Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Poetic about "saft"
Saft is the Swedish word for "juice". Back home we have many varieties of saft, such as orange, raspberry, strawberry, pear (my favorite!), cherry (so not my favorite!), black currant, red currant, lingonberry, blueberry, rowenberry and I'm sure many more.
Rowenberry saft is what my great grandmother, Ida, used to make. There are stories still being told about her in the old neighborhood about how she would cart a big ladder down to the playground and pick the rowenberries from the trees in order to make saft. What a sight that must have been!
My paternal grandmother, Lillemor, (hej farmor!) makes use of the red and black currant bushes that grow at their home. She sometimes even mixes in raspberries depending on what that particular year's crop was like.
Having a glass of saft in the summertime at my grandparents place is one of my favorite things. Not to mention the fun games you can play with saft, ice-cubes and straws. :-) All of us "kids" (me, my brother and cousins) would each get 2 straws, and then my grandfather said "Go!" (well actually he said "Nu!") and we all positioned our straws against the icecube and (for lack of better description) sucked until we had made it through the ice-cube to the other side. The winner had to bring up his straw with a dangling ice-cube to prove that he/she was first. Yes, we still compete whenever we have the chance to get together... Last summer I decided that it was high time that I learned to make it on my own.
My mom conventiently told me that she happened to have a never-used "Saft-Maja" that I could probably use. Well, turns out Saft-Maja is the Swedish brand name of a steamer.
Many minutes went into pondering what kind of Saft to make. In the end, it was easy. I forgot to mention rhubarb saft up top. Rhubarb is one of my favorite fruits (is it a fruit?). Too bad they don't grow very well down where I live, but once we get some better soil, we may try it anyway. The local farm stand down the road (the Bush n'Vine, yes, really, that is their name.....can you believe it? In SC nonetheless!!!!) is a Strawberry grower, 1 gallon buckets for very cheap. And very yummy. So I decided to make strawberry rhubarb saft. Strawberry Rhubarb pie is after all fiances favorite kind, and we do like to keep him happy.
The recipe I used:
1 litre strawberries
500 grams rhubarb - rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4-6 dl of sugar (less if you are freezing the saft)
All of these are layered in the top part of the steamer while the water is boiling at the bottom. Here's a picture:
Then you take clean, sterilized bottles (I sterilize mine in the oven and boil the caps in water on the stove) and open the rubber hose to let the saft run out into your bottle. I read a good tip somewhere to place your bottle in a pitcher with a handle so that you don't have to burn your hands on the bottle or spill hot saft anywhere on you or anywhere in your kitchen. Quite handy!
Here are my finished bottles:
I kept these in a cool spot and we finished them within 2 months. This year I will probably try to can them in hot boiling water to get them to last us longer.
Got a steamer? If you do, I'd love some more ideas on what to do with it!