And the following shake.

A Julep made with gin, blackberry and mint syrup, soda water and a splash of lemon juice.


A nice cocktail and a Scandinavian crime drama on BBC4. Perfect Saturday night.


A proper make with a possible shake.

Strange title I know but if you actually read the name of my blog it will become clearer, Promise.

I’ve been doing the culinary alphabet blogposts as well as the random a-z and the Silent Sundays but I have been a bit slack on the real deal to be honest.

Have I felt bad about it? Yes. Because I promised myself to do them and I make things all the time and don’t post them which makes any follower think that I don’t do that much, when I do. Really.

Anyhow, I have had a list of things I want to do and as we were away in Guernsey on holiday 2 weeks ago and back at work this week, fitting enjoyable pastimes in gets a bit tricky. Especially when you work full time and there are accidents on the way home 2 evenings running! Still, I wasn’t involved so I must be grateful.

I have been rummaging around in the freezer and been trying to make some extra room! Ha. I discovered, well more remembered that I had a large bag of blackberries in there from last year. Taking up room that I really could use for something else. I started dreaming of pies and crumbles. Well it was raining and a bit chilly outside. I didn’t want to make jam so decided upon Blackberry and Mint cordial as I have rather a lot of mint growing in pots outside and it reminds me of summer.

I pulled out the bag and after unwrapping them, left them in a large pan to defrost. This is where I skip nearly 48 hours. I didn’t poke or prod. Just left them in an icy lump to defrost.
When I got back from a rather horrendous day in the library where we got nothing done as it was so busy, I felt the need to be productive.
Sugar and water was added, hadn’t weighed the berries so guesswork was needed and I brought it all to the boil and let it bubble unstirred for about half an hour.

I then turned it off and added 3 large stalks of mint, shoved them underwater and left it for about an hour. In the meantime I got my bottles ready by making sure they were clean and filling them with hot water.

A cup of tea and something to eat later! I removed the mint stems, crushed down the fruit a bit more (handy potato masher) and poured them into a deep bowl through a fine sieve.

Tasted, yum, then bottled, it looks lovely. I had 2 Kilmer bottles and 2 empty Jack Daniels bottles, all cleaned and de labelled.


Simon arrived home and saw and smelt the end product then declared it a cross between Ribena and mint sauce! Great.

After tasting it, he decided he loved it and would happily drink it as is.
My intention is you use it as a cordial or add it to cocktails so watch this space as a cocktail might well follow.

J is for….

Well, this is the first time that I have been harassed into writing my blog.
The reason for it will become clear but my harasser is my other half Simon.

It begins with a story. So I hope that you are sitting comfortably, if you need a wriggle first then get it over with now.

Now, we begin. At the beginning of the summer holidays, we decide what activities we are going to do in the library over the 6 weeks. While perusing the internet, I was shocked to discover that Elmer the Elephant was 25 years old. I know. 25! Andersen Press were asking everyone who was interested to have an Elmer Parade and tweet photos with a possibility that you could win a visit from Elmer himself. We can do this, I thought. A nice craft and then a parade round the library. Excellent. One event down.
The plan was for everyone to wear their brightest clothes on the day but as usual this wasn’t enough for me.
Someone gave me a copy of a knitting book with a pattern for an elephant hat. I fell. It had to be knitted.

I knitted and planned to put it together when Simon was working. Now at this point you need to know one thing about Simon. He adores elephants. Always has. As I was making the hat for me, I wanted to try and keep it secret from him. All went well until a couple of weeks ago and I was busy stitching the trunk to the actual hat. He was on a safety day, I was on a day off and I expected him home at about 5.30 – 6pm. He appeared at about 2 pm! And caught me sewing up an elephant hat.

“Is that for me” he says. “No” I reply.
His face fell and he was quite upset.

I did promise though that after the event, he could model the hat for my blog. So this morning, the first day of our week off, we went off for a drive in the Morgan to take some photos.


That was me, these are Simon…..



Now you might have noticed the smile on his face. He wore it and the hat, for the whole time we were taking photos and the whole journey back home.
Plus, he has now claimed the hat, so if I want one, I’ll have to knit another one!

So this blogpost is J for Jumbo and definitely J for Joyful.

And if you’ve never seen an elephant park a car, here you go!


C is for……Culinary Alphabet

Well C was meant to be in July but to be honest, July disappeared in a blur.
Plus, Chocolate was the C and to honest it was so hot that we didn’t fancy chocolate at all.
I came up with a plan to make it work but then did nothing until the end of the month. Time only goes quickly when it suits itself!
I made chocolate and banana ice cream. I swished up 2 ripe bananas ( you know the ones, you pick them up from the fruit bowl and they are so ripe they practically peel themselves) anyway, these were swished up with some double cream and some Sweet Freedom chocolate paste. It promises no lumps and by Jove there isn’t.
It whipped up nicely and I threw it into a freezer proof container and placed it in the freezer.


I actually forgot it was there until we sat down to watch Thor: The Dark World the other evening. Quite aptly as it happened because I removed it from the freezer and it was so solid that I had to wait for it to thaw a bit.
Not quite true, I got impatient and carved it out of its freezer proof bowl!


It was really tasty although the overripe bananas took over a bit. If I make it again then there would be more chocolate involved. But it’s reasonably healthy and it tasted really good.

D next. I better double check what it is……………