All things food and all things purple, love them. Hyacinths, wisteria, ripe figs, eggplants, kalamata olives with crumbly feta, Prince and more.
This weekend I re-discovered that intoxicating liquer, Parfait Amour, an ancient bottle lingering in the back of the drinks cabinet. Ah- the memories came flooding back, sipping parfait amour with lemonade in the less salubrious bars of downtown Brisbane, steamy and witchy, we thought it was the height of sophistication... it did look fabulous and matched our lipstick too.
The bottle I found had lost most of its mojo so I bought a fresh one, surprisingly not difficult to get a hold of so somebody's still drinking it thank goodness!
Inhale- mmm.... rose petals, orange essence, almonds, vanilla and sin.
My palate has changed a bit since then, so I added a big squeeze of lime juice with the lemonade so it wasn't as sweet.
Great with a dash of cointreau, cranberry juice and soda water. A delicious Sipsmith gin and tonic, squeeze of lemon and a spoonful of amour.
A splash in a flute of sparkling wine with a sprinkle of crystallised violets and a lick of orange bitters, so Zsa Zsa Gabour or maybe even Kate Middleton??
Purple Basil Vinegar
A good big handful of purple basil ( also called opal basil some places )
500mls of white wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
You can buy opal basil plants and seeds from Jekka's Organic Herb Farm online and I've seen it in Wholefoods and good farmer's markets, but mainly I "borrow" it from my neighbour's garden, have a sniff round your 'hood and purloin.
Put the basil in a clean jar, heat the vinegar to blood temperature and pour over herbs, add the pinch of sugar. Lid on tight and give a good shake. Put it in a dark cupboard or the fridge and leave for at least 10 days. Strain through a damp fine cheesecloth into clean bottle and seal.
Super-size the basil flavour by making or buying some basil oil, I'm highly addicted to the A l'Olivier one. To make, same method as above, but use 250mls of oil and whizz in a blender, leave for a day or so then strain.
A fat slick of emerald oil and droplets of purple vinegar on a glossy white plate with ripe beefsteak tomatoes, a huge chunk of sourdough makes a little purple heaven.
I could go on with my purple passions, one friend knows what another favourite purple thang is but that's another blog....
All the best to Wills and Kate on Friday and hope they Parfait like it's 1999...stop me.....
Love Food X
PS. This evening in central London, Earth 2.0 http://earth2channel.com/ take a look if you have any interest in sustainability, science, information sharing and our future.