Thirsty Thurs….ummm…Friday

DSC_0130Yeah I know, Thirsty Friday doesn’t work quite so well, but I had to share this one with you.  Saw this in the shop yesterday and couldn’t resist. After all I like beer and I like rum (yes, I do like Pina Colada’s…) so what’s not to like about rum flavoured beer? Not only that, it’s got a scary skull on the bottle and it’s halloween time… perfect (‘cept I couldn’t wait for actual halloween to drink it..and I generally don’t approve of halloween – yes, I’m a grumpy old biddy).

Anyhoo, as you can see I have now sampled a bottle and can give you my results:

Meh. Yeah, it’s ok.

It has a somewhat honey’d rum flavour – a bit sweet.  Personally, I’d rather have a nice pint of real ale by a log fire in a traditional English pub, or an iced lager on a summer’s day, or even better, a big ol’ rum cocktail whilst watching the sunset from a soft sanded Caribbean beach.

But hey ho, it was quite nice to down a bottle while being diverted by the new series of Big Bang Theory last night (yay, it’s back!).

Have a good weekend! 🙂

Thirsty Thursday

DSC_0082Today’s thirst quencher is…

Lavender Milk

Yeah, I know, it looks like a glass of bog standard milk, but believe me, it isn’t.  It is light, frothy and fragrant, like drinking a cloud suffused with flowers.

It’s been my number one non-alcoholic summer drink since I found the recipe in a magazine last year, and I drink gallons of it, choosing to forget the sugar content, and convincing myself it must be healthy.

I pick the lavender heads from my garden (sorry bees) and making the syrup fills the kitchen with their scent. The syrup lasts for ages if kept in the fridge, so I make a biggish batch and it lasts for half the summer 🙂

To make the syrup just melt 100g of sugar in 100ml of water. Once the liquid is clarified add the flowers of 10 lavender heads (stalks removed) and leave for a minute or two on a very low simmer.  Remove the liquid from the heat and leave to infuse for about 40 minutes or so.  Then you can strain off the liquid into a sterilised container, seal it up, and store it in the fridge.

To make the Lavender Milk you need:

A handful of ice-cubes

As much milk as you fancy (i use semi-skimmed, but it’s your choice!)

Lavender syrup to taste

You can, of course, mix it all up in a glass, but I just bung it all in the blender and give it a good ol’ whizz.  Bob’s your uncle… A glassful of Summer!  Enjoy x

Thirsty Thursday

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Ahh, the thick, stand-yer-straw-up-in-it, fruit smoothie!

A handful of frozen mango, a handful of frozen pineapple, a banana and a splosh of orange juice bunged in a blender and hey presto, yummy tropical smoothie!  Mind you, it’s so thick it does make your eyes pop out just a little when you try and suck it up the straw!!

Oh, and if it wasn’t 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and I didn’t have yoga later on, I might just add a splosh of coconut water and rum too!! 😉

Thirsty Thursday

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For anyone who hasn’t yet visited Marrakech, Morocco, you must.  Jemaa El-Fna is the huge square in the centre.  Scooters and motorbikes go in all directions as do pony and traps, there are entertainers dancing, gymnasts flick flacking and climbing on each other to make pyramids (ta da!) hawkers selling, well everything – we even found a stall selling second hand false teeth (where did he get those from I wonder?), people with performing monkeys, musicians, people telling stories, people grabbing your hands to try and paint henna on them, it’s colourful, noisy and mad, in the best possible way.  In fact you can just sit in a cafe sipping your tea and watch it all for hours.

I’ve always liked a refreshing glass of mint tea, it’s good for the digestion you know, and can help if you’ve got tummy upsets or the like.  However, I’d never tasted mint tea as good as the brew they deliver in Marrakech.

They pop freshly picked mint and a dollop of honey into a silver tea pot, bung in some boiling water and serve (from a height to cool it) into wee little glasses.  Perfect on a scorching hot Marrakech morning (or afternoon).. (or evening)…

‘We can’t make it this good at home’ we thought ‘the little teapot must be the key’

We set off to the souk to buy one, and while we were at it, thought we’d get some for our daughters too, as a souvenir  So we needed three topnotch teapots.  Surely there would be a deal to be done.

The souks run off of the square and are narrow covered lanes with market stalls or tiny shops on either side. They are normally packed with people, animals pulling carts, and mad motorcyclists trying to run you down. It’s steamily hot,and there are some interesting smells. But I absolutely love them.  The atmosphere is like nowhere else. Mostly jovial, but you have to beware of anyone trying to fleece you, or pick your pockets.  Probably no worse than any other tourist ridden place though.

It didn’t take us long to find a small shop whose shelves were overloaded with gleaming teapots of all different designs and sizes.  We pondered long and hard over which three to choose while the owner of the shop stood courteously to one side watching us diligently.  As soon as we picked a couple up, he swooped and gave us an outrageously high price which he swore was a bargain for these authentic Moroccon items. Now, anyone who has ever been to Morocco must know that the rule of thumb is to seriously haggle over the price. When he found out we were buying three, he did drop it a bit, and after haggling good naturedly for a good half an hour, we got him to a more reasonable sum which was about a quarter of the original price he’d suggested.

Letting us know that he wouldn’t be able to feed his family of ten for a week because we had struck such a hard bargain (hmm….) he wrapped up our lovely bona fide Marrakechian pots and we went off to find a cool spot to have another cup of tea.

When we got back to our room in our little Riad, we were eager to inspect our purchases. Polished and shiny, prettily patterned, they would be a perfect reminder of our short holiday in Morocco.

Though we did see the funny side when we turned them over and found ‘Made In Manchester’ stamped brazenly on the bottom!!

Tea in a Marrakech cafe

Cooling off with a cuppa in a Marrakech cafe

Thirsty Thursday – Won’t you join me?

DSC_0484Having a nice, proper, cup of tea today. By proper, I mean not from a manky old teabag, and not spoiled by the addition of milk.  As you know, I love tea, and have a pretty big selection in my cupboard, but more often than not I just grab a bog standard teabag like everyone else.

When we visited the tea plantations in Sri Lanka, we were told that the tea in our Western teabags pretty much consisted of the sweepings from the floor in terms of leaf quality, and I must say that when I do make the effort and opt for something like an Orange Pekoe, that does become pretty obvious. ‘Real’ tea is light and refreshing and not in any way bitter.This morning’s cuppa is made with tea that my daughter brought back from Malaysia for me.  It’s described as ‘An exquisite flowery Pekoe with a delicate aroma’ and it is, and there is no need for anything else in the cup, just pure tea. Lovely.

Many people I know find it hard to take tea without quantities of sugar.  I’ve seen people heap three of four teaspoons of the white stuff into just a small cup.  Ok, hands up, I used to do the same, that’s how I was brought up. As a child mum put sugar in my tea, and it was all I knew.  But many years ago now, I came to my senses, cut out the sugar (it wasn’t easy at first, but worth the effort) and got my taste buds back. I can now appreciate the infinite subtle nuances in the flavours between different types which makes it worth the effort of making a proper brew.  It’s just like the differences you find between wines.

Mind you, I cheated with this one, instead of getting the pot out, I just put a heaped teaspoonful of leaves in a tea strainer and poured the boiling water over it and into the cup. Probably not the perfectionists way, but is ok when it’s just me.  You’ll notice I did drag the posh china out for the occasion though. Well….you can’t drink proper tea from a mug now, can you?

Cheers!

Music for Thirsty Thursday

Thought I’d share this with you today. My lovely daughter took me to see Gogol Bordello live in Leeds a couple of years back, I think I was the oldest raver in town, but absolutely loved it (mind you, was pretty exhausted by the end, after all that singing along!).  Start Wearing Purple has been one of my favourite ‘cheer-me-up’ songs for yonks, but I thought ‘Alcohol’ was more apt for my, swiftly becoming regular, Thirsty Thursday slot.  Enjoy!

Juicy Thirsty Thursday

DSC_0042 (2)For the last seven days, since I bought my juicer, I’ve been replacing at least one meal a day with veggie juice. Today though, I feel I have graduated in my juicing career by going green.  Yep, I’ve made my first green juice. Up until now its been all nice reddy, orangy ones made from carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and that sort of thing, But today I’ve faced my green = yuck fears and produced the handsome looking ‘broth from the bottom of the pond’ you see in the picture.

It actually contains three apples, a wodge of kale, a few leaves of spring greens, a couple of celery stalks and a bit of ginger root…  and, yes despite being quite disturbing to look at, it is really quite yummy!  In fact this is my second glass.  I should be fighting fit for my yoga class this evening.

Of course, the reason I bought the juicer in the first place was not quite so health conscious.  I bought it to make cider, and there’s 23 litres of it busily brewing in the kitchen.  Unfortunately that’s not ready to drink yet though, so in the meantime, here’s to a new healthy me!

Lechyd da! (that’s cheers in Welsh.  Gosh this blog is getting so educational!) (and no, I’m not Welsh) (nor am I vegetarian).