Sunday, January 18, 2015

Marge's Homemade Pepsi

The first episode of my last beloved season of The Simpsons (Season 10), is kind of ridiculous. However, it has that signature Simpson "heart-warmy-ness," that ties everything together at the end.
Lard of the Dance begins when a new girl named Alex Whitney (voiced by Lisa Kudrow) arrives at Springfield Elementary. Lisa accepts the thankless task of showing her around. Alex acts very grown up with her perfume, cell phone, and iced tea. Instead of organizing the annual Apple Pick, Lisa takes Alex's advice and organizes a school dance instead.

Your name's Lisa? Shut up, I love that name!
Then when she can't get a date for the dance, Lisa decides to stay home. That's when Marge comes in with 2 gallons of Homemade Pepsi for Lisa to take to the dance. "It's a little thick, but the price is right!"
When Marge suggests they have their own dance right there instead, Lisa decides to go to the dance after all. That's when she sees that most kids aren't as grown up as Alex. She professes that she's glad they've got 9, 10 years tops to giggle in church, chew with their mouths open, and go days without bathing! Lesson: Embrace your formative years.
Then due to Homer and Bart's antics, snowflakes of grease start falling from the vents, and all the kids have a grease "snowball" fight.

I'll admit that Marge isn't my favorite Simpson (Maggie holds that title), but I do love all her Mom moments. My favorites include "Well if loving my kids is lame, then I guess I'm just a big lame," "Park your keister, meister!" and "How about we play the basketball? I'm no Harvey Globetrotter, but... Watch out for the Shaq attack!"

This recipe for homemade Pepsi is the first of a few Marge recipes I have lined up. It's easy to make, once you've gathered all the ingredients. More than a few are kind of weird, so I've included links to where you can easily buy them.
Feel free to experiment with the ratios of syrup, caramel coloring, and club soda. If you like your Pepsi thick, just use more syrup and less club soda.

Marge's Homemade Pepsi

Makes about a 1/2 gallon

Not-So-Secret Ingredients:

For the caramel color:
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup water, boiling

For the cola syrup:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons culinary lavender
  • 1 whole star anise (with at least 5 sections)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid
  • 2 liters Club Soda

Real-Life Instructions:

  1. Make the caramel coloring first: In a small saucepan, mix together sugar and water over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Add cream of tartar, and continue to boil until the mixture becomes very dark, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Add boiling water, a little at a time, stirring until the caramelized sugar is completely dissolved.
  6. Set aside, and allow to cool completely.
  7. To make the cola syrup: Place all ingredients (except the club soda) in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  8. Reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Line a sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth, or a coffee filter.
  10. Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth (or coffee filter)-lined sieve, and strain out the solids.
  11. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth (or coffee filter), and squeeze out any extra liquid from the solids. Be careful, it's hot!
  12. Allow to cool completely.
  13. In a glass filled with ice, add 4oz cola syrup, 2 Tablespoons caramel coloring, and 8oz of club soda.
  14. Every Simpson dance now! 
This is a Lisa -Friendly recipe