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! 🙂

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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

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!