Sweet Pickles…………Easy and Sweet!!!

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Summer is coming to a close and the garden’s are producing some late blooming goodies.

I got my hands on some good seedless cucumbers or some might call them “burpless” even “English”, in any case I like using these cucumbers for making pickles, so I had about 30 minutes on my hands and I made Sweet Pickles ūüôā

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Ingredients

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Slice the cucumbers, I used my Wolfgang Puck’s Crinkle Cutter ūüôā

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Put into a colander, sprinkle with salt, let set for 30 minutes

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In a medium saucepan add, sugar, salt, onion powder, mustard & celery seed

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Add both vinegar’s

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Add colman’s mustard and stir to combine

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Bring to a boil

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Rinse the salted cucumbers

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I used a 2 quart jar

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add the cucumbers

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then vinegar mixture, fill to the top, put lid on, let cool about an hour on the counter, then keep in refrigerator 

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Eat them plan or on a burger…how about a grilled cheese ūüôā

Recipe

4 Cucumbers (seedless, burpless, English)
2 tbsp. mustard seed
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 tsp. celery seed
2/3 apple cider vinegar
2 3/4 cup white vinegar
2 1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. colman’s english mustard

Slice cucumbers and place in a colander, sprinkle with 2 tsp. kosher salt and toss, let stand in sink to drain for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium sauce pan add sugar, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, onion powder, mustard & celery seed, then add both vinegar’s, stir in colman’s mustard, bring to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. ¬†Remove from heat.
After 30 minutes rinse the cucumbers with cold water, then add cucumbers to the jar. ¬†You can use any size jars, just fill your cucumbers to the top. ¬† Add liquid to jars covering the cucumbers, put the lid on and let stand on the counter for an hour. ¬†Keep in refrigerator, and eat them up ūüôā ¬†

I hope everyone had a great summer, I have been extremely busy and will continue to be busy into the fall, so bare with me as I might be even slower getting more recipes out, but more are to come I a sure you.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and enjoy my recipes!! ¬†ūüôā

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Limoncello…FATTO!!

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My Limoncello is DONE!!!!!!

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My wait is over and WOW it was GREAT!!!

I enjoyed my first batch of Homemade Limoncello with a good friend of mine, Paul, after a nice dinner of steaks, grilled cabbage and onions with Perogies…It was all so good and what a cool beautiful night is was outside as we sat enjoying the weather and looking out at my beautiful luscious green lawn!! (which I really cannot take credit for as my Dad does a GREAT job in keeping my grass green and cut…Thank you DAD!!!)

So after I pulled the jar out of the darkness of the cabinet

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I strained out the lemon peels

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Lemon peels are good for your disposal if you have one ūüôā

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Then I pour it into a glass bottle that I had saved (Voss Water bottle)

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and then Freeze (keep it in your freezer) and enjoy!!!!

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Check out my first two posts if you missed them

First     https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/18/ciao-bella-limoncello/

Second     https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/04/25/limoncello-part-two/

Pour it!!!

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and ENJOY IT!!!!!!  Ciao !!!!!

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Mint Julep’s for the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby!

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Yes we have Mint Julep’s in the house!!

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How can you have a Kentucky Derby Party with out Pie…I covered that in my last post ūüėČ

Or without Mint Julep’s!!!!

HAPPY DERBY DAY EVERYONE!!!!

So cheers to the Kentucky Derby that will run tonight at
6:24 pm est.

It’s just simple all you need is some Kentucky Bourbon!!!

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And the¬†official¬†sliver mug…okay I don’t have that but if you
would go to the Derby your’s would be served in them ūüôā

Mint Julep Cup

Ingredients

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sugar and water in a pan to make a simple syrup

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I use about a 1/4 cup of mint, then I muddled it with the end of a wooden spoon

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Done¬†muddling ūüôā

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Then I add ice, bourbon, simple syrup, cap it

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Shake it, pour over crushed ice

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Then serve with a garnish of mint

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Recipe

Kentucky Bourbon 1 – 1 1/2 oz each glass
Mint – lots of mint, to muddle in glass
simple Syrup – 2 – 4 tbsp. its up to you
2-4 tbsp. water, club soda, 7up etc.
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup is equal parts water and sugar (mine is dark because I use pure cane sugar) heat in a sauce pan stirring to melt then let cook for a couple of minutes then let cool before using.

Okay as I was out last week look what I found

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Yes this is a Mint Julep Soda

Plantation Style Mint Julep Soda

The soda was pretty good, it was like Sprite or 7up with Mint, I enjoyed it, it was rather refreshing if I do say so myself ūüôā

I also poured a little into my “Real Mint Julep” ūüôā

So now I’m ready for the Kentucky Derby, I one for each hand ūüôā

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Cheers everyone!!!

HAPPY DERBY DAY!!!!

Oh and don’t forget your hat!!!

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“The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”…PIE!!!!

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If you are reading this post saying to yourself…what is “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” Pie? ¬†

Then I would say 1. maybe your are not from Kentucky or¬†surrounding states or 2. you don’t follow horse racing ūüôā

Yes horse racing, and not just horse racing “The Kentucky Derby”¬†

The Kentucky Derby is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. 

This Saturday (first Saturday in May) May 4th, 2013, will be the
139th running of The Kentucky Derby!!

¬†The race is known in the United States as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” (hence the name of my recipe) ¬†for its approximate duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.

It is the first leg of the US Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, then the Belmont Stakes.  

A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown. ¬†Which in it’s 138 years of running only 11 horses became “Triple Crown Winners”, the last one in 1978 the horse was Affirmed ridden by¬†Steve Cauthen, a local boy ūüôā

The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup

Location- Churchill Downs    Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Inaugurated 1875
Race type – Thoroughbred
Website http://www.kentuckyderby.com/
Race information
Distance 1¬ľ miles (10 furlongs)
Track Dirt, Left-handed
Qualification 3-year-old
Weight Colt/Gelding: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lb (55 kg)
Purse Р US$2 million
1st: $1,425,000
Bonuses US$ 200

Oh… you say you are asking me who I pick in this years race, well I like 2 horses…1 – Java’s War, yes for he’s name because you know I love JAVA!!
2 – Verrazano, he’s beautiful dark brown in color (like my pies) and his post position is 14th and that’s me favorite number ūüôā

Okay so now that you know all about “The Kentucky Derby” let’s talk PIE!!!

Now you say why not name your pie recipe, Derby Pie…Well there is a “Famous” Derby Pie and click here and you can read about it¬†http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derby_pie¬† We also sell this “Famous” pie in our stores ūüôā ¬†Here in Northern Kentucky (Remke bigg’s)

If you clicked and read about it you now know that I don’t want to be sued…for using the name ūüôā ¬†Yes you heard me sued!!! ūüė¶

And there are so many recipes out there named Ky. Derby Pie, Run for the Roses Pie, First Saturday in May Pie, May Day Pie…oh I could go on and on!!!¬†

So that’s why I decided that this recipe would be named for what is known as¬†“The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”

I am going to make 2 pies, one with a pie crust and one with a puff pastry crust. ¬†One with flour, one without flour…Let’s see which is better ūüôā

Pie #1 – no flour

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Everything in the bowl, except nuts & chips, then whip it

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for about 4 minutes, then add Nuts and Chips

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Mix up, and then pour into pie shell (below is Puff Pastry)

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Bake and done

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1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (I use pure sugar cane)
2/3 cup light corn syrup
4 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted, cooled
1/3 cup Kentucky¬†Bourbon…yes it must be made in Kentucky ūüôā
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 3/4 – 2 cups walnuts, rough chopped
1 pie crust or puff pastry sheet (directions below)

In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, add to large bowl, all ingredients except walnut and chocolate chips.  Mixer on medium to incorporate  then mix on high for 4 minutes.  Then fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, pour mixture in to your pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until top is a luscious brown in color.

Cool at room temperature for at least 4-5 hours before serving.

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Pie #2 with flour

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In bowl add dry ingredients  and wet in another

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Whisk wet into dry, it looks like this

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add nuts and chips and fold in

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Pour into pie shell, (below is with Pie Crust)

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Bake and done

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Pie #2

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar,(I used pure cane sugar)
1/2 cup butter, melted, cooled
1/3 cup Kentucky Bourbon, again this must be bourbon from Kentucky ūüôā
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 3/4 -2 cups walnuts, rough chopped
1 pie crust or puff pastry sheet (directions below)

In a large bowl add flour, salt and sugars, whisk to combine, in small bowl add butter, eggs, bourbon, vanilla, whisk to combine, add egg mixture to flour mixture, whisk to combine.

Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, pour into pie shell, bake at 350 degrees for 35-37 minutes, it should be golden brown and look set.  

Let cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before serving.

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Crust directions: 1 puff pastry sheet or 1 pie crust

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Just showed you the puff pastry, pie crust will work
the same way, you just would not trim the edges

Puff pastry on work surface, roll out

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place over pan, then trim edges

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fold under the edges, then flute/crimp your edge

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prick with tines of a fork all over
Puff Pastry on right, Pie crust on left

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Blind bake with pie weights or dried beans
you want your crust light brown, par baked
or that is what I did here

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Roll puff pastry/pie crust out on a floured work surface, roll out enough to have a 1 inch hang over your pie pan.  Spray pie pan, place pastry/crust over pan and gentle push to form to the pan.  Take knife or scissors and trim the corners off leaving 1 inch of the pastry, the pie crust you should not have to cut anything away (unless you made it from scratch, then you may need to trim)

Tuck pastry/crust under about 1/2 inch all the way around, then with your fingers, flute/crimp edges of the pastry/crust.  Take a fork and prick the pastry/crust lightly all over on the bottom and sides.

Now you will blind bake your pastry/crust, take a piece of parchment paper lay over pastry/crust, add on top of the parchment pie weights or dried beans.

Bake at 350 degrees just until crust is light brown in color about 20 minutes, then remove let cool for 15 minutes  then add your pie filling.  Bake as directed above in recipe you will be using.

Okay they both were very good in there own way, the one I made with the pie crust, was recipe #2 with flour. ¬†Crust was great but can you go wrong with Pillsbury ūüôā

The filling was nutty, chocolaty, and had that good taste of bourbon, it was lightly firm, seemed to hold together very well, that was due to flour.

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Puff Pastry crust with¬†recipe¬†#1 no flour, was very good as well, it was in my¬†opinion a little more richer and gooey. ¬†And I loved the Puff Pastry crust too…

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It’s really do hard to¬†choose which was better, they both were “DELICIOUS” in their own way ūüôā ¬† ¬†Hope you will make them!!!¬†¬†

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Plus I must say that you certainly can taste the Kentucky Bourbon in these pies, which is why I used 1/3 cup, you can¬†defiantly¬†use less or leave it out. ¬†But here in Good Ole Kentucky…we are leaving it in ūüôā ¬† Enjoy!!

Limoncello……………….Part Two!!!

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Okay everyone its been 42 days!!! ¬†Hello old friend ūüôā

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It is turning yellow and I can’t wait to move on to

Part Three…Drinking it ūüôā

If you missed Part One you can click here

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/18/ciao-bella-limoncello/

So let move to Part Two

I added my sugar to my pan with water

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over medium heat and stirred until sugar was dissolved 

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once dissolved I let cook for 1 – 2 minutes

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remove from heat and let cool completely

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once cooled add to your jar, give a shake

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Recipe Part Two

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water

add sugar and water to sauce pan, heat and¬†dissolve¬†over¬†medium¬†heat, once sugar has dissolved cook for 1 -2 minutes more. ¬†Remove from heat let sugar water cool completely. ¬†Then add to jar, give a shake and put it back in a dark cool spot for another 42 days…every week or so give the jar a shake.

Goodbye Old Friend see you in 42 ūüėČ

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Ciao Bella…..Limoncello

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cover Limoncello is simply delicious, and I’ve always wanted to make it, but it does take some time and you must be¬†patient.

FYI – below was taken straight from Wikipedia

Limoncello (Italian pronunciation: [limonňąt É…õllo]) is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi and islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri. It is also produced in Sicily, Sardinia, Menton in France, and the Maltese island of Gozo. Though there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old.

Traditionally, it is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento lemons or Sfusato Lemons. Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, are steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Clarity and viscosity are affected by factors like the relative temperatures of the two liquids. Most lemons, including the more-common Eureka lemon, will produce satisfactory limoncello

Limoncello is traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestivo. Along the Amalfi Coast, it is usually served in small ceramic glasses themselves often chilled, the Amalfi coast being a center of both ceramics and limoncello production. This tradition has been carried into other parts of Italy.

Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy but has recently become popular in other parts of the world. Restaurants in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are increasingly offering limoncello on their beverage and dessert menus. In the United States commercial producers using California lemons have introduced USA made limoncello, including Rometti Limoncello, Ventura Limoncello, and Fabrizia Limoncello. Limoncello is an increasingly popular ingredient in cocktails. Limoncello imparts a strong lemon flavor without the sourness or bitterness of lemon juice.

Okay let’s get making this good stuff!!!

 There are so many recipes out there for Limoncello, using Everclear, vodka, a lot of sugar a little sugar, steep for 7 days, steep for 21 days, steep for 45 days.  

This is the way I did it, first I choose to let steep for 42 days, so part two coming in 42 days, then part three coming in another 42 days.
I used 10 lemons, and I used “Potato Vodka” 80 proof…yes I know its better with Everclear or Vodka that’s 160 proof, but I have been wanting to drink “Potato Vodka” for awhile now so instead I decided to make my Limoncello out it.

Now part two will be adding the simple syrup, then letting steep for another 42 days…so I figure on April 25th will be the post date for part two and then part three post and drinking day should be on June 7th. ¬†Ahhhh just in time to start the summer, I can already picture me sitting on my back deck, at dusk, listening to the fountain that runs in my little pond, maybe having some friends over for the 84 day celebration to sip on my first batch of Limoncello!!

Wait 84 days!!!!! ¬†to make one batch…maybe I will start another batch in April, then another in May…just so I have enough to last the summer and if its good!! Well I might have a batch making party monthly!!!! ¬†We will see!!

This is what you will need to the process

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wash the lemons!!!

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peel your lemons, only the yellow part, try not to get the white pith part the best you can
I found out that the fresher your lemons are the easier they are to peel, so try to look for nice bright firm lemons.

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put peels into a glass jar that can seal tightly

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filter the alcohol, now you don’t have too, but some people do, its a debate all around¬†whether¬†to do this or not, most say to use a brita filter, but I didn’t have one so I used a coffee filter…will I filter next time…NO

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make sure all the peels are covered by the alcohol

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seal tightly and put in a dark cool place, every few days or once a week give your jar a swish

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Now what to do with all those lemons…juice them and make Fresh Lemonade!!!

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Or you can pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze, then once frozen put cubes in a ziploc bag and now you have fresh lemon juice when you need it for a recipe.

Okay “Part Two” Limoncello in 42 days!!

Recipe

Part One

750 ml  pure grain alcohol (like everclear or 150 proof vodka)
I used 80 proof Potato Vodka, next time I will try it with a higher proof
10 firm lemons
1 large with a tight lid (i used a half gallon Ball canning jar)

Part Two in 42 days

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water

Wash lemons with vegetable wash or soap…I did
then peel the zest of the lemons, you only want the yellow part, do you best not to get the white pith part or at lest very much of it.
Put peels in the jar, and pour your alcohol over top of the peels making sure all are covered.  You can use a coffee filter and strainer to pour the alcohol through as I did, next time I will not do this process.  I will just pour it straight in the jar.

Store the jar in a dark cool spot, and every few days give a swish until Day 42.

On Day 42 in a small sauce pan add  sugar and water, cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved  once dissolved let cook for one more minute then remove from and a cool completely.  Once mixture has cooled pour into jar with the peels and alcohol and stir.  Then put it back into that cool dark spot for another 42 days.
When day comes, strain (to catch peels) jar¬†contents¬†into a pitcher, then using a funnel pour liquid into¬†decorative¬†bottles or bottle, you can give them out as gifts if you want, or like me I’ll be keeping my “Liquid Gold”.
Whatever you keep store it in the freezer, that is how you want to serve it, ice cold in small glasses just for sipping.  

Let me know when you start your own batch!!  Enjoy!!!