cold drinks

rhubarb rose sparkle

9th June 2016


The inspiration for this fragrant rose rhubarb drink was a conversation I had with my friend and guest Abi, on the day of my son´s birthday, when she was here with her three lovely boys. In a low whisper, she related her joyful tradition of popping champagne each time it´s her child’s birthday, to celebrate her anniversary as a parent.  With this thought and a showy abundant display of rhubarb and delicate pink roses opening up in the garden, I set about concocting a flowery ‘mock – champagne’ for us all to enjoy that afternoon, accompanied by birthday cake and ice-cream.

rhubarb plant 4V7A5270_1980x1297rhubarb table

Sweetened rhubarb has a wonderfully uplifting flavour; when muddled with rose, it becomes positively enchanting. The hint of mint gives a balancing base note.


rhubarb rose sparkle

Serves 4

I find that the sugar is perfect with the rhubarb, but if inclined, you could use a mild-tasting honey, adding it after it has been strained, and keeping in mind it will change the overall flavour. After making this the second time I used different coloured rose petals from the garden that have been left to dry completely on a baking tray. It takes just a few days.  

For tips on how to harvest rhubarb; read here.


480g rhubarb, sliced into ½-inch pieces

1½ cups water

¾ cup/140g natural cane sugar

2 Tbsp dried rose petals

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1½ cups fizzy water

ice, for serving


1.  Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a pot, bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rhubarb has fallen apart, 12 – 15 minutes.  Stir once or twice to help dissolve the sugar.

2.  Remove from the heat, add the dried rose petals and fresh mint.  Cover, and steep for 10 minutes.

3.  Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, and using the back of a large wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.  Pour into a glass bottle and place in the fridge to chill.

4.  When ready to serve, add the fizzy water, stir and pour into glasses.  Garnish with a sprinkling of rose petals and on really hot days serve with a few ice cubes added to each glass.

I recommend doubling the recipe!


Goodness shared by Stacey

Sparkled by Abi

lemon barley water

27th March 2016

barley water table

Barley has a cooling thermal nature; sweet and astringent in taste.  Traditionally given to calm sore stomachs.


-Marguerite daisy, also known as the Argyranthemum frutescens

barley water closeup

lemon barley water

Makes 5 – 6 cups

Recipe adapted from Spring.

Lovely soothing, yet thirst-quenching, drink.  You can add other flavourings to it besides lemon and honey – lemon verbena or ginger would work well.  Don’t discard the cooked barley.  Recipe to follow, stir it through this tomato soup, or dress it simply with a little olive oil and lemon juice and add to a salad.


1 cup /200g pearl barley

10 cups/2.5 litres filtered water

3 – 4 Tbsp light-flavoured honey

3  Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste


1.  In a large saucepan rinse the barley until the water runs clear, drain, pour in the water, bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the barley is tender, this will take about 35 – 40 minutes.

2.  Strain, reserving the cooking water and set the barley aside.

3. Run the barley water through a thinner strainer into a pouring jug, set aside to cool before adding the honey, stirring until dissolved.

4.  Add the lemon juice, taste, adding more honey or lemon as needed.

barleywater closeup

Goodness shared by Stacey

easy peasy ginger beer

31st July 2010


It was my birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate I had a few friends for dinner.  It was a bit challenging because our home is a building site at the moment, and how not to make it look like one was very tricky.  But with a beautiful table outside with many small vases of colourful daisies and sunflowers, big and small, and lots of candles everywhere, it looked magical and so full of golden light.

I also asked my guests to bring a dish, so the cooking wasn’t so stressful.  I asked Noa to bring her spinach pie which is so delicate and delicious with a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth crust and a creamy, cheesy filling dotted with spinach.  I provided her with a bag of kale, swiss chard and spinach that she steamed and put in this special pie she has perfected.   Anna and Leon made a bowl of quinoa which was presented in a beautiful wooden bowl – Leon had decorated it with a circle of purple flowers.  They also brought along a plum crumble and a tapioca pudding decorated with mango slivers in a mandala design.  I added a green garden salad all fresh from the garden and a simple dal and red lentil hummus.  I wish I had photos of all this, but the flash on my camera wasn’t working.   As it is Summer, I really wanted to make a wonderfully refreshing drink before we sat down for dinner.   Something to quench our thirst and ignite our appetites. I had made this ginger beer once before and it was delicious.  Refreshing, icy cold with a ginger, lemon sweet bite.   And it is so easy!


ginger beer

The original recipe came from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, “Happy Days with the Naked Chef”.

Serves 4 – 6


140g fresh ginger

4 Tbsp light brown sugar

5 lemons

1-litre soda water or sparkling mineral water

sprigs fresh mint

slices lemon


1.  Grate the ginger on a coarse cheese grater – you can leave the skin on if you like. Place the ginger with its pulpy juice into a bowl and sprinkle with your sugar.

2.  Remove the rind from 2 of your lemons with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, then chop the peeled lemons in quarters and add to the bowl, and slightly bash and squash with something heavy like a rolling pin or pestle.  Just do this for 10 seconds, to mix up all the flavours.

3.  Squeeze the juice from all 3 lemons and add it to the bowl.

4.  Pour in the fizzy water or soda water and allow to sit for 15 – 30 minutes.  I actually put it in the freezer, so it stays nice and cold.

5.  Taste. You may feel that the lemons are slightly too sour, therefore add more sugar;  if it is slightly too sweet, add more lemon juice.  These amounts are always a little variable, so just follow your own taste buds.

6.  Pass the ginger beer through a coarse sieve into a large jug and add lots of ice and lots of fresh mint.


Goodness shared from Stacey

almond milk

17th June 2009

Making almond milk is very easy and so delicious.  You only need a high-speed blender, a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

If you use soy milk, rice or almond milk in the box, you will never go back to using them again after tasting homemade almond milk.  Nut milk is rich in protein and, depending on your choice of nuts and seeds, is also high in vitamins and minerals.

I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts and seeds.  Almonds have a warming nature and sweet flavour. Almonds are 20% protein and are rich in Vitamin E and magnesium and contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

You can use almond milk anywhere you use regular milk.  I use it in my porridge in the morning, making chai tea and smoothies.  It is also great served warmed with a bit of maple syrup, cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla essence.


almond milk

Makes 1-litre

When making nut milk, it is essential to soak the nuts or seeds overnight.  I always have a batch of already soaked and drained almonds in the freezer for instant nut milk.


1 cup raw almonds

3 – 4 cups filtered water


1.  Soak the almonds overnight, drain and rinse well.


2.  Place the nuts into an upright blender, pour in water, blend on high until the nuts are completely broken down.

3.  Pour your milk into a nut milk bag or a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much of the milk as possible.  I sometimes blend in a few dates and add a few drops of vanilla essence for sweeter milk.

The milk keeps for about 3 – 5 days in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator.

You can save the nut pulp to replace flour when you bake or add it to your morning porridge or use in a savoury hummus.

Shared goodness from Stacey

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