This post’s name came from the fact that I totally read the name of this recipe incorrectly. More than once. I swear, the first four times looked at it I thought it was called Cheery Sangria. I even wrote it that way on my “meal” planner. Cheery Sangria. It was only when I was writing the ingredients on my shopping list that I paused. “Oh. It has cherries in it. That’s cute, they made a pun.” Well, it turns out, they didn’t. But I did. And we all know how much I love that! So, technically what we’re drinking today is CHERRY sangria. But you know what? It brought a touch of the sun and warmth of Portugal into a totally cold, wet and grey Melbourne winter day so I think Cheery Sangria works just as well!!
Yes, I’m back from holiday. And determined to make Sangria my drink of choice for this summer. It’s just so good!!! Wine and fruit and a little bit o the hard stuff….it really doesn’t get much better. Mind you, summer has to come first. And at the moment, it seems a long time away.
The best Sangria I had overseas was in Portugal – a teeny cafe in Faro. Here I am drinking one….
The Portuguese,they are a people after my own heart. They have a cherry liqueur called Ginja which is commonly drunk for breakfast. Speaking of which…when the breakfast buffet contains both Portuguese egg tarts and sparkling wine, I know I have found my people!
Cheery times! And cheersy times!!! But now onto some cherry times.
The cherry sangria I made is pretty hearty. It has loads of strong, spicy flavours which made it suitable for a cold winter’s day. I also totally forgot to add the cinnamon stick but that would have only made it even better! The gorgeous deep red colour is also so pretty and warming. I also used cherries and sparkling wine to remind me of the Portuguese breakfast drinks of Ginja and cava!
But let’s start with some fruit. Limes, blood oranges and, of course cherries make for a tasty and colourful combination!
Then add some tequila for a kick, grenadine for sweetness and a teeny taste of Tabasco for spice and muddle the fruit to get some juicy, fruity flavours. (Pre-muddle is also when the cinnamon should have been added).
Top with orange juice and some sparkling red wine…and voila…cherry sangria!
A hearty sangria, perfect for bringing the warmth of Portugal into the coldest winter's day.
“Everyone knows what rockets at sea mean,” said the portly Boston Harbor pilot.
“They mean distress…It means, please come to me because I am in trouble. Simple as that.”
“But you see, that’s just my problem. If it is that simple, I’m trying to understand why the ship that The Titanic saw did not come….Is there any reason why the captain would not go to the aid of the distressed ship?”
“No, if he saw them, he must go. It’s the oldest tradition of the sea.”
The Californian was the closest ship to The Titanic on the night it sank, possibly only 8 miles away. It was close enough for crew members to see the lights on the sinking ship and the eight distress rockets sent up by The Titanic. They alerted the Captain. And, yet, they did not go to help.
This is the story of The Midnight Watch.
The Midnight Watch is a super read. I loved it and I’m sure it is going to rank high in my books of the year. Even though, it is also soooooo frustrating. Right from the start you know that The Californian did not go to help The Titanic. And of course, you want to know why. And at times you want to reach into the book and shake one of the people and yell “Why? Why didn’t you do something?” WHY?” Or, as one of the reporters in the book says to Captain Lord of The Californian
“If you’re the only one who can speak, then you must speak more!”
The writing is beautiful. From tales of heroism and gallantry to cowardice and inaction, The Midnight Watch covers the best and worst of human behaviour both in the face of, and following momentous events:
“Because by now we knew the numbers. Fifty-eight first-class men has found their way into the lifeboats but fifty-three third-class children had not. It was an almost perfect correlation. For almost every rich man who lived a poor child had died”
“What Franklin (Head of The White Star Line) thought of the Captain I couldn’t know, but I did know that if he, Franklin, had been accused of abandoning so many people, the weight of shame would have broken him. And yet, Lord’s head was upright, he seemed to bear no weight at all”
So, so good. The Midnight Watch not only brought the story of The Californian but the entire period to life. This is the kind of historical fiction that I love; writing that truly transports you to another time and place. Oh and, if you wiki Captain Lord, he looks EXACTLY how I imagined he would!
When I read I see the words as a movie in my head and I think that this would make a fabulous film. The journalist searching for justice, the proud, flinty Captain; the second officer torn between loyalty and a desire to tell the truth. It would be amazing.
I was initially disappointed with the “answer” posited by David Dunn as to why Lord and The Californian did not go to the aid of The Titanic. Although perfectly plausible, It felt to me like an anti-climax; such a little reason for such an appalling consequence. But then I realised – pretty much any answer would have been disappointing. Because the only acceptable answer to the question of “Why didn’t you save the 1500 people who died that night?” would have been “Because we were too busy saving 1501 people elsewhere”.
Nonetheless a totally brilliant read.
Punch Romaine was served To First Class passengers on The Titanic as a palate cleanser between the first and second courses on the fateful night of April 14th. It is a white wine, rum and champagne cocktail served over…wait for it…. a mound of crushed ice. Which is surely worth it’s own line in Alanis Morisette’s Ironic. Don’tcha think?
On a total tangent, Romaine was one of the names my parents had picked out for me before I was born. Can you imagine a more foodie name than Romaine Fryer? Then again, Taryn was bad enough growing up, can you imagine going through life with the same name as a lettuce?
You know what else is a lettuce?
Which brings us back to…..doh, oh, oh, oh….or Punch Romaine.
A white wine, rum and champagne cocktail that was served to First Class Passengers on the Titanic on the night it sank.
Summer, and peach season, is pretty much drawing to a close here. So, if like me, you love the stone fruit, how can you prolong the taste of summer through autumn, winter and spring? By making this gorgeous sorbet which combines lovely sweet peaches with (ahem)…homegrown lavender and rosemary. Yes, I have garden produce!!!
This is so simple, just these three ingredients, some sugar and water.
And you get one of the loveliest ice creams ever. This is really refreshing without being too sweet – the lavender and rosemary are not overpowering but add a little depth to the fruit and sugar.
AUTUMN – The Sorbet Ma’am, Just The Sorbet
Autumn in Melbourne is lovely. You get cold crisp mornings, warm days and cool evenings. To prolong the taste of summer as it starts to get darker and cooler, this peach sorbet is perfect just on it’s own in a cone. All alone. Like a rolling stone.
Yes. I think it’s enough now too. Because I heard you moan and groan.
Because just look at this peachy goodness!
WINTER – Baked Peaches With Amaretti and Amaretto and Peach Sorbet
Mmmm…hot baked peach, cold peach sorbet , herby, nutty, sweet and boozy….that’s about all my favourite adjectives right there. And I totally forgot to take a picture of it before eating half of it. So I had to borrow a peach off my friend’s plate to take this picture. Thanks for the peach Monica!!!
You may be wondering where you are supposed to find peaches in winter? Well my mum used to make this for us waaaaay back and we only ever used to have it with tinned peaches. And believe me, this is one of the few things where you will ever hear me say that this works as well (maybe even a little better) with tinned as fresh.
SPRING Into A Peach Sorbet Bellini
Spring in Melbourne means the Spring Racing Carnival which means lots of champagne. You can really welcome the warmer days by adding a dollop of the peach sorbet into the bottom of your champagne glass for a fabulous take on a Bellini.
So good even Lulu wants one!
Hope your week is peachy keen, jelly bean.
Peach Sorbet with Lavender and Rosemary (3 ways)
This deliciious and easy to make peach sorbet will bring back the flavour of summer all through the year
2 springs of rosemary, about as long as your thumb
1 kg of peaches
Ice cream cones
For The Baked Peaches with Amaretto and Amaretti
4 large peaches, or you can used tinned, in which case you will need 10 halves
20 crumbled amaretti biscuits
4 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
2 tbsp brown sugar
Butter for greasing the pan
4 scoops of sorbet
For The Bellini
Rosemary sprigs and lavender sprigs and peach wedges to garnish (optional)
For the Sorbet
Place the sugar, water, lavender and rosemary into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Then simmer for 5 minutes.
With a paring knife, make a small cross into the bottom of each peach. Place in a bowl and pour boiling water over the peaches. Let them sit for a few minutes then tip into a bowl of iced water. The skin should now be quite easy to peel off. Cut the peaches into wedges and place them in the sugar syrup.
Once this mixture is cool, remove the peaches and place them in your blender, strain the syrup to remove the lavender buds and rosemary and add the liquid to the blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a container and chill in freezer for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
Serve with ice cream cones or as described below.
For The Baked Peaches with Amaretto and Amaretti
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Lightly butter a baking tray
If using fresh peaches, cut in half, remove the stones and, using a melon baller or a teaspoon, scoop out a little bit more of the peach flesh and place in a small bowl. If using canned peaches, finely dice 2 peach halves and place in a small bowl.
Place the crushed biscuits, the amaretto and 1 tbsp of sugar in the bowl along with the peach flesh. Stir to combine.
Fill the peach halves with this mixture.
Place the peaches onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
If using fresh peaches, bake for around 20 minutes until cooked through then place under a hot grill for the last 5 minutes to really caramelise the topping. If using tinned peaches, bake for 5 minutes, really just to warm the peaches through then place under the grill for the last 5 minutes.
Serve immediately, 2 to a plate with a dollop of sorbet.
For The Bellini
Add a dollop of sorbet to your champagne glass.
Top with sparkling wine.
Garnish as desired.
I like to leave my biscuit crumbs fairly rustic so they vary in size from crumbs to larger chunks.
By Taryn Fryer
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
As in guess which bozo forgot to celebrate her own blog’s 2nd birthday on May 25th?
So, today we’re having a Belated (don’t worry, I promise I won’t capitalise every word that starts with a B) Birthday, (no really, I won’t) celebrating my second annivesary with food using the second letter of the alphabet. See what I did? Second year, second letter?
You’d think I planned it.
Maybe you should keep thinking that….I”m all for anything that makes me look better!!!
So anyway, it’s my birthday so let’s get this party started. And I’ve said it before, and no doubt I will say it again, (purely because I’ve got a bottle of the stuff that isn’t going to drink itself) a retro party isn’t a retro party without Parfait Amour. And any party is better with a blonde bombshell!
Nope not like this, the blonde bombshell I am referring too is a cocktail made with the aforementioned Parfait Amour. I’m not sure why it’s called a Blonde Bombshell as it comes out a gorgeous dusky pinky purple.
First Course – The Birthday Blonde Bombshell
It’s my party…cocktails count as a course….in my perfect world, we would skip main meals altogether. We would move from cocktails to fingerfood to dessert.
Wow!!! I think I may have found my Parfait Amour drink of choice. This was lovely!!! Sweet and florally and almost kind of musky…it reminded me a little bit of Turkish Delight…maybe it was the roses in the Parfait Amour. Very girly, very pretty. Easy to drink….hmmm….maybe getting rid of that bottle won’t be as hard as I previously thought!
Second Course – Bay Wrapped Bacon and Prunes
This is basically a take on a Devils on Horseback. But wrapped in a bayleaf. And I added a little smear of my Strawberry Habanero Sauce to the bacon before wrapping it around the prunes.
Note for the unwary – grilling bay leaves makes your entire kitchen smell like you’ve been smoking marijuana. For about a week. Which is fine until you have a plumber come to fix your leaking tap and they ask you if you can score them some bud.
I barely even know what that means.
Despite that, you really can’t go wrong with these…salty, sweet, spicy, crispy…The bay leaves added a slight resiny flavour that was quite pleasant but prevented the bacon from getting really crispy which was slightly disappointing.
I served it them with some more of the strawberry habenero sauce. And the saltiness was a great foil to the sweetness of the Blonde Bombshell.
But now to the piece de resistance. The dessert.
So….what’s better than a triple chocolate baby bundt?
A QUADRUPLE chocolate baby bundt.
And what’s better than a quadruple chocolate Baby Bundt?
A Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt!
Third Course – Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt
So, if you’re following me on Instagram you would have already seen me post my first experiment with the Spice Peddler’s Mexican Chilli Chocolate Cake Mix. That was a Chili Chocolate Cupcake with a Chilli Toffee Shard topped with Vanilla Icecream and my Strawberry Habenero Sauce. OMG, I thought this was the best thing ever…so, so good. The cake was fudgy and spicy and delicious, the vanilla icecream and chilli sauce worked together perfectly and the chilli toffee was a cute and quirky touch. Basically, this was me on a plate!!!!
Gahhh….so how do you top that?
Well, I found this recipe for a cake called a Tyroler in a Delicious Magazine and I had a little play with it. And came up with the the Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt. I used the Spice Peddler Mexican Chilli Chocolate Cake Mix as my base and it was super delicious!
This was really good. Then again, how could it not be?
It had quadruple chocolate.
And a touch of chilli.
And rum soaked sultanas.
And did I mention quadruple chocolate?
So, it may have been belated but worth the wait because these were all awesome!!!!
I’ll try to be on time next year and if not, I can always repost this and rename it Birthday 3 – Cocktails, Canapés and Cake.
Chill, then lightly dust with flour, shaking off any excess.
Soak the sultanas in rum.
Place butter, eggs and cake mix into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until well combined.
Stir through chocolate chips, sultanas and any rum remaining in the bowl.
Pour into the prepared cake pans and cook on the lower shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Chop and toast the walnuts.
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
Melt the dark chocolate and the cream over a double boiler.
Cool then pour over cake.
For the White Chocolate Drizzle
Melt the white chocolate and cream over a double boiler.