July 23, 2020

Spaghetti Boshognese

It’s a while since we’ve had a recipe around here, so let me treat you to this delightful vegan(ish) feast. Like all vegan dishes, it has been improved by the addition of bacon, but obviously that’s optional if you’re more sunshine-in-a-bowl inclined. This is based on the Bosh Ultimate Chilli, which is a big success around here, and doesn’t even need to have meat added (though sour cream and grated cheese are excellent additions).

200g mushrooms
salt and pepper
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
2 carrots, chopped
various herbs such as oregano, fennel seeds, a dollop of pesto
Tomato puree
Red wine (I used port because we have no wine)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
10g dark chocolate
1 tin cannelini beans, drained obvs
1 tin chopped tomatoes or passata
Optional: smoked lardons, one pack.

Do this:
Pulse the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a food processor until minced.
Heat a little olive oil in your usual bolognese pan or fancy-pants le creuset saucepan.
Thow in the mince (and optional lardons), season and fry for about five minutes.
Add everything else, with a bit of extra water to wash out the tomato tin.
Bring to a nice simmer, reduce the heat, and let it bubble quietly for 10-15 minutees.
Serve with spaghetti.

  • Comments: 1
  • Congratulations again! What a fab turn out too, can't believe it's been 10 yrs since Pi... - Gordon
July 16, 2020

Alcohol-Free Beers (Part Thirteen)

(View previous instalments here)

Over two months since my last batch of reviews, and there are a few to write about!

Super Bock

Super Bock is a beer that, to me, will always remind me of Nando’s in the early years of the 21st Century, and the memories that it brings back are fond ones. Sadly, this alcohol-free version just does not cut the mustard, and tastes a bit sour and off-ish. It’s not so hideously bad that I was unable to finish it, but certainly enough to dissuade me from ordering it again.

Hawskhead Lighter Times

A very lively drink, this one, it nearly frothed over when I opened the can, and you can see how the head managed to completely fill a pint glass to the top. That said, this voluptuous blanket of foam did drop away quite quickly.

The drink itself had a tangy aroma of worn socks, so I approached it with great caution, memories of the Shipyard Low Tide still present in my mind. Indeed, I have to say that it didn’t taste too good either, with icky flavours and some of that old undesirable metallic tang.

Harviestoun Wheesht

Loving the cute little mouse mascot. The beer seemed a bit thin and watery out of the bottle. The smell was very thick, sweet and worty, which made me think that I might end up comparing this beer to the St Peter’s “Without”. However, the flavour was much less worty than the smell suggested, and overall it was a quite drinkable beer with a slightly biscuity taste.

Drop Bear Bonfire Stout

Upon pouring this, I was hit full in the face with that stale cigarette smoke aroma that I’ve often experienced with alcohol-free stouts, and once again my expectations were at absolute rock bottom. However, very little of that came through once I actually started drinking, and I found this to be a charming little beer, with a dark and complex flavour that has a bit of coffeeness in it. The glass was empty far too quickly.

Cipher Mindful IPA

Another utterly explosive beer, I made the mistake of turning my back to put the bottle cap in the bin, and when I turned back there was a puddle on the work surface. In a bizarre and ironic twist of fortune, it turned out that I didn’t like the beer much anyway, so no big loss there. It had an odd, musty flavour, which reminded me somewhat of the Jorvik Viking Centre. Or an old pair of socks. Did the vikings wear socks? Could be viking socks at play here.

Super Bock Dark

As I was taking this bottle out of the fridge, it wriggled from my grasp, the sly bugger. In slow motion I watched it tumble towards the concrete garage floor, already reaching for the mop, but remarkably the bottle did not break. Unable to believe my luck, I placed it into an isolation box for a few days, so that if the glass did decide to give up the ghost then the chaos would be limited.

Happily, this did not happen, and a few days later I could (cautiously) open and pour the contents. I had really low expectations for this, as the regular Super Bock had been such a disappointment, but this one was a cracker. There was a little wortiness in the aroma but the flavour was spot on, easy to drink with a nice rounded body and a satisfying weight. A little bit on the fizzy side, but not enough to ruin my fun.

I’ve ordered a second batch of beers from Wise Bartender so more reviews will be coming your way soon. Eventually.

  • Comments: 3
  • Sunshine in a bowl. - Pete
  • What an absolute joy today's cocktail hour was! Camping, pets, games, memes! - lipsticklori
  • link removed for purposes. - Karen
July 3, 2020


This afternoon’s cocktails will feature special guest Henry The Cat, and the tail [sic] of how Henry came to live with us. See you at 5 in the usual place!

June 26, 2020


Is it Friday? I think probably it is, so let’s do cocktails later – all very welcome.
Bingo sheets are not mandatory, but we have tweaked them slightly and if you’d like one, use the link two posts below.

  • Comments: 2
  • Gordon, that's one of the bingo options you're named in - Lyle
  • Apparently I'm now a bingo entry. Flattered? Insulted? Unsure. Anyway, have a fun Zo... - Gordon
June 19, 2020

Bingo! (And cocktails)

Get your fat pens ready for this afternoon’s bingo; print out your personal Uborka Bingo Card and join the throng. Do not forget to wear a cardigan, and, er, whatever people do when they go to bingo.

Bingo/cocktail hour is open to anyone who fancies dropping in, there are no entry requirements other than an opinion about what exactly constitutes cheese. Just follow the link in the comments at 5pm today.

  • Comments: 1
  • Print? Why do that when you can screenshot it and play in MS paint. - Clair McCowlen