My parents and brother visited last weekend.  It was good, and they’ll be back briefly on Saturday on the return trip from camping in Maine.  We went raspberry-picking and visited Concord (including Walden Pond) and Salem.  Concord was nicely colonial-New-England-ish while being remarkably free of tourists given that it was a stunningly beautiful Saturday July morning.  Salem was full of tourists, but it was a nice sort of touristy.  We visited the old cemetery in both towns and looked for potential ancestors.  

The West India shop (run by the Park Service) in Salem was remarkable for being a historically-appropriate tourist shop — it sells coffee and tea and spices and other things that a major port would have sold to merchants and travelers.  There I bought a bottle of shrub.  Shrub is delicious!  It’s a colonial-era soft drink, sold as a concentrated syrup (in this case ginger, but more frequently fruit).  You make it by soaking the fruit in vinegar overnight, then straining, mixing with an equal quantity of sugar or honey, and boiling for several minutes to reduce to a syrup.  It’s then added to water or selzer or whatever.  I really like the unusual tang that the vinegar gives it.  It’s perfect for putting a dash of in a water bottle to make it taste less boring.  And if I used local honey and homemade vinegar, it could be a completely local soft drink :-)

I also found a pair of adorable tiny ladybug-shaped candle-holders. They’re meant to hold those little half-inch candles that you find in a variety of colors at New Age shops.  Conveniently, I have a box of natural beeswax little candles.  I will use them for Shabbat when I feel like being any of extra-cute, extra-candley, or portable.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    debka_notion said,

    Shrub sounds a great deal like a very tasty Persian drink called Sakanjabin that I haven’t had in far too long…

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