Sweet Potato Fly Recipe

A Soft Drink from Guyana

Sweet Potato Fly is a soft drink recipe that originally comes from Guyana, a small country on the northern coast of South America. I read about it in The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. It is the kind of drink sold in the street markets at stalls, bottled in large plastic bottles and dispensed to customers. It is a good example of a local-made substitute for soda that is shipped in from elsewhere.

Elevating the Sweet Potato

The drink itself, elevates the sweet potato to another level. The fermentation process seems to bring out some of the subtle flavors in a raw sweet potato that get lost in the translation of cooking it. According to Sandor Ellix Katz, the best seasonings to accompany the sweet potato in this drink are the so-called “Christmas spices” – cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Sweet PotatoWhen the fermentation has gone a few days in it’s primary fermentation vessel it is moved into a sealed container where carbonation can develop. The carbonation makes it a soft drink and therefore an alternative to store bought soda. The carbonation also seems to bring out more flavor as well as it imparts a sharp note of acidity that can counterbalance the sweetness. Much in the same way that salt can bring out the flavor in foods, even sweet ones. Carbonation can do the same thing for beverages.

The Recipe

In the Art of Fermentation book it calls for 2 large sweet potatoes per gallon. When I think of large sweet potatoes, I think of those monster ones. So for a half gallon use one monster one or two medium ( think of the size of a regular Russet potato ) sweet potatoes.

Makes one half gallon
  • 1 very large or 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into small pieces, shredding them works well. This might be a good job for a food processor if you have one.
  • 1 cup of sugar. You have choices here, brown sugar imparts more flavor and is what I generally go with, white if you want to keep it mild. Don’t use honey as the antimicrobial agents present naturally in honey will retard fermentation.
  • A cinnamon stick, or the equivalent amount of powdered cinnamon. The benefit of the stick is that it stays in one piece and is not a bunch of small particles floating around, in other words, better aesthetics in the final product.
  • Other spices to your liking. Ginger works well either powdered or in it’s raw form. Nutmeg and allspice work well also. Start out with a teaspoon or so of each and then adjust up to taste.
  • A  starter culture. 1-2 ounces. A live culture to start the fermentation. I use water kefir, which I have plenty of if anyone needs some, just reach out to me. Other things that would be worth trying that have a similar biological spectrum of microbes would be whey, which can be obtained from yogurt. It’s the liquid that forms on top of yogurt when it sits around for a while. Yogurt itself, or dairy kefir would be a good choice, but it will make the product cloudy as it introduces milk solids.

The Process

Take the sliced/grated sweet potatoes and put them in a vessel that will hold them, give them several rinsing of water to remove the surface starches that have developed from the cutting process. I stir them and then let them sit and soak for 30 minutes and stir occasionally. Then I repeat this again for a second rinse.

Once the sweet potatoes are rinsed, add sugar, spices, starter culture and add a few ounces less than a half gallon of water, 58-59 ounces would be perfect. Stir well and cover lightly. I used a stainless steel cooking pot, the pot lid keeps it covered but will not allow pressure to build. Always use a vessel that is non-reactive to acids as the fermentation process will acidify the liquid and you don’t want anything to leach into the liquid.

Let the mixture sit for 2-3 days at room temperature. If it is in an opaque container it is fine to sit out on a counter top. If it is clear or translucent, it is best to keep it covered or in a dark place. UV light from the sun and even florescent lighting can interact with the biochemistry that is occurring in the container and cause “off flavors” to develop.

Foam will develop on top which indicates that fermentation is occurring. It is OK to stir it occasionally and taste it to check the progress by using a clean utensil. The flavor of it will also shift with time and it is interesting to see how this develops.

Ready to Bottle
Ready to Bottle

After 2-3 days it should have some small foam bubbles on top and will be ready to bottle. Strain the liquid out of the container and put that into a seal-able container, leaving an inch or two of air space at the top. Just like soda bottles have from the store. I highly recommend plastic, a recycled soda or at least a juice container is a good idea. This drink can carbonate so vigorously that I would not trust a glass container to bottle it in.

Bottle Conditioning

Once bottled in the sealed bottle, let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 days until it gets hard from the pressure that has built up in it. It now can be drank and stored in the refrigerator, which will greatly slow the fermentation down. The one nice thing about a drink like sweet potato fly is that it will ferment slowly in the refrigerator, so it will re carbonate itself after the bottle is opened. This pretty much happens overnight, if you use some one day the next morning it will have built up enough pressure to re-carbonate, at least this is what I have observed.

Bottled Sweet Potato Fly - Half Gallon
Bottled Sweet Potato Fly – Half Gallon

What to do – Leftover Sweet Potato Pieces

Almost 1 Quart of Leftover Sweet Potato Pieces
Almost 1 Quart of Leftover Sweet Potato Pieces

I have used the leftover pieces of sweet potatoes in pancakes. I use a high ratio of sweet potatoes to batter. Basically the batter is just a binder to hold the pieces of sweet potato together.

The sweet potatoes are softer than in their raw state as they have been predigested by the fermentation process. On top of this they have absorbed some of the flavor of the spices from the liquid that they have been sitting in for several days. If you like, you can even fortify the batter with the same spices that were used in the sweet potato fly recipe and make the flavor stand out even more. I have even made them a bit savory with salt, cumin and coriander, giving it a curried type of flavor profile.

 

 

 

 

March 2016 and the Solar Eclipse by Numerologist Peter Shell

3/6/2016

We are being encouraged and guided by celestial energies. This statement may sound quite dubious or even “new agey” to you. Let me add some additional information before you pass judgement.

First of all I unwittingly sat down to write this post on 3/6/2016. (3+6+2+0+1+6=18, 1+8=9)  or   (3+6=9)   (2+0+1+6=9)    99

Famous Numerologists of the past such as Pythagoras, Plato and St. Augustine believed that numbers could explain every occurrence. Galileo is quoted as saying, “Nature is written in the language of mathematics”.

During the solar eclipse of March 8-9 2016 the sun and moon will be found at 18 degrees in Pisces.

2016 is carrying the energy of 9. (2016 – 2+0+1+6=9) 18 degrees is also conveying 9 energies. (1+8=9) In addition, there is a celestial event (solar eclipse) occurring on March 9th. Realize if you will, the impact of these energies of 9 energy that is being ushered in.

We are talking about 3 distinct factors all radiating 9 energies into our lives. Three 9’s written as 999 is a powerful indicator that the time is right for taking notice of the meanings encoded within this 999 event triad.

So why all the fuss about 9? Nine symbolizes the ending of a phase or cycle. Every number can be reduced to the numbers of 1-9. Since 1-9 represent the purest distillation of every number, this resulting sequence becomes apparent. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,1,2,3 etc.

As I stated in my Jan. 2016 post,” 9 represents completion and preparation for the new beginnings that will be ushered in with the next calendar year”. If 2016 is a Universal Year 9, then 2017 is the Universal Year Number 1. So we find ourselves in a 9 year, anticipating the approach of new 1 year.  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, (9 , 1) ,2,3 etc. As you see we are in the early stages of the transition contained within the parentheses of the above sequence.

Triple 9 energy is a strong reminder to get your life in order. Evaluate your beliefs. Do they still work for you? Sift through your clutter. What still serves you? Examine your belongings. What can you recycle, gift or re-purpose? Think about each of your relationships. Are they mutually beneficial or hopelessly one sided. Are your relationships stale and withered or vital ingredients for furthering your growth?

Nine is all about being flexible and allowing. We are being prompted to be open to new possibilities, new ideas, new circumstances, new people and new opportunities. However, nothing new can flow into a vessel that is already full!

You must create space for anything new to arrive in your life. It is said that, “Nature abhors a vacuum”. What is empty will be quickly filled. Use your discretion and decide what you will accept and what you can release. Make arrangements, so you can fully enjoy and benefit during the next nine year cycle.

An abundance of new possibilities will be approaching with the arrival of the Universal Year 1. 2017 should provide hope, abundance and prosperity too all who have made an effort to be prepared for the wondrous new year!

Evaluate, prepare and prosper! – Peter

 

T

March 2016 Calendar of Events

Heart Centered Living Calendar of Events for March

All classes are held at 30 Main Street at the First Congregational
Church in Binghamton unless otherwise noted.

Monday March 7th 6:30-8:30 PM

Energy Night with Debbie Matsushima

Join us for our popular first Monday of the month energy night. Whether you are a firs time receiver of energy, or a seasoned practitioner; everyone walks away feeling peaceful, energized and connected to the universal energy. $6 Love offering appreciated.

Tuesday March 8th 6:00-8:30 PM @ SUNY Broome

Embracing the Divine Feminine Class w/ Renee Guidelli

Discover and learn unique meditations and techniques that help you with centeredness and serenity in your home and workplace. Love, protection, gratitude, trust, creativity, courage, community and patience are just some of the bodacious Goddess self aspects that need to be expressed in your life. To register and learn more

Wednesday March 9th 2:00-3:30 PM

Soul Sanctuary

Looking for a place where you can connect with your inner knowing? Your deep inner wisdom and the seed and seat of your soul Every inspirational and fun session brings forth new information from your soul for you to explore and apply to your daily life.  This session: Meeting your soul in the temple of the enlightened ones. We also incorporate coloring, crafting and intentional body and breath work. This is an open series. $12 Each session.  Check out the details here

Wednesday March 9th 6:00-7:30 PM

Music and Meditation Service w/ Rev. Renee Guidelli (The Gospel of Mary Madelene)

We are familiar with the Gospel of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, But what about Mary Magdalene? The devoted disciple and confident that was always seen with Jesus? Witness scenes taken from the book , Anna , Grandmother of Jesus, as well as other findings that sheds light on this mysterious woman who plays a pivotal part of our lives today as women in society.  Soup supper at 6:00 and 6:45 is the service.

Wednesday March 9th 6:00-8:00 PM @ SUNY Broome

Sacred Geometry Workshop with Peter Shell

Understand why patterns & numbers can be seen as predictable elements of nature. Increase your understanding of our world. This course is based upon a simple series of easy to follow diagrams & 3D models that allow you to see the relationships first hand. Have fun & unlock secrets revealing how everything in our world is intertwined. Call SUNY Broome at 778-5012 to register

Monday March 14th 6:00-8:00 PM

Fermentation class Taught by Erick Clasen and Bonnie Pecka

Class will be held downstairs in the church kitchen.

Sourdough bread and beet kvass will be the stars of this workshop. There will be samples of both sourdough bread and beet kvass to taste. Additionally, there will be samples of fermented foods such as kimchi, hot pepper sauce and garlic dill pickles. These samples are all made by traditional fermentation methods. Samples of beverages such as kombucha and water kefir will be available as well.

For more information read the  Fermentation Post

Tuesday March 15th, 22nd & 29th 6:00-8:00 PM

Your Life is all About Numbers Numerology Course with Peter Shell

This is an intensive training on how to apply the  ancient science of numerology to your life & the lives of your family. Understand what is important to you and why you react to situations differently than others. This is a realistic system that helps you make sense of who you are & why you are so unique. We will meet for 3 evenings. Course fee includes a workbook & textbook written by Peter. Please pre-register by March 8th. Class limited to 6 students. $70

Wednesday March 16th 2:00-3:30 PM

Class has been rescheduled to next Wednesday the 23rd.

Soul Sanctuary

Looking for a place where you can connect with your inner knowing? Your deep inner wisdom and the seed and seat of your soul? Every inspirational and fun session brings forth new information from your soul for you to explore and apply to your daily life.  This session: Blending with your soul  We also incorporate coloring, crafting and intentional body and breath work. $12 Each session.  Check out the details here

Monday March 21st  6:00-8:00 PM

Spring Equinox Celebration at the Heart Light Center for Healing and Creativity in Maine, NY

Gather with heart centered friends as we celebrate and welcome Spring together through ritual, ceremony, intention and sacred crafts. Please bring a notebook and something to write with,  a chair or blanket to sit on,  instruments for sound and sacred items for the altar to program with elemental energy. Love offerings appreciated.

Tuesday March 22nd 6:00-8:00 PM

Your Life is all About Numbers Numerology Course with Peter Shell

See information listed above on March 15th.

Wednesday March 23rd 2:00-3:30 PM

 Soul Sanctuary

Looking for a place where you can connect with your inner knowing? Your deep inner wisdom and the seed and seat of your soul? Every inspirational and fun session brings forth new information from your soul for you to explore and apply to your daily life.  This session: Living as your soul. We also incorporate coloring, crafting and intentional body and breath work. $12 Each session.  Check out the details here

Monday March 28th  6:00-8:00 PM

Program to be announced (watch for details)

Tuesday March 29th 6:00-8:00 PM

Your Life is all About Numbers Numerology Course with Peter Shell

See information listed above on March 15th.