Forrest C. of New Mexico! We did a blind drawing the other day. Thanks to all who participated in the blog giveaway, and especially for sharing your stories of food & family, friends & memories. You can read some of those here – recollections of canning tomatoes and picking olives, Christmas dinner and Vietnamese hot sauce, and the connections we make between cooking, family, friends and love.
On this New Year’s Day, I wish everyone happiness, good health, zest for life and living, unending inspiration and the means to enjoy it all. May we always have enough to eat, of the foods we love, but not so much that we forget gratitude. Happy 2016! And thank you for coming here.
By the way, the drink above is not a New Year’s cocktail. It’s an energizing juice we drink regularly in this house, inspired by our many travels through countries where food is inherently recognized for its healing powers. This is the drink that frequently starts our day, and it’s the drink we take in extra quantities if ever we feel the slightest bit off-kilter (or when we know we’ve been exposed to coughing, sneezing, shivering human beings). Maybe it’s just the drink you want on this New Year’s Day? (Feeling a little hung over?) Fresh lemon, ginger, turmeric, pepper and a touch of honey—that’s it. Cultures across the globe have long consumed ginger and turmeric not only for their color and flavor, but their antioxidant and illness-fighting properties too. Western researchers are only just beginning to study the science of eating practices that date back thousands of years. Studies show that it’s actually rather difficult for the body to take advantage of turmeric’s health benefits when eaten alone because it is quickly metabolized in the liver and intestinal wall. BUT combining turmeric with piperine (peppercorns) enhances our ability to absorb the medicinal benefits of curcumin (the key component of turmeric).
So this is what we do for the juice: peel then dice or smash a little ginger and turmeric (an inch or so of each, enough for two 8-ounce glasses). If you don’t have fresh turmeric, powdered is fine. Divide the ginger and turmeric between two glasses, squeeze a quarter lemon into each glass, then add several good cranks of the pepper grinder to each. (This morning we used Kampot red pepper, a fairly rare variety that results when berries are left to turn red on the vine before they are picked and sun-dried). Add hot boiling water to fill the glass. Drizzle with honey and drink.