about bicycles, and have wanted a more integrated venue for expressing the range of interests that engage me on a daily basis. To that end, I have opened this space, entitled "Do Right and Fear Not: A Personal Weblog."

The title phrase was popular among the Victorians, especially as a needlework design. An example of the genre can be found aboard the Star of India, part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. While the phrase may have religious connotations for some, I take the advice in a broader sense to suggest an optimistic, morally-centered, and humane course of daily action; and while I personally strive to meet both halves of the admonition, I also believe it is a useful sentiment for the times in which we live, and one we might all do well to heed.