How to decorate the garden with blue bottles!
The new blue beer bottles, ideas for how to use them, removing labels and recipes for beer if you don’t dink beer!
The new availability of light beer sold in the very desirable blue bottles adored by Flea Market Gardening’s junk loving gardeners is causing some commotion! Sun glass wearing, non beer drinkers are now slinking into the grocery store to purchase the bottles and then are faced with the dilemma of whether to dump or not dump the beer. A flurry of recipes including beer as an ingredient has ensued.
Nancy K. Meyer from Iowa says, “I know blue bottles are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those of us who love them~~~look what I found at the grocery store this morning—beer in blue bottles, can and tin. (Honey, can I bring you a beer ???)
George Weaver, another reader muses, ” I wonder if the Anheuser Busch research team had the Flea Market Gardeners in mind when they thought up their marketing strategy on this one. I think this is all the proof needed to show that Facebook is selling our posts to market researchers.”
Nancy Carter tells us, “I have found a great source for blue bottles about the same size as wine bottles. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they sell Blu’ Italy Sparkling Water for $1.29 a bottle. The water is great and the price is fantastic especially when I find empty wine bottles priced at $2 to $3.00 dollars at flea markets!
How to remove bottle labels easily, Nancy’s tips:
“Wondering about how to remove the labels from the bottles? This was a nightmare for me and I tried a dozen different suggestions until I finally found a solution that works perfectly.
For all of you who have trouble getting the label and glue off the blue bottles, here is what works perfectly for me. Fill the bottle with VERY hot water and then set the full bottle into a larger container (I use a flower vase) and fill it with VERY hot water. Let the bottle sit for about ten minutes or so and then take it out of the vase and using a sharp knife start a corner of the label peeling and pull slowly. It will peel right off leaving only the gooey glue on the bottles. Refill the bottle with hot water and use a cotton ball saturated in 90% rubbing alcohol to rub the glue area briskly and the glue will come right off. You can purchase the 90% rubbing alcohol anywhere that you can buy the regular 70% alcohol.
IF you have bottles (green mostly) that have painted on labels, fill the bottle with hot water and set it in a vase that has enough Sno-Bol toilet bowl cleaner or The Works tub and shower cleaner to cover the painted label area. Let sit for 10-15 minutes or so and then remove the bottle from the vase of cleaner and rub lightly with a metal pot scrubber. The painted label will be mostly, if not completely dissolved, and will wipe right off.
Also the great thing about the Trader Joe bottles is I just fill the sink with hot sudsy water and let them soak about ten minutes and usually the label is already off when I go back to finish them. Same with the Blue Bud bottles. Soaking them lets me pull the label right off.”
As for using the blue bottles in the garden, Kirk Willis, says, “Yes…the labels do come off. A bit tricky. Soak them in hot water, and then start peeling. I used an SOS pad to gently take off the glue…used WD40 on some instead of the SOS pad. They look so cool with just the blue, minus labels.”
Especially for Non-drinkers! Luscious Beer Bread
Now Tractor Man, my hubby, doesn’t drink beer,…he’d be stunned if I offered him one…I do make beer bread though,…the yeast in the beer makes it rise and you can add cheese or herbs.
Cheddar-Herb Beer Bread
While looking for herb recipes, I found this one from Alton Brown, a great cook. This bread turned out nice and soft, was fast to make, tasted great warm and was a nice savory bread that cut easily for sandwiches. I’m impressed!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 ounces cold beer, (your blue bottle beer, of course)
1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, optional
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick spray and set aside.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and herbs in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cheese and stir in the beer just to combine. Spread the batter, which will form into a ball, evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, if using. (I moistened the top with beaten egg and we didn’t have sunflower seeds, I used chopped walnuts)
Bake on the middle rack of the oven about 45 to 55 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm with dinner.
Additional things to add:
1 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh
thyme, and 2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives,
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary and 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano
2 minced cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Like George Weaver says, “If these blue bottles are this much of a success with people that don’t drink, Just think what the beer drinkers will think of them.”