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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

Tag Archives: cocktails.

Summer in a Glass...

After such a radiant weekend, there really is only one British institution I can write about…

PIMMS.

I think this British summer institution No. 1, as it contains it all the needed ingredients for a British Summer:
Strawberries
Lemon or Orange
Fresh Mint
and even Cucumber (without the sandwiches)…
And it is based on good ol’ Gin and colonial Quinine, how can all of this not be good for you on a sunny day?

It drinks like lemonade and allows you to play all kinds of games with the remaining fruit in your glass in case you are losing interest in conversation… (another brilliant asset when you find yourself at a garden party…)

This is certainly one of the things I will take with me to the States, where off course it will get heavy competition from the Newportian ‘Dark ‘n Stormy’…Which in itself is a less sophisticated mix of ginger beer and dark rum on ice. Nothing to pick at here…

However yesterday, instead of succumbing to a jug of PIMMS I decided to experiment for myself. I will be having a leaving party soon and I am planning to make a special Punch to tie together both drinking traditions. It took the best part of the afternoon to get the mixture right, but in the end I think I got it.

In the end I came up with this pale golden and blushingly pretty Bellevue Punch:

James and the Giant Peach?

2 parts Soda water
1 part Fiery Ginger Ale or Beer (use the least sweet and alcoholic kind)
1 good slug of Elderflower Cordial
1 great dash of Créme de Pêche de Vigne (you can use peach schnapps but it is usually too harsh and artificial)
Slices of fresh White Peach
Fresh Mint leaves
A big grin
Lots of ice…

This summer is going to be great!

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Roll on...

In our family we have several traditions regarding comfort food and nibbles at our get-togethers.

Salmon salad is one of them, mainly consisting of a tin of salmon mixed with ‘whiskey cocktails sauce‘ spread on toast.

Another favourite is ‘Saucijzen broodjes’ or Sausage Rolls.

These rolls are the only thing to make our lively family banter and discussions stop. Once a large dish of them is passed round, accompanied with napkins, it takes about 1 minute before all of us stand with a strange stare with open mouth, trying to cool the scorching hot bite we just under estimated.

At the family celebrations last weekend, this delicacy off course could not be missed. So I went to my trusted butcher and asked his advice on the British approach to sausage rolls.
Off course he more than helped me out.
He showed me that they sell sausage rolls by the yard from the freezer.
He makes the sausage meat and pastry himself and freezes large batches, so they can be defrosted and sliced before use.

I must admit that these rolls really impressed the family…
I sliced the strip into 9 pieces, topped them with some egg and left them in the over to brown and puff up.
These rolls were enormous and needed to be eaten with knife and fork instead of  napkin from the hand…
Best ones we ever had…

Even with a completely different origin and recipe I was so very happy to achieve the same moment of silence, and gasping for cool air.
Some things never change. 🙂

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