Yesterday, pale with the knowledge that I’d hardly eaten anything vitamin-rich lately, I made myself a smoothie for breakfast. It was perfect – eye-wideningly zingy, not troublingly filling, and gloriously pink. Who am I to tell you how to make a smoothie? It’s just blended up stuff. When I was a child and my grandma gave me her old blender, which had a three-cup capacity and all the grunt of an electric toothbrush, my favourite thing to do was blend up a can of peaches in its syrup and drink that like the fancy lady I thought I was. What I’m saying is: smoothies, they’re not long division, but they are delicious. Here’s an idea for you.
Raspberry, Pear and Basil Smoothie
The secret ingredient is a sneaky, sour teaspoon of apple tea powder. Which in itself is a perfect snack. If you don’t have any, this is still more than fine of course. Consider a tiny pinch of citric acid instead, if you like.
1 heaped cup frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon apple tea powder
A few basil leaves
Tip the raspberries into a blender (pausing to ostentatiously instagram them first, if you’re anything like me.) Peel the pears and roughly chop them, and add them to the blender too. Eat the peel to assuage any wastefulness-guilt. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the cup measure, then top up with water. Pour this into the blender, add the apple tea powder and the basil leaves, then process thoroughly till smooth.
I say use frozen raspberries, because who has heaps of fresh raspberries kicking around to be diluted into smoothies? Do you? Who are you, Marie Antoinette? You could use any berry you like – frozen strawberries are rather pleasing as their seeds aren’t so obvious between the teeth. On the other hand, the seeds kind of make you feel like you’ve got something to do as your teeth grind them down, so there is a case for both sides. The pears give a similar kind of bodily smoothness to the drink that bananas might, also their mild, fragrant juiciness is a good backdrop for the more boldly acerbic berries. Basil’s smokiness provides a little depth and warmth. And the finished smoothie is a really pretty colour. Really, really pretty. Let us not overlook its aesthetic value for the sake of pretending we’re overlooking its aesthetic value.
Last time I blogged I was urging anyone local to come along to the rally for Marriage Equality. Well, I went, with all my friends, and it was the most intense, happy, emotional day. I wore my big gold dress as it was the most celebratory thing I owned and also because it made me think of Edie Beale’s ‘Revolutionary Costume For Today‘ from Grey Gardens. (“The full-length velvet glove hides the fist”.) We marched together, all the way to parliament in the hot sun, to hear speeches from many different sides of the story, from the most recent of accepters to those who had been working longer than I’ve been alive to fight for equality, for people to just be who they are. It was incredibly moving. Later that evening, over lots of ice cream (I needed to test a ton of ice cream recipes, so I did just that, and then invited people round to eat it all) we huddled round a livestream of Parliament TV to watch, with lip-biting nervousness and then heart-soaring joy, as Louisa Wall’s bill was voted to go ahead to a select committee by a surprisingly generous majority. This isn’t the final hurdle – there are still so many steps to be taken for the bill to become law – but still, it was such an exciting, wonderful achievement. Watching it all unfold with people dear to me was even better. I’m really not expressing myself here, but it was all…just…so important.
If my paragraph hasn’t moved you in the slightest, perhaps this video of Mitt Romney being incredibly disrespectful will show just one reason I feel so strongly about this issue – I’ve watched this video three times and my eyes well up each time by the end.
Another exciting thing that has happened, on a much smaller scale – and yet no less large-scale in its way – I received an email from Julie Clark of Floriditas cafe, saying their bakery always has plenty of ingredients and she’d read about some of my recipe testing mishaps and she’d like to help me out. How kind, thought I, perhaps she has a spare bag of sugar for me! The next day she emails again to say she’s just down the road and has something for me.
Next time I blog, we may well have wrapped up the photography process and I’ll be very nearly finished the manuscript. The team – Kim and Jason the photographers, Tim the handsome project manager and Kate the stylist, are continuing to do such a brilliant job and putting so much energy into this and I am SO so excited for you all (I mean, no pressure, if you don’t want to buy the book that’s totally up to you) to see their amazing work.
Till then, I’ll be carving that butter sculpture of myself that I’ve always dreamed of.
Title via: I’ve used this before but it’s so utterly plunder-able that I don’t care. And if you haven’t listened to it yet, please do yourself a favour and click here for the shivers-inducingly magnificent Elaine Stritch singing Ladies Who Lunch from Sondheim’s Company.
Thanks to a tip-off from Martyn Pepperell I’ve been streaming Alice Cohen’s album Pink Stream – so twinkly! And if there’s one thing I enjoy in music, it’s twinkliness.
TLC, Creep. Always.
Liza Minnelli and Pet Shop Boys, Losing My Mind. I didn’t think Sondheim’s fragile, terribly sad original could be improved upon by dramatic eighties drums and synths, but…it can! And how!
Next time: I’ll be twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom. Not sure what that will bring, foodwise – Marmite on toast?