Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Good Morning to you,

The weather is lovely and warm, the sun is shining, so this afternoon we are both going to relax, put our feet up, and enjoy reading a good book.  To enhance this experience, we will need a nice drink of something.... and that something is,

Ginger  Beer.  I make my own Ginger Beer, because I find commercially sold Ginger Beer is far too sweet for me....  I know, it's hard to believe isn't it, as you know about  me and my sweet tooth.  

The recipe I used before I discovered Jamie's, was from Phyllis' 1950's cookery book and the recipe for that version was,

2 lemons
2 oz bruised ginger
1 oz cream of tartar
2 lbs of white sugar
3 gallons of water
2 tablespoons of brewers yeast.

yes, you read correctly 2 lbs of white sugar, but I only used 1 lb of sugar. The amount of water used was 3 gallons, and if my maths serve me correctly, 8 pints equals 1 gallon, so 24 pints equals 3 gallons and that is a lot of ginger beer, which believe it or not, disappeared very quickly during hot summer months, so on reflection the sugar does not seem too bad.

.... but then, I found a recipe for Ginger Beer in Jamie Oliver's cookery book 'Happy Days with the Naked Chef'.  I adapted Jamie's recipe slightly and I found it a much easier recipe, than Phyllis' old recipe.

I remember the first time I saw Jamie on the television, I thought to myself, oh no, this young man is not for me.  I did not enjoy his style of presenting, but Natasha and her then boyfriend, who is now her husband, raved about Jamie, so I decided to be open minded to what Jamie had to offer, and I am so pleased I did, because he really is inspirational and his enthusiasm for cooking is infectious.  I have a number of Jamie's cookery books and I use the recipes over and over again. 

This leads me nicely on to the meal we all enjoyed at Jamie's new restaurant in Newcastle.  Now Jamie certainly does not need me to rave about his restaurant, because quite honestly the restaurant does it for itself. We arrived at the restaurant, without reserving a table, we thought we would go on the off chance, and I have to tell you, the tables were practically all taken, so people in Newcastle are enjoying the Jamie experience. The food was so good and the atmosphere was lovely, that we stayed for almost 3 hours.... slowly eating our way through a starter, a main and yes we went on to enjoy a dessert..... there's that sweet tooth of mine again, and we finished with a fabulous cup of coffee. So as I said, I really don't need to recommend Jamie's restaurant, but I really want to recommend it, because we had such a lovely time.   

So to get back to what I am making today, it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,

the album Time Without Consequence by Alexi Murdoch. Listen to 'All of My Days' and 'Love You More Than Anyone', oh yes and 'Song for You'.  This album was recently recommended to me by Natasha.  I love it when 'the girls' introduce me to music which I would perhaps never hear about, as it certainly broadens my musical horizons.

So whilst I am listening to  'Love You More Than Anyone' I will organise my ingredients.


75g fresh ginger
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
3 lemons
1 litre of soda water
fresh mint


Remove the skin 

from the ginger


using a large holed grater,
grate the ginger.

Place the ginger in a large bowl

and add

 the brown sugar

to the bowl
and stir together.

Using a knife, carefully
remove the skin from 3 lemons,
taking care not to peel away any of the pith.
I use a small knife for this but
if you prefer you can use a vegetable peeler.

Add the lemon peel to the
sugar and ginger
and mash together.
(In Phyllis' book this is described as bruising.)

Juice the 3 lemons


add the lemon juice to the bowl.
 and leave the ingredients to
steep for 1 hour.

If you have friends visiting, or perhaps you
are particularly thirsty and you are going
to drink all of the ginger beer in one 
it is time to choose your jug.

Using a sieve,

strain the liquid

add the soda water
and stir.

Ladle the ginger beer into 
your chosen jug.

Pop  a couple of 
 sprigs of mint 
into the jug,
and you are ready 
to enjoy
a cool drink of ginger beer.

if like us, you cannot drink 
1 litre of ginger beer,
in one afternoon,
when you reach the part where
the ginger and lemon is strained,
instead of adding the soda water,
place the strained liquid into a bottle
and place in the fridge.

When you are ready,
place some ice cubes in a glass,
then add as much or as little of the
ginger, sugar and lemon liquid from the bottle,
and top up with soda water,
add a slice of lemon
and a sprig of mint
you have a refreshing drink to enjoy.

I refrigerate the remainder.

This is my glass of ginger beer


this is George's.
Same drink, but different 
ways of enjoying 
Ginger Beer.

Now, the flavour all depends on the quality of the lemons and ginger.  When I made this ginger beer in Cyprus, I used only 2 lemons, but here in England I find I need 3.  The same applies to the ginger.  Try this recipe and tweek it to work for you.

.... and before I go, I thought I would tell you, that not only were we impressed with Jamie's food, but we were also impressed with his bathroom, so much so, that just for a bit of fun, Natasha and I took a photograph of ourselves,

 does this constitute a 'selfie', I'm not sure.

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.

This week I will be joining,


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