Okay, we have to admit that over the past millennium beer has always gotten the ‘disapproving look’ . And why not, when all it’s ever been associated with are drunken bouts, shouting, wild and ‘uncouth’ behavior, bar fights, impotence and worst of them all, the humiliation of finding yourself passed out face down in the middle of nowhere, all memory wiped out.
But there’s more that can be done with beer, especially if a lot of it is left over after a party or a huge stack of it is in the store after you vow to quit drinking when you called your mother-in-law a ”useless hag” at your family re-union.When this rare event occurs, the leftovers can be put to use in a huge variety of ways – many of which most people would never think of. This list should help you use up your leftover beer.
SOAK IN IT
Beer is an excellent skin conditioner. Next time you want to have a long soak in the bath, tip in a good can of dark beer before you hop in and just soak in it! This is a nice alternative to adding salt crystals (which soften water) as well as quite cheap, and there’s no reason that you couldn’t combine both for a super luxurious bath. Just don’t be tempted to drink the bathwater!And be careful if you go outside afterwards on a hot day.
SOOTHE AN UPSET TUMMY
This is my favorite item on the list. If you have a stomach upset, slowly sipping a can of beer can help to settle it down – and the alcohol has an anesthetic effect which helps to alleviate the pain. As most of us will know, this is also a very effective hangover cure! Just be sure not to use this trick if you have an ulcer or gastritis.
POLISH YOUR FURNITURE
Beer is a surprisingly good wood furniture polish. Let a can of beer go completely stale and flat and pour a little onto a polishing cloth. Buff your timber furniture and follow up with a final dry buff. You will be amazed at how brilliant and shiny your furniture will end up looking.
Beer makes an excellent marinade. It really doesn’t matter what meat you are preparing – it will benefit almost all types from a few hours (the longer the better) in a marinade of beer. You can get really adventurous too – add any flavors you like to the beer – even things like marmalade or jam. A more common addition would be soy sauce or other Asian sauces. If you are marinating pork, you might want to add some chunks of pineapple and pineapple juice with some ginger for a sweet and sour result.
NATURALLY REMOVE SLUGS
Slugs are a terrible pest in a garden – particularly if you are growing for eating. Instead of using chemicals on your veges, bury a small saucer up to its lip in the garden and put fresh beer in it each day. The slugs will be attracted to the smell, get drunk and drown. Be sure to refresh the beer daily. With a little luck you should have a saucer full of slugs and healthy looking cabbages!
FERTILIZE YOUR GARDEN
The yeast and other extracts in a can of beer are very good for plants. If you end up with a pile of left-over half-drunk cans or bottles of beer, tip them out onto the garden. Just watch out for cigarette butts if your guests use them for ashtrays – while some plants do like nicotine extract, not all do and you could kill your prize plants.
Bees and wasps are attracted to beer – so instead of spending a fortune on citronella oils or candles, try putting a few open beer cans around the yard at your next BBQ. Obviously you should put the cans away from where people will be sitting or standing. Oh – and make sure no one decides to have a swig from one of the cans when they are drunk – it will result in a very unpleasant (and potentially lethal) situation!
WASH YOUR HAIR
Beer “shampoo” can add luster and body to dull limp hair. It is also a much more natural alternative to store-bought shampoos which contain a lot of chemicals. Just mix one can of beer with a raw egg and use it as you would use a normal shampoo. It was quite common in days gone by to use raw eggs for shampoo – it even lathers up like the chemical stuff. Try it – I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised. Just keep in mind that the shampoo will go off if you don’t use it within a couple of days. This is probably best as a once-a-month special treatment. You can also use beer on its own as a conditioner – rinse your hair with it, let it dry off, then rinse it off.
MAKE A BATTER
When making a batter, you often add a little raising agent – usually baking powder. In this recipe, you use beer – the bubbles in the drink and the yeast provide the raising. So, here is the recipe: put 1.5 cups of flour and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt in to a bowl. Pour in 1 12oz can of beer while mixing. That is it! If the batter is too thick, add more beer. If it is too thin, add a little more flour. If you are planning to use this batter with fish, dredge the fish in flour first – remembering to shake off the excess. This is a great tasting batter that I use all the time.
BBQ A CHICKEN
This has to be one of the easiest recipes around. You simply take a full opened can of beer, stand a chicken on it, and throw it on the barbeque (well – don’t literally throw it – that could be very messy!) The beer can is inserted in the neck area (where you would normally stuff the chicken) and stood upright. While the chicken cooks, the beer heats up and subtly flavors the meat. You end up with a tasty and surprisingly moist chicken. You should also rub a little olive oil over the chicken and salt and pepper it before starting. If you have a favorite “rub” you can add that too. Oh – make sure you drink half of the can first – it should be half full when starting out. I am sure you will have no trouble finding someone to help you with that part of the recipe. Cook the chicken with the BBQ lid on for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh (or the juices run clear if you pierce it with a knife)