Earlier this year I started searching for home remedies for cold and flu season, mainly because our eldest has a rare heart/lung condition and is on Warfarin and most over the counter treatments either interact with his medication or with his heart. I stumbled across one, then two, then half a dozen websites all with a recipe for something called ‘Fire Cider’ on them.
My curiosity was peaked. What was this Fire Cider? Was it easy to make? Did I have the necessary ingredients on hand? The answer to the first is in the list of ingredients – mainly because it has a whole Habanero Chilli in it! The answer to the last two questions is YES!
As an adult, I take about a tablespoon 3 times a day, and for the kids I give 10mls in orange juice. And be warned, as a straight shot, it takes your breath away and it BURNS baby!
I decided to add extra herbs and spices to the base recipe I found, each one for their great medicinal properties and I’ve tweaked the base recipe to suit our family as well. This time around I made a double batch so we don’t run out again!
½ cup Horseradish, peeled & diced (don’t panic if you can’t find this, I haven’t been able to track down horseradish for under $50/kg!)
1 whole bulb of Garlic, peeled & diced
1 whole Onion, peeled & diced
¼ cup Ginger, peeled & diced
¼ cup Turmeric, peeled & diced (if you can’t find this fresh, you could substitute for 1 – 2 tablespoons of powdered Turmeric instead)
1 whole Habanero Chilli, split in half
1 medium Orange, quartered and thinly sliced
½ Lemon, quartered and thinly sliced
½ Lime, quartered and thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp fresh Thyme (you could chop it if you like, I just strip it off the stem though)
1 tbsp black Peppercorns
Raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Star Anise
1 Bay leaf
¼ cup Raw Honey, or to taste
Place all the ingredients into a clean 1 litre jar, making sure the Apple Cider Vinegar covers all the ingredients and there are no air bubbles. If you’re using a metal lid, place a piece of baking or waxed paper in between the lid and the jar to prevent corrosion from the vinegar. Shake well.
Let the jar sit for 3 – 6 weeks (so far, I haven’t made it past the 3 week mark thanks to colds hitting the family) in a dark part of your cupboard (or store in a brown paper bag), and shake daily.
Strain into a sterilised 1 litre jar and add raw honey to taste. Refrigerate and use within 1 year.
Take 1 tablespoon a day at the first sign of a cold or flu, and repeat every 4 hours until symptoms subside. Just a warning though, having it this often usually causes an increase in time spent on the toilet! I take it 3 times a day, and give it to the kids only 1 – 2 a day. You can mix it with orange juice if you like, or with extra honey and hot water to make a tea.
I reckon this would be great in a marinade for chicken, so if anyone wants to try it out for me, I’d love to hear how it goes! We’re not exactly hot and spicy lovers in this family . . .
I nearly fainted while I was grocery shopping a few weeks ago when I saw Hot Cross Buns, 4 for $8!!!! Whaaatttt???? $8 for only 4 Hot Cross Buns??? Honesty, I don’t care whose name is on them, if they’re not making it for me personally, they’re not finding their way into my shopping trolley! Besides, according to my Minion Kids and Minion Hubby, mine taste much better than store bought!
1kg bread flour (if you can’t find bread flour, make sure you get a bakers’ flour or strong flour)
21g dried yeast
450ml milk, warmed
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
3 tsps mixed spice
2 – 4 tsp fine salt (to your own taste, I only ever use 2)
1/4 cup honey
150g unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tbsp melted butter
Enough water to make a piping consistency paste
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
Method: I always use a mixer for this. You could do it by hand, however as you all know, I’m a lazy baker and the mixer is always easier!!
In a large bowl, place 350g of the bread flour, yeast and 450ml warm milk. Beat on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes until sticky. Cover with cling wrap and a tea towel and allow to double in size, approximately 30 minutes.
Add lemon rind, mixed spice, salt, eggs and honey and mix together with a dough hook.
Add remaining 650g bread flour and butter. Mix with a dough hook at low speed until it comes together as almost dough.
How you do this step depends on whether or not you’re a fruit or not person! We don’t do fruit or mixed peel in our Hot Cross Buns, so I skip adding the extras! Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured board. Spread out and add 1 cup currants and 1/2 cup mixed peel. Knead thoroughly until it’s a smooth dough. Put into a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Divide the dough into 24 buns and roll into balls – this will be easier if you dust your hands with flour first. Arrange close together on lined baking trays so they will end up touching when they are baking. Cover with cling wrap and a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
Brush each bun with beaten egg. Add plain flour and melted butter to the remaining egg and mix well. Add enough water to this mix to make a piping consistency paste. Pipe the paste across the buns to make a cross – I find it easy just to pipe one long line across all of them in each direction.
Bake at 180°C for approxiately 25 – 30 minutes.
While buns are baking, make a glaze with caster sugar and water. Boil until sugar has dissolved and brush buns immediately after taking out of the oven, while they are still hot.
Spread with butter, watch it melt and chow down!!! Hide the rest of the buns from the family, and you may just have enough left for the next day!