Early tomorrow morning we hit the road, Poppy and I. We’re headed for a workshop middle of the week and we thought we’d veer through Washington’s wine country on the way to Montana: the Yakima Valley, Red Mountain, Walla Walla and then wheat country, the Palouse. Truthfully, the photography workshop is an elaborate ploy, the real deal is the road trip surrounding it. We think we’ll have supper in Waitsburg, hipster neighbor to Walla Walla, where a wonderful café beckons. My bike-riding husband pedaled through with buddies a couple of months ago and returned later to the JimGermanBar for food and drink, and a memorable evening with fellow bikers and locals.
We’ll probably camp a night or two, we’ll scope out local communities, their gardens, markets, crafts, food. We’ll look up a nephew as we explore eastern Washington where I grew up, Poppy’s never been, and I rarely visit anymore. Ice chest in the back seat, music, snacks (we both love a good potato chip which might be why we get along so well), cameras at hand. Should be a blast. We’ll keep you posted with a daily photo or two.
And in the cooler will be ice cold rosemary lemonade made before leaving home, plus a small container of the concentrate for making more along the way.
Herbal infusions are lightweight, unpackaged, unprocessed and inexpensive beverages that can be made in a few minutes with ingredients you may have in the backyard. The citrus can be minimized or even eliminated in which case you could also eliminate the sugar. Adjust ingredients to create your own infusion by adding more or less of any ingredient. Mint, lavender, lemon verbana, hyssop, lemon thyme, basil . . .
Thanks to Jerry Traunfeld, The Herbfarm Cookbook
Ingredients for 1 1/2 quarts: 1/2 C sugar, 6 C water, 6 sprigs rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest (zest isn’t part of Traunfeld’s basic recipe – it just seemed like a good idea.)
Bring sugar and 2 C water to a boil/ Remove from heat and add rosemary and several 2-inch peelings of lemon zest (just the yellow skin and none of the pith which is bitter)/ Cover and let steep for 30 minutes/ Strain syrup into a pitcher/ Add remaining 4 C water, juice of one or two lemons. Put a piece of rosemary and lemon zest into the pitcher. When cooled, pour over ice. Aaaaaah, summer.
I tripled this recipe and made a pitcher for home, another pitcher for the road, and saved a small bottle of the syrup. I’ll make another pitcher while traveling with the syrup + water + the juice of 1 lemon.
Each season brings on new routines and activities. Here’s to you and your own version of summer fun, whatever it may be – possibly a sip of rosemary lemonade.
Montana or Bust!