For readers unfamiliar with my blog, the focus here is all things veggie in Central Pennsylvania in the USA. This region, much of it Amish country, still has a lot of culinary influences from our German, Polish and other ancestors, many of whom assume bacon is more of a seasoning and herb rather than animal derived. Thus the name of my blog, Bacon is NOT an Herb, and general theme of sharing regional restaurant reviews and recipes to veganize.
For regular subscribers of my blog, you have stepped into the midst of a Virtual Vegan Potluck! Don’t miss any of the delicious excitement and start with the first courses at our host site, Vegan Bloggers Unite. Just follow the navigation prompts on every page to enjoy dozens of vegan creations made just for this potluck.
Allow me to offer you a cold drink to go along with your meal. An Apple Distelfink can be enjoyed, much a like a beer, sipped throughout your meal or on its own. It is made with ingredients from the Pennsyltucky region and I encourage you to use local ingredients from your own area.
I took advantage of some local apples and Keewaydin Cider Mill that produces semi-dry and semi-sweet version of their hard cider. Both are vegan and made from apples in Central Pennsylvania. This recipe calls for a semi-sweet hard cider to balance the other ingredients.
6 medium apples (I chose our local Nittany variety which are much like the more widely available Pink Lady variety; firm, a little tart and very nice to eat)
1/2 small head of green cabbage, outer dark green leaves removed
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
1 12oz. bottle semi-sweet hard cider, chilled
Run the cabbage then apples through a juicer. This should yield 2 – 3 cups of juice depending on your variety of apples. Juice more apples if your variety of choice is not yielding enough liquid.
Allow the juice to stand and, for aesthetic purposes only, skim the 1/4 cup or so of solids off of the top. The opaque solids tend to brown and float; when they are removed the juice should be quite clear. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and transfer to a tightly covered container. Refrigerate for 24 hours or at least overnight.
Skim off any solids that may have floated to the top and discard along with the whole cloves. Divide the juice between 2 stemmed beer glasses and top each with the hard cider. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple slices (the latter wiped with lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing).
The flavor and effervescence of an Apple Distelfink can be compared to a lightly fruited beverage much like many popular wheat beers. The green cabbage, a Pennsyltucky standard in many dishes, adds a peppery note to the apple butter spicing and the alcohol content is low.
In the spirit of what a Distelfink (thistle-finch) represents on Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, let us raise our glasses and wish each other Guttes Essen and Gesundheit (Good eats and health)! A vegan potluck virtually guarantees us all of both.