Category: Mint

Rosy Old Maid

Hey, hey – it’s five o’clock somewhere in the world, which means it’s cocktail time!  And today I am taking a twist on the cucumber and mint gin cocktail called the Old Maid and adding some floral notes to make a gorgeous Rosy Old Maid!

rosy-old-maid1Pretty huh? 

And taking that as our cue, how about we kill this beast of a myth of the Old Maid?

Bachelor has the connotation of someone being footloose and fancy free, a playboy, a man about town.  Old Maid and it’s sister word, spinster have no such positive associations.  Take for instance, this discussion I had with my beloved mother some time before I met the fussiest eater in the world.  I had to pick her up from some function –  church group, art group, book club, some place where I knew not one of her cronies.  And this happened:

 “So when you get there, come in and you meet everyone.  But don’t worry; I’ve told them you’re not a lesbian.”

rosy-old-maid3“Ooooooookayyyyyyyyyy……eeeeeerrrrrmmmmmm…..I guess I’m not a lot of things….any particular reason you chose to share that one?”

“Well.  You’re thirty years old and not married.  I thought they would think there was something wrong with you”.

“Well, they probably still think that.  But now they know I’m not getting any girl action as well as any boy action….you actually made it worse”

“So what should I tell them?”

“Either that I have a genetically inherited obnoxious personality disorder or to mind their own business”.

rosy-old-maid2

So, the Rosy Old Maid is pretty as a picture, sexy, sassy, sweet to look at but also with a powerful kick!  This Old Maid is bold and confident This is a drink that knows it’s worth and is comfortable with its place in the world. And that’s the image we want to take with us when we talk about Old Maids in future. 

I used Hendricks in this because it totally matched the rose and cucumber flavours in the cocktail.  If not using Hendricks, I would suggest using an extra drop of rosewater.

Here’s the recipe:

Rosy Old Maid
A delightful rosy pink take on the Old Maid Cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 2 oz. gin
  2. 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  3. 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  4. 3 cucumber wheels (cut 1/4-inch thick)
  5. 6-7 mint leaves
  6. 2-3 drops rosewater
  7. splash of Grenadine
  8. Sprig of mint and slice of cucumber to garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (except garnish) into a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake.
  3. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.
Adapted from Imbibe Magazine
Adapted from Imbibe Magazine
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 So, come on people, embrace your inner (or outer) Old Maid and have one (or two ) of these in celebration of the wonderful single women in your life!  

rosy-old-maid1Have a great week!

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Strawberries in Grand Marnier with Mint Sugar

The good news, is that with this post, we are done with the letter F in the A-Z of Cooking.  The chapter heading promises that we will be “Finishing with Flair”. The bad news is that without seeming like Mary, Mary Quite Contrary right from the get go, another F word springs to mind when I consider the contents.  Except for these Strawberries in Grand Marnier.  They were good!  Although how could a combination of fresh sweet strawberries combined with luscious orange liqueur with mint as it’s cheerleader not be delicious?

Strawberries in Grand Marnier With Mint SugarWe’ll get to them later.  However, back to Finishing with Flair – we have already mentioned this so called Mango Mousse. The picture of which contains bananas, oranges, passionfruit, eggs and nuts.  The recipe below has none of these.  The Mango mousse recipe actually sounds really nice.  Maybe I am just being a brat for not making it.  Then again, if they can’t be arsed putting the right picture with the recipe, what are the chances that recipe will turn out?

Mango MousseThat fear of 1977 desserts not being all they were cracked up to be was born out when I made the Continental Chocolate Squares featured on p28.  The picture from the A-Z of Cooking is on the left, with the Squares looking rather decadent.  Mine are on the right looking a lot more Raggedy Anne.  I think I tried to cut them when the chocolate topping was still too hard from being in the fridge and I could not get a nice clean line. Maybe I should have glammed them up by adding some candlelight!

Continental Chocolate Squares3What both of these pictures fail to convey is the overbearing sickly sweetness of the filling. It contained 4 cups of icing sugar which was far too much!  I love sweet food but this was way too much for me and prompted the fussiest eater in the world to ask if I was trying to put him into a diabetic coma.  It is a shame that the middle layer was awful because the base which was chocolate and walnuts and biscuits was quite nice.  It is probably worth someone spending some time on trying to get that filling right because this could have been amazing.  I just don’t think that person will be me!  Although, now I kind of want to.  So maybe it will rear its head in another incarnation down the track. 

Strawberries in Grand Marnier With Mint Sugar2
There was a lovely sounding recipe in this section for French Cherry Fritters.  This is the one I would have loved to make but you had to deep fry the fritters and I do not have a deep-fryer.  This however is one I am going to:

a) Play around with until I can perfect a baked version

b) borrow a deep-fryer.  i think my mum has one. 

Until then, it’s Strawberries with Grand Marnier.  Adding the mint sugar was an idea I borrowed from Sabrina Ghayour in Persiana.  She makes a number of herb sugars to sprinkle over fruit and now it is something I do all the time!

Strawberries in Grand Marnier With Mint Sugar4I served this with some white chocolate dipped almond bread which was every bit as delicious as it sounds!

Initially I thought this might be a bit too simple to blog about – soak some strawberries in booze.  And done.

And it is very simple.  But sometimes that is all you need to finish a meal with flair!

Strawberries in Grand Marnier with Mint Sugar
Serves 4
A simple way to finish your meal with flair!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 punnet of strawberries
  2. 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
  3. Handful of mint leaves
  4. 3 tbsp caster sugar
  5. White Chocolate Dipped Almond Bread to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Halve the strawberries and place in individual serving dishes.
  2. Sprinkle each dish with 1/2 tbsp of Grand Marnier.
  3. Leave to stand at room temperature for at least an hour.
  4. Meantime, make your herb sugar.
  5. Place your mint and your sugar in the bowl a mortar and grind with your pestle until them mint is finely ground and well combined with the sugar, which will be a lovely green.
  6. Alternatively, place both in your food processor and whiz until you achieve the same effect
Notes
  1. You could use basil instead of mint. Or a mix of basil and black pepper.
  2. Any Orange flavoured liqueur could be used instead of Grand Marnier.
  3. Any left over herb sugar can be used to rim a cocktail glass, or used in place of regular sugar in anything else you are making - I'm thinking lemonade would be amazing.
Adapted from A-Z of Cooking & Persiana
Adapted from A-Z of Cooking & Persiana
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Ok so  that’s F done. 

Coming up we have G is for Good Health.  I have actually already made the Cheese & Date Bread from this section so we may skip it altogether as there is not much else to get excited about.  So, possibly our next venture into the A-Z will be The Gourmet’s Touch.  Ooh la la.  Exciting times ahead!  Possibly.

Have a wonderful week lovely people and this week, what ever you do, I hope you finish it with flair!

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