Listen Carefully

Car, Transportation System, Vehicle, Bus, Outdoors


I listen carefully to the chimes’ approach

Such a simple tune should be beyond reproach

Creamy goodies are on their way

The kid’s all hear it from blocks away

They rush and scramble to get their place

Wanting treats to fill their face

But there is not so much as a mask in sight

And social distancing, “is so last night”

But summer’s here, hot cocoa days are past

So this daily jostle I guess, for months will last

And hopefully a new spike will not result

And make this daily scramble halt




Paint Chip Poetry Prompt #24: I’m only suggesting you use two of the seven words or phrases. Choose carefully. Here’s what you have to work with: kindlinghot cocoamonsoonpurple mountain majestiesfig leafrubber ducky, and cheese puff.

Strawberry Apple Cooler

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It has been a while since I posted a mocktail or cooler recipe, so its time to remedy that.  We had friends around recently, and I was looking for a nice drink to share while chatting in the garden.  This drink came to mind as a variant of a mocktail we had seen in Great Yarmouth on a recent visit.


  • Strawberries 10 – 15 large
  • Truvia/Stevia 2 tsp or sugar 1 1/2 Tbs
  • Apple Juice 250 ml
  • Fizzy Lemonade/Diet Lemonade/Sprite 1.25 litres
  • Ice 2 cups


Remove the stems and leaved from berries and cut into quarters.  Place in a glass bowl and add the sweetener.  Mash thoroughly with a fork and add to a 2 litre pitcher or jug.  Add the apple juice and chill for an hour.  Add the ice to the container and top off with chilled lemonade.


As August Fades

Beach, Beach Chair, Feet, Female

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

The very first leaves had begun to turn red.  It wasn’t like the entire tree had turned either.  Just an impatient few crimson raced to welcome September before August had run its course.  It was a sign, however, understood by a few of the more observant children, but known all too well by teachers.  School days were about to return, and at this very edge of summer, every moment relaxation and calm was to be treasured.

The weather was still warm, and the sky mostly clear with only a few clouds to cast shade.  The beach beckoned.  The water was still pleasant, and the sands inviting.  So off the couple went to the coast in search of some quality time before lesson plans and homework marking intervened.

Parking wasn’t easy to find, and it took a few passes along the Marine Parade to find an appropriate spot.  The metre paid, and the towels gathered they made their way to the promenade.   Sand-covered children darted to and fro amongst the wind-breaks and parasols.  For the moment, a seat upon a sea facing bench seemed the thing to do.

He went to the kiosk and bought a couple of Whippy cones with Flakes, and returned to the bench.  Sun upon their faces, they enjoyed the creamy delight, as they watched the swooping of the gulls.  As she cuddled in next to him all was bliss, say for the inescapable dread of this tranquility being broken by the awful greeting, “Hello Sir.”  Fortunately, the salutation was avoided on this occasion, and ice creams finished, the couple made their way to the sand.

Just chilling, and living in each other’s presence, the day passed lazily and with a cool sea breeze rising, they left their beach haven and made their way to a fish and chips shop.   A battered cod for him, and scampi for her, they picked at a few chips shared as well.

As the sun dipped landward to the West, they remarked on the wonderful day, and the possibility of an Indian summer in which they might make just one more visit before autumn truly arrived.



Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge August 20, 2019:  Use the phrase “edge of summer” in a poem or short piece of prose.

Sun Tea (Mini Tip)

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It is unusual that the summer weather has kept on so long here in the UK. And while most Brits seem to prefer traditionally brewed hot tea, there is a place in weather such as this to make iced tea.  One of the methods for brewing large quantities of this is to make “sun tea.”  This uses the bright sunny days to make a cooling drink to deal with the heat.

It requires a large glass jar (2 litres works really well) and just a few tea bags.


  • Water 2 litres
  • Tea Bags (of your choice) 4


Fill the jar to near the brim with tap water, and place the tea bags into the water with the strings outside the jar.  Close the lid to hold the strings in place, and place is a sunny position (garden table, etc) for about 4 hours.

When the tea is of a good colour, remove the bags and sweeten to taste.  Serve with a slice of citrus over ice.


Blackberry Blitz

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Some very dear friends brought us a large container of blackberries today, and it was a perfect gift as I had been wanting to make this recipe for some time.  It blends the fruit, simple syrup, and fizzy water/drink to make a nice summer treat.  It is a little labour intensive but well worth the effort.


  • Fresh Blackberries 2 cups
  • Simple syrup 100 ml or Stevia 1 Tbs
  • Fruit-flavoured Sparkling Water or Fizzy Lemonade 300 to 400 ml
  • Ice 1 to 2 cups


Place ice in a blender and crush thoroughly.  Divide out into glasses.  Place the berries, and 100 to 150 ml of fizzy drink into blender and blitz well. Add additional soda to the blender as needed to make a thick fruit liquid.  Place a wire strainer over a pitcher or jug and strain out the seeds from the berries.  When this process is finished stir in the syrup to the jug (if using Stevia stir in, but use more soda in next step) and pour over the ice.  Top up the glasses with additional fizzy drink.


Strawberry Splash

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Here is a variation of the Strawberry Ginger Splash which is sweeter, and more berry flavoured. It uses raspberry flavoured/infused sparking water instead of ginger ale, and has a higher quantity of fruit as well. I made a double sized batch (2 times the recipe below) the other night when we had some friends around, and the jug sized version was well received, so the proportions in the recipe really work.


  • Raspberry Water 1 litre
  • Fresh Strawberries 20
  • Stevia 1 Tbs
  • Ice 2 cups
  • Lemon Juice splash


Wash and prepare the strawberries into a blender and add 500 ml of the flavoured water and sweetener.  Blitz until fruit is evenly blended.  Add the ice and blitz until evenly mixed. Pour fruit mixture into a large glass 2/3 full, then top with additional raspberry water.


Cinnamon Apple Cooler


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Made with Cream

Here is another summer cooler with a bit of bite.  I like the spicy taste, and the chill of the crushed ice.


  • Ground Cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Apple Juice 750 to 1000 ml
  • Lemon Juice 1 tsp
  • Ground Cloves large pinch
  • Stevia 1 Tbs
  • Ice 2 to 3 heaped cups
  • Double Cream or Whipped Cream to garnish

Method place the ice into a blender and blitz until broken into medium pieces (this may only take a coupe of pulses).  Add the lemon juice, sweetener, spices, and juice and blitz until frothy. Allow to settle and pour into glasses. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, or stir in a tablespoon of double cream.





Potato and Beetroot Salad

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It is Thoughtful Thursday, and to be fair I am really bogged down with my latest philosophical piece.  It will appear in due course, but for today my “thoughts” turn to dinner.  With that said I present Potato and Beetroot Salad.

Here is another summer potato-based salad.  It has loads of colour and flavour, and makes a great changes form the basic recipe. It is loosely based on Scandinavian dishes, but is ultimately a fusion dish.


  • New Potatoes 400g/ 14 oz
  • Beets (Beetroot) 300 g* (boiled prepared) or Pickled Beets 300 g*
  • Spring Onions 3
  • Mayonnaise 2 Tbs
  • Dijon Mustard 1 tsp rounded*
  • Celery 1 stock
  • Salt
  • Water to cover


Bring enough water to cover the potatoes to the boil in a medium pan.  Lightly salt and add the potatoes. Book for about 8 minutes, drain and allow to cool. When the potatoes are sufficiently cooled (room temp or lower). Halve each potato into a large bowl.  Chop the beets into simpler sized pieces and add to the potatoes.  Finely dice the onions and celery and add to the bowl.  Then stir in the mayo (and mustard if using boiled beets, omit is using pickled beets).  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

I prefer the tangy-ness of the pickled beets, but both versions are nice.



Beefy Kebabs

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As it is BBQ season, here is a dish I put together for my wife. It is made with cubed beef, and is grilled over charcoal. It is marinaded ideally overnight, but any time over an hour will do.


  • Beef 300 g cubed
  • Green Pepper 1
  • Tomato Passata 2 Tbs
  • Soy Sauce 1 Tbs
  • Garlic Powder 1 tsp
  • Honey 1 Tbs


Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes and place into a bowl with the passata, honey, soy, and garlic and mix well.  Leave to marinade for a minimum of an hour or so, but over night is best (in the fridge).  Be sure to let the meat recover from fridge temperatures for about 15 minutes before cooking (the remaining prep will take some of this time). Chop the pepper into 1 to 2 inch pieces.  Place the meat onto metal skewers (two cubes then a pepper piece, then repeat until skewer is 80% full (don’t over fill or pieces may drop off the end).

When grill is ready (grey coals if using charcoal, or 10 -15 minutes if using gas) place the grill rack at a medium height above the heat source. Lay the skewers across the bars and let cook for 3-5 minutes, then turn.  Continue the cook and turn process until all sides are well browned.

If there is any marinade left in the bowl, you may want to brush this on about half way through the process.

Remove from skewers. Serve with pickled cabbage, salad, and garlic sauce or garlic mayonnaise.


Sans – gria

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Inspired by the Spanish fruit and wine drink Sangria, Sans – gria is a fruity alcohol free summer drink.  It uses red sparkling grape juice instead of wine, and fresh fruit and juice for the non-hangover version.


  • Red Schloer 700 ml
  • Orange Juice 250 ml
  • Orange 1
  • Lemon Juice 1 Tbs
  • Lime 1
  • Grapes 10 halved
  • Strawberries 8 – 10 halved
  • Sugar 5 Tbs or Stevia 2 Tbs


Thinly slice the lime and orange and places in a large glass jug. Add the halved grapes, berries, and lemon juice. Dissolve the sugar in the orange juice and pour over the fruit. Add the grape juice and mix well. Place in fridge and allow to chill overnight.