In my house growing up, we kept all our family photo albums in a bookcase next to the fireplace. They were really beautiful—red and green and brown leather with gold trim. But on the shelf above them was a stack of loose photographs that we loved looking at even more—our family outtakes. (This was in the dark ages before digital cameras.) Here were the pictures of us at unflattering angles, with double chins, crossed eyes, flailing limbs. I think it’s funny that some of my favorite family memories aren’t captured in the albums; they are of us laughing so hard we can’t breathe looking at all the “bad” photos.
I was thinking about those photographs today, because for the life of me I couldn’t get a good picture of this homemade grape soda. My camera is full of outtakes—blurry, crooked, underexposed, or poorly styled. I did three separate photo shoots and this lone picture is the only one I thought was good enough.
But it’s time to move on; I can’t take my blog too seriously or it wouldn’t be any fun. And anyway, the most important thing is what it tastes like, right? Right? And this homemade concord grape soda is delicious. The flavor is so pure and clean, nothing like the super sugary grape soda I guzzled as a kid. I added a bit of lemon and orange zest to brighten it up, and a tiny pinch of salt to round out the flavors.
<Here is where I would insert another photo, if I had one.>
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m trying something new and doing my Drinks & Links post on Saturday this week. Do people go on the Internet on Saturdays? We shall see…
What are you all up to this weekend? We’ve been taping The Late Show with Steven Colbert (it’s on way past my bedtime) and I’m excited to catch up. On Sunday night we’re having a Rosh Hashanah dinner at Alex’s parents’ house. I’m making my favorite challah and a pear tart with honey. Stay tuned for the recipe, if it turns out well!
Here are some fun links for your leisurely weekend reading pleasure:
I work from home one day a week, and my sister-in-law works remotely full-time, so we got a real kick out of My Life as a Robot.
Oliver Sacks on death and gefilte fish. Beautiful.
Did you see Ellen and Jimmy Fallon’s lip Sync battle? She owns it!
15 fanny packs for fall. Totally into the bedazzled ASOS one.
I can’t stop thinking about these Earl Grey milkshakes.
18 delicious apple and honey recipes for Rosh Hashanah. The tahini coffee cake looks delish!
An inspiring interview with Nancy Meyers.
What it’s like to eat out in Brooklyn. So funny and so, so true!
Have you ever been to Burning Man? I haven’t, and I never really thought it was my thing, but these photos are incredible.
I hope you are having a terrific weekend! I’ve got three great recipes lined up for next week, so hope to see you then!
- 1 bunch (about 1 1/2 pounds) concord grapes
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 strips lemon zest
- 1 strip orange zest
- Tiny pinch of kosher salt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Club soda or seltzer
- Combine the grapes, sugar, water, lemon zest, orange zest, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Using a wooden spoon, crush the grapes against the side of the pan. Cook until completely soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to a container and chill.
- For each soda, pour 1/4 cup of syrup into a glass with ice. Top with club soda or seltzer.
- The syrup will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator.