A granizada in Spain is rather like a granita in Italy, or a water ice elsewhere. This drink was probably more the texture of a slushy sorbet, so didn´t know what to call it!
We had friends from the UK to stay for a week, and whilst eating and drinking we tried to balance out some of the inevitable excesses with plenty of fruit and salad.
To make this drink I whizzed up (with my stick blender in a jug) about 6 large ices cubes made from the slightly cooked pitted cherries I had prepared a couple of weeks ago for Cherry Jam with a large chunk of sweet watermelon (about a quarter of a small one) and a few leaves of mint.
As a Londoner, born and bred, I have a deep and loving appreciation for the City´s green spaces. We have some wonderful parks in London – some for playing in, kicking a ball around and walking the dogs. Others are more formal and perfect for admiring the beauty of the gardens, listening to the band in summer, or just laying back on the grass and enjoying a quiet moment in the heart of London.
One of these parks is Regent´s Park, to the north of the centre, and every summer it hosts a season of Open Air Theatre events. You can take a picnic, a few bottles of something gorgeous, a group of friends and enjoy a wonderful evening. In true British spirit, the performance is only cancelled if it rains heavily during a performance – a performance is never cancelled before the start time!
Most years a production of Shakespeare´s “A Midsummer Night´s Dream” is performed on that special night and I have seen many performances of this there. Some were based in the future (dire), some were just plain daft, and others more traditional with a mischievous Puck, romantic heroes, comedy players and much silliness.
Last night Big Man and I sat in the garden enjoying the longest day of the year. We talked, we laughed, we reminisced about summers long gone and talked of our hopes and dreams for those yet to come. It was warm and the sky was clear, a beautiful evening. And while we did this, we sipped on a cocktail we came up with to celebrate this very special night. Do hope you give it a go and enjoy it!
Watermelon and Pomegranate Dream
Blend about 500g of watermelon flesh with half a litre of pomegranate juice and about 20 mint leaves. Add a spirit of your choice, we used vodka and chill with some ice cubes. Two thirds fill your glass and top up with soda water.
If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended,
That you have but slumber´d here, while these visions did appear
And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend: if you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I´m an honest Puck, if we have unearned luck,
Now to ´scape the serpent´s tongue. We will make amends ere long:
Else the Puck a liar call. So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.
In loving memory of a dear friend, and an amazing cook, long gone but always fondly remembered with laughter and smiles. Happy Birthday Gary – think you would have enjoyed this one!
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....