Check out my new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, available from Amazon.

2012 Silver winner in the Health/Medicine/Nutrition Category of the Independent Publishers Book Awards

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eat your Christmas tree

It should come as no surprise to you that I would suggest such a thing, particularly after implying that eating plastic bottles is a fine way to dispose of the waste. Plus, I do like minimizing garbage. However, on this one I'm not kidding and Christmas trees are mighty delectable.

You see, a few years back, when my 7-year-old son was an infant, my husband and I visited the (now-defunct) restaurant Cascadia in Seattle, which focused on regional and seasonal ingredients - hence the name. It was before most of my eco-nuttiness, so I wasn't nearly as in tune to the local ingredients thing, but the second time - whoa doggie - did I ever grill the waiter. Unfortunately, he didn't have many answers to my litany of questions. But I digress.

On that first visit we tried a Douglas Fir Sorbet, mostly because of the uniqueness of it. It was fantastic - one of those flavors that, although you may not want to snack on it daily - has stuck in my mind all these years. And, that's saying something given my ADD.

Anyway, my husband recently purchased a little book called Sips & Apps: Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Cocktails and Appetizers, written by a local author, and one of the cocktails included in this fabulous little gem is a Douglas Fir drink that reminded me of that sorbet from yesteryear.

So, now that you have that fresh Douglas (or Noble) Fir Christmas tree hanging around the house (and I know that you bought an unsprayed one, didn't you?), go ahead and clip a six inch section from the tree where no one will notice it missing and make yourself some Douglas Fir infused gin or vodka and get your holiday spirits on! And, don't forget, little sprigs of Douglas Fir also make for a fantastic drink garnish.

I think a fir or spruce infused gin, vodka or brandy would also make for a nice present, particularly if you hang a drink recipe around the bottleneck.

Douglas Fir Sparkletini
1 1/2 ounce Douglas Fir infused gin (see below)
3/4 ounce white cranberry juice
1 1/2 ounce fresh Lemon Sour (see below)
Splash of dry sparkling wine (preferably local)

For garnishing:
Tiny sprig of Douglas Fir
Fresh or frozen cranberry

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Measure in the infused gin, cranberry juice and lemon sour mixture. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of dry sparkling wine. Garnish with a fir sprig and float a cranberry in the drink.

Douglas Fir Infused Gin
1 (5-6 inch) sprig of Douglas Fir branch, rinsed
1 750ml bottle gin

Put the fir branch into the gin bottle and cap and let sit for 24 hours (do not leave it in for longer). Remove the branch and discard. The infused gin can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Fresh Lemon Sour
Makes 1 cup:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

In a small container with a lid, combine the ingredients. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Another drink idea is the Pine Needle Daiquiri. If drinking trees ain't your thang, then, by all means go ahead and eat it. Here's a tasty looking recipe: Douglas Fir & Orange Blossom Butter Cookies. And, for the serious tree snacker, check out this post: Douglas fir tips bring the flavor of the forest into the kitchen.

16 comments:

Lisa Sharp said...

I had never thought of people eating fir trees. Not something I will try as I'm allergic to fir trees and don't think that would be the best of ideas for me it's still really cool.

Bucky said...

Eating your Christmas tree?

Ummmmmm, NO.

Breaking out the gin and drinking your Christmas tree ... now that's an idea I can get behind, Madam Chicken.

In fact, I'm already thinking I might need to trade up to a larger tree this year.

And some of the shrubs in the yard are starting to look a lot more interesting.

Rachel Koniar said...

The Neighborhood Forager by Robert Henderson has a few recipes for pine trees, including Spruce Beer and Mediterranean Turkey with Conifer Tips. I imagine it adds a nice, light spice somewhat like juniper berries.

Tree Hugging Mama said...

This reminds me of a really bad drink that one of the soft drink companies put out some years back. We happened accross it in the Adirondacks (but it was on shelves when we got home). We bought a bottle just to see, and upon opnening it all I can say is it smelled Adirondacky, if that could be a smell. But it reminded me of Blue Mountain Lake where I love to be, and where I hope to get back to this year. But one sip was enough, it tasted like I imagined an Adirondack would taste like, and that was not good, so while I love the smell of all things evergreen, I am leary about drinking it, and since I don't care for flavored alcohol (take my gin neat with a lime please)it is not on my list. But your post title got me, I was hoping for a pine infused shortbread, i.e. substitute pine needles for rosemary needles... wonder if it can be done.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Tree Hugging Mama - There's a link at the end of the post to Douglas Fir & Orange Blossom Butter Cookies.

Rachel B. said...

When I was looking into making my own root beer I stumbled across spruce beer flavoring. I haven't tried it but it sounds interesting enough.

Aimee said...

my goats would happily eat my christmas tree, if I'd let them. Mine is live. But last year I posted a CL ad saying I'd take anyone's tree, as long as it hadn't been decorated with tinsel. My goats ate three trees right down to stubs and loved every minute of it.

Condo Blues said...

I wonder if you could do this with vodka. I'm allergic to gin (tragic I know) so all my martinis are vodka based.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Yes, you can use vodka.

Renee said...

At the Vermont Brewers Fest this year we tried a beer that had a pretty strong pine flavor, it was very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Be careful about doing this with plants you aren't totally familiar with. Lots of people have yews (toxic) in their yard.

Chile said...

Man, you can infuse booze with anything! LOL

We'll be eating Christmas trees in an indirect sort of way. When the city & county grind up the trees, we'll pick up some mulch and put it around our citrus trees. Then we'll enjoy the fruit.

CitricSugar said...

Just when I'm thinking that my day is boring, along comes Crunchy and another one of her ideas. :-)

I love this blog.

I'd try it but the only tree is at my mum's this year and you just know she added some toxic preservative to the tree water.....

Crunchy Chicken said...

Apparently, Lady Gaga has a song Christmas Tree (which I heard this morning), where she states "My Christmas tree is delicious."

I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't referring to that kind of tree in my post :)

Tessa said...

Last night I was watching a prog on the TV called grow yr own drugs where an ethnobotanist uses plants in remedies and recipes. He made a hot rum toddie that had Christmas tree in it. for this recipe and a bunch of others go to this link and click on recipes.
He made massage oils and leg toning cream too!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pftz3

Sharlene said...

Very interesting. I am not sure I would enjoy the taste of fir but I am very entertained by the concept.

LinkWithin