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Pomegranate Punch

We had a power cut yesterday evening. The whole village was plunged into darkness, which meant torches were grabbed, candles were lit and all the surrounding houses had a warm glow coming out from behind the curtains. It looked so cosy that I was almost disappointed when the power came back on!

Lots of neighbours were popping next door to check on people, which made me feel really happy to be living in a village that has that kind of community feeling where we all look out for each other.

It did of course mean we had to create our own fun, so out came the ukulele and I played the only two tunes I currently know, until I was finally asked to stop! Hehe

We now need to try and figure out how to reset all the timers on various kitchen equipment, and catch up on the new series of The Apprentice!

My Dad is still staying with us meaning we have had dish after dish of gorgeous home-cooked food;

Ribs (which were left to marinate and tenderise in a brine before being cooked until they were literally falling off the bone)

And Chicken Cacciatore, a lovely Italian dish

It is lovely to be able to come home after a long day at school and not have to worry about cooking, although his services don’t include the washing up!

Today’s quick recipe is for a summery punch, and it also meant I got to use my new stripy straws for the first time!

I can see myself making this cocktail time and time again over the summer. The pomegranate is sweet, yet crisp, and mint adds a refreshing element to the drink. I made this sans alcohol, but I plan to experiment with adding dashes of vodka and amaretto to it too.

Ingredients

Pomegranate juice

Fresh mint

Sparkling water or lemonade

A teaspoon of sugar (optional)

How to make it

  • Begin by picking sprigs of mint and tearing them to release their sweet flavour
  • Put the mint in the bottom of the glass or jug and fill it roughly two thirds full with pomegranate juice then top with the sparkling water
  • Add the sugar if needed and give it a stir
  • After a few minutes, the mint will start to infuse so enjoy over ice, with pretty straws and preferably in the sun!

Special Delivery

I decided to treat myself to a few things this week and I wanted to share with you a delightful new website I have found.

Having just enjoyed a lovely, sunny weekend I can’t stop thinking about the summer months ahead, and spending more time outside in the garden; al fresco dining after work, a cup of tea in the morning in the garden, friends over for big barbecues during long summer weekends…very exciting!

Even though we don’t yet have any proper garden furniture, my mind has already skipped past the sensible stuff and onto the pretty things.

I read a lot of US foodie sites and blogs, and one thing I have noticed is that they have the coolest straws! They remind me of a 1950s American diner, and make any drink look fabulous and very retro.

In searching for a UK supplier of these, I came across this wonderful website; Papermash. I don’t imagine they have a huge marketing budget, and these smaller independent sites prosper on good word of mouth, so I feel they deserve today’s post.

Papermash specialise in a variety of beautiful and unique cards, items for the home, stationary and other gifts, all from independent designers.

One thing that made them stand out for me was the lovely customer service, which included an email to inform me how the items would be packaged and sent, and then a handwritten thank you note (I decided to overlook the Hannah/ Joanna mix-up! hehe). It is the small but thoughtful touches that make the difference.

So, onto what I bought…

Here are the aforementioned straws; very cute, very nostalgic and very summery.

A selection of paper doilies, to jazz up any china plate or cake stand. The Papermash website also has some craft ideas to use these in other ways, and there is an abundance of suggestions if you look online too. Pretty patterns always win me over, and these are just crying out for cupcakes on top, with a pot of tea on the side!

Japanese Furoshiki, which is a new and interesting way to wrap and give a present, such as a bottle of wine. I love the design on the material so may find another use for it, such as a summery tablecloth.

My final purchase was this pack of vintage style floral paper cups. A fun way to serve summer cocktails and save on the washing up in one go!

These were just a few small items that brightened up my week. My house currently smells of the first cake I have attempted to bake in my new oven…recipe to follow!