Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew, Sunday Dinner in London, and the Things We Do for Love.

So we're in London, and it's the last leg of our annual three weeks of touring England in September, and as ever, I'm never quite ready to leave. It's been a full three weeks, so many sights, visiting old stomping grounds and all that such entails. It can be rather poignant returning to a place you've loved and experienced great love; a place you realize you'll never reside in again.

There are a lot of memories that live here, feelings of loss and yearning, remembrance of new awakenings, opportunities abounding,  cherished love, so many memories. I return and it all comes flooding back, and I feel like a live wire, touch me and all that existed before suddenly reappears in my nerve endings.

Leaving is never easy, be it a place or a person. We're creatures of habit, and breaking habits is hard. Leaving is hard, and we live our lives leaving so many things behind. It's the nature of the beast. Goodbye is a tough and necessary lesson we all have to learn. And whether or not you want to say it or feel it, we all have to say goodbye, at one time or another, in one way or another.

I have so many wonderful memories of my time in England, here are a lovely few:

Anja on her first day of school in Lincoln. She in her uniform, so alien to all us Americans. Driving her to her first day of school and she loved it, much to our relief.
Anja and friends at The LSST Priory Lincoln.

Driving on the wrong side of the road. You, Jonathan, bought me a brand new Land Rover, and I learned to shift with my left hand and to negotiate those crazy tiny, windy lanes, being careful not to kill all the pedestrians just inches from the roadside.
No pedestrians here, just a beautiful winding lane. 

Missing half and half for my coffee and then discovering pouring cream; dairy never had so many options. Yum.
Coffee at Betty's in York.

Pubs. Stop us now. Too much fun, so many in easy walking distance, so many fun people to chat with.
Love all the hand-pulled ales, although it did take me some time. 

The Cathedral, shining brightly through our dining room window, a thousand years old, right on my doorstep.
What a lovely sight, every night out our window. 

On that first Christmas, negotiating all the stores, and memorably searching for shirt-boxes in which to wrap my gifts, all the while not realizing that boxes were an American indulgence.
Christmas shopping in London

The night Cash was born, sitting with Tash in that birthing room overlooking the Cathedral and sitting in that little pub nearby, waiting for that baby!

Many Saturdays and Sundays going "shopping" in town, only to end up chatting and drinking in Dogma.
So many funny signs in the pubs.

Nights hanging out at "The Cloud," our other living room.
A view I'll never forget.

All our friends we made at "The Tap and Spile," sipping pints, listening to music, meeting interesting souls, and hearing so many stories.

I wake up early, who knows if it's jet lag or too many cocktails the night before? But anyway, I'm up and searching for a really special Sunday- what will please Jonathan? I think I know. First clue, it's Sunday and what does Sunday mean in England? Well, of course, a  Sunday dinner.
I'm married to a Yorkshireman, and those guys count their days on how many Sunday dinners they have. How can I deny my sweetest man something he loves so much? This guy would never deny me a thing, so I am forever trying to return the favour. How can I make his day amazing? I think I've found something really astounding and so off we are to Hawksmoor, supposedly one of the best Sunday dinners in London.
And once we're there, we have to try their most famous cocktail, Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew. Was it as good as it was cracked up to be? Yep, it really was! I recreated it once we were home, and yes, it's definitely worth making the homemade ginger syrup.

Happy us, happy times.

And here is the recipe for Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew:

  1. 35ml Gin (the original calls for Beefeater)
  2. 50ml homemade ginger syrup*
  3. 50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  4. 100ml London Pride ale
Whizz up the ginger syrup, lemon juice, gin and half a cup of ice in a blender. Strain through a sieve into a frozen beer stein and top up with London Pride beer.  If you don’t have a blender, place the ginger syrup, lemon juice and gin in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Guarantee you will really love this.
*Recipe for Ginger Syrup from David Lebowitz:

  1. 8 ounces (225g) fresh ginger, unpeeled
  2. 4 cups (1L) water
  3. 2 cups (400g) sugar
  4. pinch salt

1. Cut the ginger into thin slices. 

2. Place the ginger along with the water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Heat to a boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer, and cook for 45 minutes to one hour.
3. Let cool, then strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer. Store the strained syrup in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use. The syrup should keep for at least two weeks under refrigeration.