...And let me tell you, I've used this drink for all of these purposes in the past few weeks!
Three years after starting from basically nothing, my music life in Seattle is going full-force. I'm officially not taking on anything else. But, I have to say, I haven't felt this inspired about music in at least eight years! I love it so much it right now. I've got 30 students and my studio has a growing wait-list. Orchestra is fun. My quintet is performing the entire Dvorak A Major Piano Quintet in a few weeks, and rumor has it that a music critic will be reviewing the concert...which is motivating us to practice a lot. Playing chamber music is the best! My music world is expanding in other ways: I was asked to be the violin scheduler for the wonderful Seattle Young Artists Music Festival, which is helping me feel more connected to the amazing music education community we have here in Seattle. It makes me really appreciate this city, despite its lack of good mountain biking trails :)
In the midst of all the goodness, there is hard stuff too. Overuse injuries, burnout, and perfectionism are always waiting to creep in. Most days, I practice and do admin work in the morning, teach for five hours, cram down some food, and rush off to a late-night rehearsal. All good stuff, but it can be exhausting too. I can't quite kick the nagging soreness in my right wrist. Also, living only for upward mobility and my goals leaves me feeling empty and fatigued. Goals are fine, but I can't live by them! I was going to write more on this, but my pastor said it so well here so I decided to save my fingers the trouble of typing. I need to keep my perspective healthy. I also need 10 hours of sleep some nights and a full day of sabbath rest each week. Outdoor exercise is also a must--I'm mastering the art of the short/hard training ride lately. And, of course, probiotic treats like ginger ale never hurt! :)
Now for the recipe:
Homemade Probiotic Ginger Ale
adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
makes 2 quarts
- 3/4 C fresh organic ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 C fresh organic lime juice (about 3 good limes)
- 1/2 C evaporated cane juice or Sucanat (i.e., organic, less-processed sugar)
- 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1/4 C homemade whey (NOT powdered whey; to make real whey with live cultures, strain high-quality plain yogurt through a tea towel or coffee filter. The resulting liquid is whey.)
- 2 quarts filtered or boiled water, room temperature (to remove chlorine)
Place all ingredients in a 2-quart mason jar (or, divide equally among two 1-quart jars). Stir well and cover tightly. Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days before transferring to refrigerator. The whey will help ferment the drink, giving it probiotics that amplify the healing properties of ginger. To serve, strain about 4 oz of ginger ale into a glass. It will keep well several months well chilled in the fridge. Note: the flavor can be kind of salty at first. Don't give up! Wait a week for it to age for the best results. The taste improves after a week or so. A 2-quart batch typically lasts me about three weeks and the flavor is always the best toward the end--which is why I always start a new batch as soon as the old one is running low!