June 9, 2014

Book Preview and Book Plates!

Ok everyone, at about one month out there is some exciting things happening for the book.  There's been a couple of sneak peaks at the Quarry Spoon Blog for the Butterbeer recipe and the Limonata recipe.  Special thanks to Paul and Deanna Sobota for awesome photography and styling.  And for anyone wondering, those are the actual sodas, not just colored water stand-ins.  (We actually drank some of the soda with lunch on one of the photo shoot days.)

I received an advance copy last week and everything is looking great!  It's so amazing to watch something go from scratches on a notebook to photographed, printed, and bound and ready to be cracked open and read in one of the easy chairs at Barnes and Noble.
Yes, I skipped cleaning the house that night in favor of a little light reading.
If you haven't pre-ordered the book yet, now is definitely as good a time as any.  The first 100 people to email me their proof of purchase will receive a personally inscribed book plate to adhere inside the book.  Which will look a little something like this:
Cheesy Inscription with Autograph: check!
This gives anyone anywhere the opportunity to make their book a special, limited edition, autographed copy.

So here's all you have to do:
1. Pre-order the book from anywhere.  Links are below, but the giveaway is not limited to those retailers.
2. Email me (1) your receipt or proof of purchase and (2) the address to which you'd like the book plate sent.  Feel free to include anyone special you'd like me to inscribe it for. Mail to homemadesodaexpert(at)gmail.com.
3. Wait patiently for your book plate and book to arrive.  They likely won't arrive at the same time, don't worry, that's normal.

Pre-Order from any Online Retailer:
QbookshopIndieBoundIndigoBarnes & Noble iconAmazon , Powell'sWalmart iconBooksAMillionBookish,

June 7, 2014

Recipe 32: Blueberry Pie Soda

Hooray for summer!  It's time to head outdoors and enjoy time and food with friends and family.  It's not quite berry season yet, but I think a blueberry pie soda is in order for any summer cookout on the agenda.

Since the blueberries aren't quite out yet (around here anyway), I'm going to take a slightly different approach with this.  I lamented last year or so about not being able to find any pure juices for certain fruits (particularly cranberry, which is usually only found in juice cocktails) and then I discovered R.W. Knudsen.  They have a line of "Just Juice" which has Black Cherry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Tart Cherry, Black Currant, Aronia Berry, and Pomegranate.  I tried the cranberry straight up and discovered why it's not typically packaged by itself, it is way beyond tart!

Anyway, I found them at Walmart and I was very pleased with the way my Cranberry Sparkling Cider turned out this past holiday season (I made 2 or 3 kegs for various events and I didn't have to mash cranberries), so I figured it was time to try the blueberry.

For blueberry pie, I picked some caramel malt and butter flavoring for the crust flavor, the blueberry juice for that deep berry flavor, and some vanilla flavor to round it out.  It may not be the perfect blueberry pie, but it turned out quite nicely.  It was a favorite at our Memorial Day picnic.

1 1/4 cup blueberry juice (R.W. Knudsen Family Just Juice, 100% Blueberry)
1/4 c caramel malt (Weyermann Caramunich III Malt works well)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp butter flavor
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 gallon carbonated water

Crush and steep the malt in about 2 cups of water.  Strain and set aside.  Heat the sugar with 1/2 cup or so of water to dissolve or invert if you wish.  Combine the sugar, malt extract, juice and flavorings for your syrup.  There's a pretty heavy volume of water, so it is a thin syrup.  This recipe works well to add the water and then carbonate in a keg or siphon for the best carbonation, but it does still work as a syrup + seltzer version as well.

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