Did you know how easy it is to make barley water? Forget Robinson's, it's probably full of rubbish. Not only is barley water easy to make it is nourishing, cheap and just the thing on a hot summer's day.
I adapted a recipe from Rose Prince's book The New English Table which I recommend along with her earlier book The New English Kitchen. This recipe will provide you with a big jug of barley water and a by-product of a bowl of cooked barley more of which later.
8 oz pearl barley
4 pints of water (North American readers note that a pint in the UK is 20fl oz)
2-3 tbsp sugar
Wash the barley in a sieve, put it in a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20-30 mins or until the barley is cooked. Strain the water into a jug or bowl and put the cooked barley in a bowl to cool down. Don't whatever you do throw it away as I have seen some recipes instruct. The barley can be used in a salad just as you would rice. I shall dress mine with a vinaigrette and add mint, chopped shallot and cucumber. We will eat it with grilled meatballs tomorrow.
Squeeze the juice from all the citrus fruit, which could also include limes or be all lemons or all oranges. Add the juice (and some of the zest if you like) to the barley water.
Stir in sugar to taste. Stir well to dissolve it.
Chill and enjoy while you watch Wimbledon :o) Actually I don't enjoy mine with Wimbledon, tennis being one of the few sports I dislike watching particularly when matches go on and on and on....
Store the barley water in the fridge and use within a couple of days. I'm sure it would freeze if you can't use it all and of course you can easily halve the recipe.
By the way, you don't have to stick to citrus fruit. I've made it with syrups made of rhubarb and redcurrants which if you have growing in your garden make this even cheaper.
Today is Quince Tree day again. Here she is in June.
And here are the baby quinces.
They are about as big as plums at the moment.
Ingredients is Robinson's Lemon Barley Water (thanks to Ocado)
Water, Sugar, Lemon Juice from Concentrate (17%), Barley Flour (2.5%), Citric Acid, Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Metabisulphite), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Sweetener (Saccharin), Natural Flavouring
Looks like I was right.