I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in the designated driver situation where you end up at a soiree and the host assumes that the only guests not drinking alcohol are children? As much as I like Um Bongo it’s always a little embarrassing to reach the end of the carton and make that loud, conspicuous slurping noise while in the middle of a conversation. Down with this I say and hooray for the now bursting market that is adult soft drinks and cordials. I’m not sure why but all the ready-made ‘adult’ soft drinks available used to be either apple orientated or have grape juice in. I am really not a fan of grape juice; maybe because it tastes artificial to me and not at all like grapes. Not to worry though as this Rhubarb, Rosehip and Lime Fizz is a corker of a soft drink.
You will need (per glass):
- Mr Fitzpatricks Blackcurrant and Liquorice Cordial
- Fresh lemon juice
This isn’t a complicated one to make but again it’s all about personal preferences. Add some cordial to the glass as much or as little as you like then top up with lemonade. Squeeze in a few drops fresh lemon juice to give it some tang.
I think the colour is fantastic; a lovely dark purpley brown. The fresh lemon juice added a freshness to cut through the rich liquorice and distinctive blackcurrant. I am a fan of a bit of fizz too so I really liked this flavour combination. This is very much an evening drink; a long one to have with a book or a good film.
Thanks to Mr Fitzpatricks for the samples. All opinions expressed are my own.
You will need (per glass):
- 50ml sloe gin (to make your own see recipe here)
- 1/2 cap full Mr Fitzpatricks Elderflower and Bramley Apple Cordial
- Juice 1 lime
- Caster sugar
I was going the whole hog with this one, sugar crusting on the edge and everything. It’s easier to make the cocktail in another receptacle and then pour it into the sugar encrusted glass; much less risk of dribbling and dissolving. Start by squeezing the lime juice onto a small plate and putting a thin layer of caster sugar on another plate. Dip the rim of each glass into the lime juice and then into the sugar so you form a rather pretty (sweet and sour) edge to the glass. Mix together the sloe gin, cordial and tonic in a jug and then pour into the prepared glasses.
You will need (per glass):
- Blood Tonic
- Hot water
- 1 small orange
With the exception of water (and even then maybe not) people are very particular about how they like their beverages; strong, hot, milk in after and many other variations can enhance or upset our enjoyment of a drink. When it comes to making this concoction it is all about how strong you like it. For this unbelievably simple drink just dilute the Blood Tonic with hot water, squeeze in a little orange juice and then top with a slice of orange.
I was given The Glasgow Cookery Book a few months ago; I’m a sucker for an old and worn book and everyone knows it. I put it to one side to have a look at later and forgot about it until more recently. An old book that smells like it should deserves a proper going over and a nice cup of tea. I sat down to enjoy a flick through the aged pages and got a lot more than I bargained for.
I was hoping to find an interesting recipe that had perhaps been forgotten about or a take on something I make regularly. What I found instead was a myriad of lists, scribbles, notes, pieces of paper, recipe cards and more. The picture below is the inside front cover which is plastered in words and phrases, for example, ‘Russian Fill Pie’ or ‘Grilled Kidneys’ amongst others.
First of all I tried the Yun Nan Dian Hong which is a golden tipped black tea. The colours of the leaves are wonderful; they look like autumn. I was really surprised at how dark the colour of the tea was considering the lightness of the leaves. It was really full bodied but refreshing at the same time and not at all bitter.
The next tea I tried was the Bi Luo Chun which is a green tea. It smelled so fresh, almost lemony and the leaves looked extremely dainty. It tasted like I would expect for a green tea but slightly more rounded and complex than some of the others I have tried.
A dear friend of mine bought me a blank recipe book for my birthday 4 years ago. She must have had foreknowledge of what was to come! It is a place for favourite recipes, creating new combinations and exploring ideas. Now, I have probably 4 pages that have not been written on but I’ll never buy a new one, I’ll just keep adding pages to this one. The book is severely thumbed but I think this makes it look well loved.
So where do we all keep our recipes? My recipe book has been written in by me, my Granny has filled in her favourite baking recipes and I have leaflets and clippings from so many places. Because of the various additions over the years and the different people who have contributed to it, this recipe book is inexplicably treasured. I also have many old cookery books, late 1890’s and onwards and things have not changed much. These old recipe books are full of newspaper cut outs and notes from the previous owner. I have one book from 1936 which belonged to a lady called Eileen. She has written in many recipes including lemon pie and ham soup. Some of the recipes have notes on top of the originals where amounts or methods have been changed.
I bought Tender volume 1 a few weeks ago thinking it looks like a nice big fat book full of interesting recipes. I was so wrong, it is so much more than that. It’s one of the best cookery books I own.
If there is a vegetable he has not included in some form or other, I can’t spot it. I have always thought I don’t like certain vegetables, I was so wrong about this too. I now have a new love affair with vegetables and there isn’t a single one I would overlook. Everything is made to seem so easy – it turns out it is.
I certainly saw Levi Roots putting music into his food! At the recent show, we were treated to several performances including the Reggae Reggae song!
He cooked mackeral with green bananas and ended up putting three scotch bonnet peppers in – at least 100,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale each. I don’t think I’ll be putting that many in. It filled the room with the smell of the Caribbean – allspice, peppers, garlic.