Friday, March 07, 2014

Extreme Kitchen DIY:Sugar.

I don’t think for one minute that any of us are going to actually manufacture our own sugar from our own surplus parsnip crop, but nonetheless, it is interesting to learn how we could do it, if we wanted to or needed to, and had sufficient parsnips (or carrots, grapes, or other suitable base), and a press and some distillation equipment. There is, however, no bar to you using supermarket sugar to make the final few recipes given below.

From that marvelous book that is surely on the bookshelf of every doomsday prepper, The Cyclopædia of Practical Receipts in all the Useful and Domestic arts (London, 1841,) I give you:

Parsnip Sugar.
Wash them clean, then put them into a powerful press, and express the juice; next take the cake out, break it up and sprinkle it with water, and press it a second time; lastly, strain and evaporate.

Sugar from Carrots.
From carrot roots by the same process as for Parsnip Sugar

Sugar from Grapes.
[Take] grapes and express the juice, then add chalk to saturate the acid, allow the liquid to settle; pour off the clear, clarify with eggs, skim, and evaporate.

When you have your sugar (home-manufactured or supermarket-bought), you could make:

Sugar Vinegar.
To each gallon of water add two pounds of brown sugar and a little yeast; leave it exposed to the sun for six months, in a vessel slightly stopped.

Sugar Beer.
Bran                                         1 peck
Hops,                                       ¼ pound
Boil them in Water                   10 gallons,
Strain and add
Coarse sugar                            4 pounds
Yeast,                                      1 spoonful,
This beer will not keep many days.

Red Rose Sugar.
White sugar,                            16 parts
Red rose leaves [i.e petals]      1 part

Add tincture of carmine to colour, and a few drops of attar of roses.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if a counter-top home dehydrator would work? It can make fruit leather, why not fruit sugar? :-)

korenni said...

I wonder about that rose sugar. With very strongly scented roses, it seems like you shouldn't need attar of roses, but then at the time this recipe was published, surely there were no roses that had no scent? (There are way too many scentless roses today!)

Maybe I'll just have to make some. :-)