Just so pretty. I can’t even.
We may not be able to visit a tropical island right now, but I did make myself a cocktail to enjoy poolside in a plastic cup.
Mix syrup with citric acid and vodka, add ginger beer, top with rose petals and enjoy.
(Rose simple syrup is basically boil water and sugar until sugar dissolves, reduce heat to simmer, add rose petals and cook for ten minutes, strain out rose petals; should store well in fridge for months. This batch I’m using is actually from last summer — planning to make ice cream with it tomorrow.)
If you’re growing roses and hibiscus, you can easily make yourself a lovely tea. I actually didn’t use my own hibiscus flowers for this, I should note — they aren’t blooming yet, so I used some purchased dried hibiscus, which you can buy in bulk online.
I added some citrus peel — slice thin and dry in a 200F oven for 20-25 minutes or so. Also some Ceylon cinnamon, but that, I didn’t try to grow myself. I’m not sure I can manage cinnamon trees in Oak Park.
The little packets will be going out in the Patreon June treat boxes, though I did also pack up a nice big bag for a local friend. I like this tea with honey, lime juice, and a little candied ginger — brew a pot, and then enjoy it chilled on a hot summer day. Though it’s also tasty hot!
Kevin handed in his grading, and I have about an hour left to do tomorrow, I think, so I’ve started the summer cocktail experiments. Woot!
(This is where I pause and reassure my dad that I am still very much a lightweight and hardly drink at all, he doesn’t need to worry. I will nurse one drink like this for an hour, and most weeks, don’t have any alcohol at all. Okay, onwards.)
Passionfruit Moscow Mule
(makes two servings)
4 ounces vodka — I used grapefruit & rose, mostly because it was just SO PRETTY, yes, Ketel One, you got me
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp
2 tsp lime juice
8 ounces ginger beer
fresh lime to garnish
I would say that this is tasty, but only if you like sour. Between the grapefruit vodka, the passion fruit, and the lime juice, you have three kinds of sour going here. If I were making it again, I’d rim the glass with jaggery sugar, for sure.
Kev and I were talking about how this compares to a whiskey sour (which is often my bar drink of choice; I’m a girl who loves the tang), and he said that whiskey has more complex flavors for the sour to play against, so it works better. I think that’s probably right — this cocktail is fine, but I wouldn’t say it’s really interesting, as it stands? Will have to think about how I’d want to tweak it.
Side note: I do have a particularly sour batch of passionfruit puree on hand right now, so that may be affecting my assessment slightly. Fresh passionfruit is often more sweet than this. So maybe just adding in a little sugar would address it. I’d also like to make it with some fresh passionfruit, because all the little seeds would look cool in the drink. So expect to see another variation on this sometime, whenever I can get my hands on fresh passionfruit. (Pete’s sometimes carries it…)
The best cosmo I’ve had (pomegranate instead of cranberry, and John uses citric acid instead of lime juice, to maintain the clear pink color, a trick I totally plan to try when I get home for my Sri Lankan arrack cocktail experiments!), beautifully balanced, along with a stunning presentation of my happy hour oysters (six for $6!). I even drizzled the tangy gingered sauce over the micro greens and ate those too! Thompson Seattle bar, you’ve revived me!
Funniest part? I think John may have fed me fabulously before, because ten years ago he was an apprentice chef at Charlie Trotters, where Kev and I went for an anniversary dinner that remains the best meal of my life.
It’s a little unclear if we’ll make the final stretch goal; at just about $13,400 and only two days left, I don’t know if we’ll make it to $15K. Maybe? So if you’d like those cooking demo videos, this would be a great time to tell your friends and family about the project.
Regardless, great to be in the home stretch! I’m so looking forward to bringing out this lovely book.
(5 minutes, serves 2-4)
Some people like their lassi very sweet; some like it hardly sweetened at all. It seems like that decision is best left up to the individual cook. I don’t use any honey when I make mine
3-4 ice cubes
1 cup yogurt (or silken tofu yogurt)
1/2 c. passionfruit puree
1 T rosewater (optional)
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey (optional)
1. Combine ice, yogurt, passionfruit, rosewater, water, and blend.
3. Stop blender and taste, adding more water and/or honey if desired, until preferred consistency and flavor is reached. Enjoy!
(two servings, 10 minutes)
Traditionally, you wouldn’t use ‘good’ tea for this. If you have a fancy high-grade tea, large leaves from a new flush, you don’t usually make chai with it. Typically, tea stalls would use fannings / dust to make chai, and would brew it nice and strong, to give you strength for your labors. Lipton will work just fine for this, if you don’t have access to other teas; I tend to use PG Tips, though Typhoo is also good.
4 T looseleaf black tea or 4 tea bags
1 c. whole milk
1 c. water
1 T ginger juice (or 1 t. ground ginger)
1 stick cinnamon (or 1 t. ground cinnamon)
1 T black peppercorns (or 1/2 t. ground pepper)
3 green cardamom pods (or 1/2 t. ground cardamom)
3 cloves (or 1/4 t. ground cloves)
1/4 t. fresh grated nutmeg
1-2 T jaggery (or dark brown sugar)
1. Combine ingredients in a small pot, and heat on medium until small bubbles form around the edges.
2. Start stirring and bring to a boil.
3. Turn off heat, stir well, turn heat back on to medium, and bring to a boil again. (This will be thoroughly stewed, with flavor infused intensely in the chai. Note that you need the fat in the milk for full distribution of flavor, so I recommend not using skim milk or just water.)
4. Strain chai into a measuring cup and discard whole spices and tea leaves. Enjoy.
NOTE: If your jaggery is too hard to carve safely, you can microwave it at half power in 10 second increments, checking in between each one. If you heat it too much, it’ll melt, which you don’t want.
(30 minutes, serves 6)
I had a busy work day yesterday, so it was six o’clock before I had a chance to look at the calendar and remind myself what the evening plans were — only to be reminded that I’d planned to go to a refugee-supporting potluck, which started at six o’clock!
We were supposed to bring something to share from countries that might be affected by a refugee ban, so I obviously wanted to bring Sri Lankan food. But I needed something I could make fast!
I also ideally wanted to bring a savory dish, and something with protein, because potlucks tend to lean heavy towards the sweets and the starches. I poked around in the freezer and pantry, confirmed I had frozen shrimp and russet potatoes; that meant I had a plan in place. By 6:30, I was transferring the curry into a disposable container and heading out the door; just a few minutes later, people were tucking into the food enthusiastically. Yum.
2 T vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 T ginger-garlic paste
1 t. mustard seed
1 t. cumin seed
1 stalk curry leaves
1 T chili powder
1 t. Sri Lankan curry powder
1/4 c. ketchup
1 t. salt
1 lb. frozen peeled raw shrimp
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cubed small
1 T lime juice
1. Put potato cubes in a microwave-safe bowl with water to cover and microwave 5 minutes to par-boil. Let sit until needed.
2. While potatoes are microwaving, sauté onions in oil or ghee with ginger-garlic paste, mustard seed, cumin seed, and curry leaves, stirring on high, until onions are golden-translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in chili powder, curry powder, ketchup, and salt. Stir a minute or two to blend.
4. Add potatoes with their cooking water. Add shrimp (still frozen is fine). Continue cooking on high, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are cooked and pink, and potatoes are soft.
5. Add lime juice, give a final stir or two, and serve hot with rice or bread.
Second meal at Koko Head Cafe as good as the first! I had the delectably creamy poke omelette: fried local poke, masago aioli (SO GOOD), salad, with rice, along with a KHC Sunrise – tequila, bell pepper, orange-pineapple, chili. (I couldn’t really taste the chili, but it was still good.) Jed got a special, the vegetarian luau, I think it was called, a terrific combination of ‘ulu (breadfruit), taro, yam, with a yummy green sauce, a fried egg, and rice, topped with pickles and fried onion. So good.