Donald – Where’s Yer Troozers?

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This Christmas I have fufilled another of my Caribbean Food culinary dreams  – to make traditional Caribbean sorrel drink the way my mother does. I succeeded.

Sorrel is red, related to the Hibiscus plant, and is used in Caribbean and Asian cooking. It has a sharp pungent taste and smell and is used fresh or dried.

The challenge – to make the traditional festive drink the way my mum does.

I’d watched her make it all thro’ my life – now it was my turn. Using dried Sorrel she had sequested away, I made it exactly to her recipe. First,  putting the dried sharp tasting flower heads into a stainless steel pot, then adding fresh caribbean ginger, ground pimento seeds, and a stick of spicy cinammon. Finally, I poured in some boiled water, and left the mixture to  steep overnight.

I  finished it off on Christmas Eve morning by adding  a thick sugar syrup to the rich, pungent, blood red solution. I then added fragrant lime juice, strained off the flower heads and  added a generous amount of Jamaican overproof rum. Almost a whole  bottle!

My dad had  informed me that back home in the Caribbean, he used to make sorrel juice without the alchohol, sugar and spices. He said it’s very nice, and extremely good for you.  I nodded sympathetically, he seemed to have forgotton that he had given me some as a child.
It tasted like stale, year-old, floor polish then. I’m still not a fan.

The Shrek decided that he would be the official taster, so just after brunch he started to glug in the most unseemly way. “Ooh that’s got a bit of kick” he exclaimed smacking his lips. “Not bad though” he grunted.

A couple of hours later he came back again, and asked me if I had any more of ‘that juice drink’. He took a whole glass of it and disappeared.

The next thing I heard was the ‘quaint’ skirl of Scottish bagpipes in the distance – oh no, he had put his music on.  A few minutes later I heard him bellowing like a foghorn singing one of his traditional Scottish ‘ballads’.

Next thing I know, one of the neighbours began knocking on the door and had come round, concerned at the noise, to see if everything was okay. I had to explain that the noise she could hear was my husband ‘singing’..

A whole bottle  and a half later, he was spinning wildly, arms and legs flaying out at all angles, bellowing, whooping, and yodelling all over the house. “Have you got any more of that sorrel stuff, he growled.
I had managed to produce three wine bottles worth of my mix and half of it was now in his considerable gut!

By now The Shrek was jumping, twirling and roaring at the top of his voice. ‘Donald where’s yer troozers’ he ‘sang’ scooping up our amused daughter, pirouetting her around as if she was a rag doll.  Delightedly She  squealed and giggled, like a wild hyena and when he finally put her down, they were jumping and screeching together, totally out of time to the music.

Around 9pm, he collapsed in an unseemly heap and didn’t wake up again until 11.00am Christmas day. What a hunk!

Of course, the big test for my Caribbean Food Christmas drink, was  my mum and dad. When we finally arrived at their house 3hrs late for our festivities The Shrek was strangely quiet.

I ceremoniously poured some Sorrel for them  into a glass, and they took a sip.  ‘Hmm’ exclaimed my mum in surprise, “that’s lovely!” That was it. To have my mum’s  culinary approval is like gaining a michelin star.

My dad  agreed “very nice – It’s very strong – how much rum did you put in it?” “Oh just enough to give a kick” I replied. “The Shrek really enjoyed it.”

Try my recipe for yourselves my friends. Happy new year!                  Layout1_1_P4VBBSorrelA2AM

ANGELI’S TRADITIONAL  FESTIVE  SORREL JUICE

1.5kg Fresh sorrel petals or  200g dried sorrel
Fresh root ginger  which when chopped weighs approx 100g
3 litres Boiling water
300g Demerara  or raw cane sugar
2 limes
75g Finely chopped Pimento seeds (Allspice)
50g Finely grated cinnamon
200ml Caribbean Overproof rum – or a very good quality dark rum
100ml  Good quality Ginger wine

If you are using dried sorrel it is always a good idea to empty the contents into a dish and sort out the flower heads so that any stones and unwanted gritty bits don’t find there way into your mix.

Put the flower petals all the spices  and all the sugar in a pan – I prefer a steel one.
Pour  in the boiling water and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover with a well fitting lid or foil and set aside for at least 8hrs.
When the mixture is cold, you are able to add the rum and the ginger wine. Strain and bottle, Now  enjoy.

Love, laughter and food for all
Angeli :)

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Comments

One Response to “Donald – Where’s Yer Troozers?”

  1. Loopy Liz on January 15th, 2010 6:16 pm

    What an amazing drink – where can I find this sorrel?

    Angeli says:
    If you have a shop selling Caribbean produce – you should be able to buy the dried flower heads. For the rum, some nice quality dark rum, or in my case some clear overproof rum (70%)