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Archive for the ‘Drink’ Category

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Want to make friends, then why not share a pot of beautiful fresh herb tea ! We have a range of fresh grown herbal teas to tantalise the palate and perk up the dulled senses .

Growing on our teashop terrace ,we can nip out and pick the freshest of tips for your pot of delight. Now you read before about the steamy sweaty camels and bedazzled camel drovers …so time for a new tale…

Run your fingers through the glossy stems of our fresh mints …what about the luscious chocolate peppermint ? Smooth  ,seductive and sensual.Rolls into your mouth like a melted After Eight.. The type of After Eight eaten in bed with a wanton lover..and melted on your pillow . The type of After Eight forgotten after a late dinner party but found lurking secretly in the box and eaten with subterfuge and secret glee.The type of After Eight slipped into a leather glove and carried away to a smugglers den where general carousing and making merry may be happening with riotous abandon.You know the type of scene- buxom,garralous serving wench,handsome highwayman with a swagger and a lascivious smile,all tight leather pants and a glint in his eye,and an accommodating dry cleaner.What about the charming rustic , all corduroy and sweaty singlet and a can of coke in his pocket ? Just ready for that advertising break.Or the handsome man of mystery, floral chemise,cravat and oh so  creased linen suit -dragged through a haystack with the boys and then took a ride on the hay wagon .

So we  too can be  the wild rovers of taste, the robin hoods  of  flavour and the buccaneers of  balm .We are the prairie tea queens !

 

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024Death by a thousand droplets …..

I picture Marat in his bath… coyly draped in cloths (why cloths  in a bath….?. better wait to bring out the  sumptuous Egyptian cotton bath towels after getting out of the bath !).. (but that’s another lot of questions!)  and I think about the possibility of dicing with death and gargling with tinctures made of the gloriously luxuriant Phytolacca Americana.

The Death of Marat  is a painting by  Jacques -Louis David  of the murdered French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat lying dead in his bath. The painting shows the radical journalist draped languidly and very much dead in his bath on 13 July 1793 after his murder by Charlotte Corday. I had in my mind he had been poisoned too ..but maybe that is not the case .. but it is  a  romantic and very evocative image  ..look it up – it’s great !

In the garden at the moment we are starting to see intimations of mortality as plants start to die in an interesting way …if we were in the Himalaya we would be entering the death zone.. plants are  shrugging off their colours and hues and taking on this motley garb of autumn. All shrouds of decay. Now we are really  jumping in the bath with Marat !

tincturesIt was a herbalist who was telling me about gargling with Phytolacca to cure a sore throat but it sounds a pretty dicey type of medicinal treatment .. the fugu fish of the plant world.. imagine swigging a glass of pokeweed Juice and knowing one false swallow could seal your doom ! Although apparently ,Native Americans  have  reputedly used Phytolacca or Pokeweed as a herbal remedy as a heart stimulant and to treat cancer, rheumatism, itching, and syphilis. Looking at the glossy and temptingly glossy berries I can see why you might be tempted to pick a bunch and , why not , eat them .

and so we have the marvellous saying …..Gardener – heal thyself !

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Intestinal flora and fauna : the ugly truth .

There is probably one thing you can continure to drink with impunity throughout any stay in India and that is Lassi. Simplicity itself, it is a gorgeous yohurt drink, and when made properly can be a smooth silky frothy yoghurt shake of a thing .. when made in a slapdash way can be a watery torpid soup.So it is simple and can continue to be made back at home . Take some yohurt , blend it up with milk and drink it. Even when the dangerous bacterial bacillus get you down in India ,(an inevitable consequence )  a lassi is pretty much the only thing you can face across the breakfast table. This time around our trusty driver Prakash treated us to the best lassi ever bought from a suspiciously tidy little kiosk in Jaipur (the oldest lassi maker in the world I think) . Served in a beautifully conical handcrafted terracotta pot it was amazing ! struggled to bring the pots home and I can see them here on my terrace strangely foreign and bereft of their colleagues.There were piles of them in the shop towering like mini towers of pisa !

lassi come home

Of course there are different types of lassi available , from the sweet and salted to the rather more racey “Bhang” variety . The Bhang version being the same thing blended with marajuana.. which is readily available in some rather wacky Bhang shops and a certain dubious pizzeria in Pushkar. I am not sure where the “bhang” comes from .. but is probably the description of your eyeballs after you have partaken of the same and bang goes your life from henceforth. Talking of the pizza parlour (too grand a name for it although it had a rather authentic looking pizza oven  ) we were treated to the rather dodgy way of getting around the delicate issue of  an alcohol ban within the town limits.Cerveza beer arrived wrapped in a tin foil shroud accompanied by a tea cup from which to drink it. This same thing happened on our trip last year when in Jodphur we were invited to order “coffee” (kingfisher beer) and it was served in mugs.We also got on rather well with a very miaowy cat here which rather liked L’s pizza crust.

Another beverage to which we are particularly partial when in India is the wonderful and strangely spicy Chai.It is an exotic tea with a difference created by boiling  cold water, milk, sugar,tea and spices in one pot (of dubious  cleanliness ) and creating a murkily opaque super sweet concoction.In earlier times this was served in a cute little terracotta cup which one would dash to the ground after drinking and all would be well with the world and ones constitution. The ground would be littered with vicious shards of terracotta but hey !! Today it is often served in eerily unclean and gloomy looking cups with a most unhealthy pallour and certain charming grubbiness.The trick is to avert ones eyes from the insanitary kitchen arrangements . No ill effects from the various chai pitstops although we did have to visit a charming pharmacy in Pushkar for cough medicines , lozenges and cold remedies. Here are the  pharmacy boys in situ !

say aaahh!

say aaah !!

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snapshot of loveliness

There is nothing more sure and more focused than a crowd of Cologne marketeers as they weave their unerring way towards a gluhwein stall in Cologne. We were there and we were borne along by that throng of happy revellers into the arms of the glorious and all warming mulled wine grottos. Yes indeed we have sampled the best and the worst of the Cologne tinctures and deemed them all to be perfectly acceptable as a christmas tipple of choice. It is all about the atmosphere isnt it .. the unending trill of the christmas songs , the ominous waft of the oil of a thousand Ribeskuchen (probably not spelt that correctly )but the gist of it is :potato grated into a glutinous flattened rosti which is then thrown into a seething boiling  bucket of hot oil and served with apple sauce) (despite the heartattack certainty , it does taste pretty delicious even though I say it myself and tastes ten times better in a cold winter setting) another important point to note is that Cologne is probably the only location where you can wear a Norwegian pullover and a down jacket and not swelter half to death with heat stroke . And then of course there are the hot pork rolls and thuringer sausages and a veritable cornucopia of  greasy , heartstopping fare coupled with the tooth aching gingerbread hearts slathered in tooth breaking icing in a multitude of unnatural enumbers and colour palettes. Love it !!

India , my India !

And I loved even more the quasi rajasthani tent set up near the Ludvig Museum serving all manner of tasty snacks.

Cosima von Bonin exhibit

Cologne was not all about eating, Paul and I also managed to grab some culture and two exhibitions “Me myself and I” an exhibition of photo potraits of Picasso  and Cosima von Bonin’s Cut ! Cut! Cut! for Museum Ludvig’s Sloth section Loop#04 of the Lazy susan series . Music stunning … could feature in Paul’s christmas stocking !!!

all about Christmas

Back to reality at home and the disappointing let down of an advent calender without any christmas puppies in santa hats, kittens in stockings or baby donkeys in the snow. I’m bored of bling and  baubles, tired of timeless tat and tinsel  and cursed corny crackers !tally ho for Christmas !

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