Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Make Lemonade! Sure fire lemonade recipe

OK, OK... I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, in an Al Pacino voice:

"This guy, see, he says, he says to ME... What?  He's gonna make me thin?  He's gonna make me the envy of every goddamn hippo in fatsville and what happens?  HMM??  I'll tell ya.  Nothin.  I keep lookin', and where's the recipes, dammit? I'm getting outta control here, my goddamn pants is splittin down the ass .  And then finally, FINALLY he comes and tells me to drink some goddamn LEMONADE! The whole goddamn drink is sugar!  What does he take me for?"

Anyway, I think that's what you're thinking after my last article.  Either that, or you read the heading and thought "Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner..." {that's quite enough - Ed.}

I've worked something out over the last couple of weeks.  I am getting thinner, I can feel myself getting fitter and feel fantastic.  Food has never tasted so good, and that's just eating salad sandwiches – mostly because my body is saying things like "Food!  More, fuel, yum, nom nom, etc...." in a caveman like grunt (there's a lot of voices going on in this episode).

There's a reason why skinny food doesn't get many write ups.  It's because sugar and fat are both so outstandingly tasty.  It's the "moderation in omnibus" you need to practice (well, otherwise you spill food on the other passengers).

On the weekend, however, I made something that was so very pleasurable, so simple and yet innocent, I had to share it with you even though it's no good for your waist.  But I thought: "What the hell, Al?  Live a little."

It's traditional American style lemonade.

Now I've seen ads for the Bank of Hong Kong™?, where some little kid sells home made lemonade on the footpath.  Even the winner of this year's Tropfest features a lemonade stall (eye roll, tsk! - sell out!!).  But it's just not part of my cultural tradition.

I have a friend {oh really? - I don't believe it...Ed.} who moved here from overseas and ordered a vodka and lemonade at a bar shortly after arriving in Australia and was shocked to get a vodka and 7Up™ (hello Tahl - see?).  She reminisced about the real thing back home, waxing lyrical, and it got me thinking.

Over the weekend, while gardening, I worked up quite a thirst and found a whole lot of lemons on our lemon tree: our first batch (hooray!).  Well, I bet you can guess what I thought in a hokey American drawl.  That's right:

"When life gives you a bowl of cherries, it's the pits!~  But when you get lemons, open a used car yard!"

The obvious charm of this recipe is that you don't have to buy anything.  Assumedly you've got sugar in the cupboard, lemons on the tree, access to clean water and maybe some mint leaves.  But it's great.  Honestly, I can't tell you how close to a mixed drink this is, and if you add vodka like Tahl, or me, more so!  Just make sure the kids cough up some cash for the consumables if you're going to teach them about business, and make them cost their drinks accordingly (5¢ a cup? Give me a break...).

I got this recipe from my favourite American cookbook, Elizabeth Karmel's 'Taming the Flame'.  She calls it 'Rocking Chair Lemonade', and recommends making a sugar syrup first, but I just went the sugar dissolved in the juice option.  It was so nice I drank a whole pitcher over the afternoon, and realised I'd essentially just consumed three quarters of a cup of sugar!  Oops!


1 cup lemon juice (about six lemons worth)
3/4 cup castor sugar
4 cups of water
1 thinly sliced lemon
Mint leaves

Dissolve sugar in lemon juice.  Top up with additional water, and dress with thin lemon slices and a few torn mint leaves.  Serve in a big glass pitcher, it looks fantastic, and pour into glasses full of ice.  Thirst quenchingly terrific, and if you want the real "bare-foot with banjo" feel, drink out of different sized glass jars while sitting on a verandah with a gun.

Vodka optional.  I give this simple pleasure seven tentacles out of eight, and a great mixer for summer.  Yum!!