Thursday, July 20, 2006

The heatwave continues, London is sweltering. In fact I don't remember it being as hot as this since 1976, the first summer I was married - and I'm talking about the weather not our sex-life!
I wonder whether the summers in the 1840s were this hot, when James Pimm who owned an oyster bar in London invented his famous drink. Apparently he considered it some kind of digestive tonic for his customers. With a canny bunch of investors behind him he produced a range of what he called "bittered slings". They were all numbered, No.1 is gin based; No.2 is whisky ; No.3 is brandy; No.4 is rum; No.5 is rye; No.6 is vodka. Pimms No1 cup is the most commonly sold and widely known. Last year 40,000pints of Pimms were served at Wimbledon!

I stopped buying the commercially produced Pimms some years ago. I was really cheesed off because the company reduced the ABV from 40% to 25% but kept the price the same - what a swick! (Actually Gordon's and several other gin companies did the same dilution trick too) But my luck was in, I came across the recipe for "Cheats Pimms" in the Financial Times - tried it out and have never looked back.

Right now I don't think I could read a book set in a desert, it would make me feel hotter than I already am. However I am not sure I could empathise with a book about a cold place right now - it would be too difficult to imagine the feeling of being cold. I just have to stick to reading something which doesn't mention weather/temperature or anything of that sort.
"The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton" by Kathryn Hughes seems to fit the bill.
Mrs Beeton is still a household name more than 150 years after her death - at a mere 26 years old - and this is the latest and most complete biography written about her. Her book on Household Management is much more than just a recipe book, but that is all many people think of when they think of her. The illustrations in her original book are wonderful - how differently we eat today.


What goes on in the mind of George Bush? how can he justify his deep concern for discarded frozen embryos, calling their use in stem cell research "murder", whilst condoning the killing by bombing of civilians in Iraq during the Gulf War, and the citizens of Lebanon right now? The people killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Israel are real, living human beings. A frozen ball of cells is just that, a frozen ball of cells. Sure the cells may have the potential to become humans (if circumstances are right) but they are not yet human beings.

Bringing God into scientific research is never helpful as far as I can see, and yet GWB depends on religious beliefs to explain why he has used his veto - the one and only time he has used the Presidential veto - to stop public funding of stem cell research in the USA. Weird, twisted logic. If I were an American citizen who had Parkinsons disease I would be depressed and angry.



1 measure of gin
1 measure of red vermouth
1 measure of orange curaƧao
A good dash of Angostura Bitters

Mix all together - et voila!

Then dilute 1 part Cheats Pimms to 3 parts lemonade/ginger ale/tonic as you prefer.
Garnish with mint, slivers of apple, slices of cucumber plus
if you have any. I know some people also like to put slices of orange, strawberries etc but I keep it simple, its a DRINK, not a bloody fruit salad.

The measure you use just depends on how many people are going to be drinking it - I reckon that 35cl of each ingredient will keep 6-8 people happy through a summer picnic.
Oh yes, the other thing, don't buy expensive gin, vermouth etc - get supermarket own brand, it tastes the same but costs less.

1 comment:

ollie1976 said...

I have no idea what Bush is thinking!!!! He just annoys me so much with his thoughts that make no sense.