Tuesday, June 28

Stopped Clock and a Mint Julep

It's hot and lazy here and it never quite seems to be night, so why isn't 4 am a good time for a mint julep? It feels like it could be 4 in the afternoon and that's almost happy hour. So it's almost justified.
I've been making syrups lately to add to cocktails; the simplest, most obviously easy and versatile for summer seemed to be mint. I bowed to logic (after dreams of cinnamon syrup) and made a batch. It turned out really well, we've only made it into mint juleps so far but I have high hopes and a long list of combinations to try with it!

Mint Syrup

2 cups sugar 
2 cups water
1/2 cup ripped mint leaves
  • add all the ingredients together and bring to a boil.
  • continue to boil until the syrup is reduced by a third or coats a spoon when you test it. Chill it and that's all! So simple I'm not sure why I haven't been doing it longer.

My Mint Julep

1 oz bourbon
1 tbs mint syrup
1 oz sparkling water with lemon twist
2 mint leaves 
2 ice cubes
  • add the syrup, the bourbon, the sparkling water and then gently stir. 
  • add the ice and the mint leaves, gently stir once more and enjoy!

Sunday, June 26

Jazz Fest

Jazz is something I love. I might be Billie Holiday reincarnated, in spirit that is, not singing ability. Recently Winnipeg had a Jazz Fest, so of course I had to go. A friend and I shared some tapas at Segovia then wandered down to the Exchange District for mini donuts, Irish Car Bombs and some jazz on a soft June evening.

Saturday, June 25


The first morning after my trip here I really wanted something I almost never do : fried eggs and bacon. It was wonderful, how could it not be? All that fat, salt and runny egg yolk made the 14 hour trip fade to a distant foggy memory. And thank goodness for that, flying is my biggest fear and a great nuisance since it's so necessary to get anywhere. One day I'll only travel by train and boat, unfortunately that day doesn't seem to be coming anytime soon...

Friday, June 24

Peach Jam

I've been rather busy lately and rather tired, my posting has suffered and I am ashamed. I'm back in Stockholm now though and I hope to be a better blogger! I mentioned white peach and ginger mint tea jam a little while ago and I'd like to include the recipe, hopefully you are interested! Honestly, I love jam; I love making it, coming up with new combinations, feeling like someones great grandmother when I go through the canning process. It's one of my favourite things; so when I was a bit bored one lovely afternoon last week I made this jam!
Here is a link on how to sterilize jars for jam making.

White Peach and Ginger Mint Tea Jam
makes 3 jars

12 peaches
4 cups sugar
3 cups brewed ginger mint tea
juice of one lemon

  • I'll start by saying I didn't peel the peaches, they were too soft for that too go well. I know some find this very important but it didn't seem that necessary here and it was just too difficult. So..Pit the peaches and slice them into about 8 segments. Place them in a large pot.
  • Add 4 cups of sugar, the juice of one lemon and the tea to the pot. Heat the pot on high, bring it to a boil and then reduce it to medium. Skim off all the foam you can manage.
  • Place a small plate in the freezer for testing the jam later.
  • Leave the jam on medium til it is reduced by about half. It will need fairly constant stirring, be careful that there are no sticky spots on the bottom of the pot that start to burn. 
  • Once the jam is reduced by half take the plate out of the freezer and put a teaspoonful of jam on it. Leave it a moment then tilt the plate and pull the spoon back through the jam, if the jam doesn't come back together in the line you made with the spoon then it's ready. Pour it into sterilized jars and there you go!

Shoo Ba Doo Ba Loo Ba - Serge Gainsbourg

Monday, June 20


Yesterday was a lovely sunny Saturday. We gardened, drank cocktails, went to the farmers market, made jam, lay in the sun and ate Indian take out.

I made white peach and ginger mint tea jam. I'll include the recipe here soon, I think it turned out really well!

We  drank home brewed sweet tea with bourbon, peaches and mint and listened to Beatles records in the late afternoon warmth.
Sumer has begun, I can't wait to almost live on the porch!

                Here come the Sun - The Beatles

Friday, June 17

Thursday Dinner

Generally Thursday receives no special treatment or thanks, Friday is too greedy I guess. But that just seems unfair. But it also seems unfair to prepare an elaborate meal after a long day before another long day so I suppose a balance must be struck. I think we found that balance here, a lovely cold dinner of smoked salmon, herring, and shrimp sandwiches, devilled eggs, smoked oysters and salad. And a little sparkling rosé wine, it is Thursday after all.

Thursday, June 16

Girl of my dreams

My Lula magazine came! Finally. Everything gets here a little (a lot) slow. Ah, country living.
I'm saving it for a glorious and empty day in the sun, hopefully very soon!

Peach Pie

I'm no pie expert, I wish I were but I'm afraid I'm not there yet. It's a goal though! I'd love to be one of those people who just whips up a perfect pie with whatever they have on hand. But alas, that's not me (yet). We had friends over for a barbecue a few nights ago and I couldn't think of a more fitting dessert than peach pie. It was a success, but I'm afraid that's more due to some well timed aid and advice from one of our more pie experienced guests than any talent on my part. My thanks!

I can't really include a recipe because I didn't really use one. The dough I made from Martha Stewarts pate brisée recipe (basic and good) and left to cool in the fridge for a couple hours. For the filling I operated on the assumption that the same flavours I use to make peach jam would be appropriate here as well. I sliced the peaches, leaving their skin on, added sugar, bourbon, cinnamon and nutmeg. We put a lattice top on the pie (my dough was to soft to actually weave, but we made do) and baked it 20 minutes at 420F then 1 hour at 350F. I served it warm with vanilla ice cream. Overall I was pleased with the result, though I think there will be a lot more pies here over the next while since I've realized my lack of proficiency!

Sugar, Sugar - The Archies

Tuesday, June 14

Hoping for a sunny day

I'm hoping for a sunny day. It's been raining, it's been pouring and it's been really, really boring. I love a good rainy day, tea and blankets, books and movies. Yes, I love them. But it's June! I want to garden and lie in the grass, eat ice cream and drink prosecco on the porch, not wear warm socks.
I'm going to wear my new dress and listen to She & Him. It's going to be great and it must, must, must be sunny!

dress from shopruche.com 

Monday, June 13

The River Inn

There's a little restaurant (and inn) by my house that serves exactly what a little country bar should. We stop by there fairly often, but not too often...we went today and I had to do hot yoga after to recover myself. I can't seem to help but eat way too much! But seriously, when there's a strawberry milkshake on the menu I'm pretty sure I need to order it. So I stand by my decision.

Oh and Sweet Home Alabama was playing. Seriously. Maybe Neil Young would have been more appropriate but it wouldn't have made me happier.