Lemon, lime and bitters

This year, the poor people of Sydney have experienced what can only be described as an Irish summer. Well perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration; seeing as Irish summer is the one day in July where the mercury reaches 22 °C and the entire population goes to the beach to eat ice-cream and get sunburnt. No, the weather here hasn’t been that extreme; but by Sydney standards, it hasn’t been great either. And the poor Sydneysides are getting very very upset and muttering a lot about vitamin D withdrawal symptoms.

This weekend however has been fabulous. Not too hot or humid, but by no means cold; it has been nice, bright and sunny. This morning we went to Clovelly to go snorkelling with friends and then enjoyed a fish and chip lunch by the water. It was beautiful, but the drive back was hot, and we were both sweaty and flustered by the time we got home, and in dire need of a cold and refreshing drink.

Enter lemon, lime and bitters, possibly thee most refreshing drink in the world. And so apt on a hot summers day like today. Yumo.

Lemon, lime and bitters seems to be a real Australian thing, I had never heard of it, nor tasted it until I started coming here on holidays with The Fella. After one of our holidays here, we actually brought bottles of Angostura Bitters home to Ireland, as we could never find any in Dublin. Shortly after that trip, we were in Westport for a weekend and found loads of the stuff in the town-centre Centra. It was totally bizarre! Perhaps there’s a large Australian community in Westport, or perhaps they’ve just copped on to how god-damn delicious the stuff is.

So if you’re in Sydney, make this and soak up the last of the evening sun, apparently there’s a storm coming tonight, so you might as well enjoy the weather while you can. If you’ve got no place to go, you might even add in a wee sneaky splash of vodka or rum!

And for those of you at home in Ireland, you’ve got five whole months until summer arrives to find a shop selling Angostura Bitters and buy up the lot.

Lemon, lime and bitters

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Potato and egg salad with fennel and lemon

I’m all about dinner salads; love them I do. It’s great to pile loads of tasty and (sometimes) healthy food onto a plate and call it dinner. Add a dash of dressing, crusty bread for some dippage and you have a great mid-week supper.

Although, perhaps this dinner salad lark is just another way for me to delude myself into thinking I’m healthy.

This recipe is absolutely wonderful; I’ve adapted it from Epicurious and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It takes minutes to prepare and has a beautiful array of flavours and textures. Boring oul egg salad it ain’t! Let it brighten up a midweek dinner table near you, and soon.

Potato and egg salad with fennel and lemon

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Creamy, basily, mushroomy pasta

The Fella and I spent this weekend in Melbourne, where we had a frickin’ deadly time. We were visiting with some of my good friends and had a very enjoyable night out with them on Saturday. Needless to say we were feeling a tincy wincy bit delicate yesterday morning. So in the name of recovery, we all sat around in our jim-jams, drinking coffee, eating sweets and watching reality TV. It was possibly a perfect Sunday morning.

I’m a bit of a closet reality TV fan; my favourites include Four Weddings, Come Dine with Me and One Born Every Minute. But reality TV in Australia takes things to a whole new level; it’s all just so damn dramatic. For example, yesterday we watched a number of episodes of My Kitchen Rules. The premise is very similar to Come Dine with Me; however the contestants not only cook for each other, but also for two professional chefs, who then rate the meal. However unlike CDWM, it was all so very very super SERIOUS. There was minus craic, but plenty of dramatic music and lingering looks. Not so many ridiculous drunken antics but more food snobbery than you could shake a stick at. It was just not enjoyable.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think most people just like easy to cook and eat simple and delicious food? Surely food snobbery just alienates people and makes the kitchen seem even scarier than it should? With that thought in mind I decided to share with you all my quickest, most yumbo pasta-surprise recipe. Haute cuisine it ain’t but it sure tastes goooood.

Creamy, basily, mushroomy pasta

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