After having some time off work before starting her new job my mum went mental with cooking and utensils. Her cooking is brilliant already but there seems to have been some sort of chemical reaction in her brain at the prospect of having a new job that's making her research healthier, tastier and more experimental meals.
So far we've had an out-of-this-world risotto, a beautiful chickpea curry and together we have been concocting some delicious smoothies. I say smoothy, but they are verging on cocktails due to my Mum's frequent suggestions to add some alcohol- amaretto is a m a z i n g in a banana smoothy.
Speaking of this wonderful banana/liqueur creation, here's how we made it and the ingredients we used:
For two servings-
- 2x Banana
- 2 tsp Vanilla syrup
- 2 tsp Honey syrup
- 1/2 pint of Milk
- Shot (or two) of Amaretto
- Ice Cubes (use as many or as few as you like, we used 6)
Just throw them all in a blender and that's it! I would recommend the hand held blender from Wilkinsons– bargain at only £5 and works great!
I made another jug full at the weekend with my friend Jade, using caramel instead if honey, which tasted just as good– we went to Tynemouth Market to get some supplies for a night in watching films. Along with bananas for the smoothies I bought a lovely home made brown loaf and a selection of olives (it was very hard to not eat them all on the way home).
Tynemouth market is one of my favourite places to go on a weekend, especially when the farmer's market is on! Me and my mum will usually head up after I've finished work to get some fresh pesto, chilli oil and olive bread for the night. It has stalls to suit everyones taste and fills the entire train station, mostly selling vintage/second hand goodies.
Before we got back we went into our favourite second hand book shop, Keel Row. It reminds me of something from a film; it's an ordinary house that has been converted into a shop, but by "converted" I just mean that it has a shop front, a till and empty rooms with stacks of books from floor to ceiling, reading chairs dotted about and friendly faces to help you find what you're looking for.
We spent a good long while perusing the shelves and rooms to find what we wanted, and had a right good chuckle along the way. Drawn to our most frequented room (literature and poetry) we scoured the seemingly endless heights of books looking for Wuthering Heights, only to be disappointed.
After moving into the adjoining room I remembered a certain book I wanted to find but couldn't get the name out of my head. Just as I was explaining this to Jade, she pointed at some books and said "Ooo, Memoirs of a Geisha!" not knowing that was the exact book I had been thinking of! Luckily there happened to be two copies, and at only £2 each we both took one. Actually, that wasn't the only book we bought in common either. "Enduring Love" by Ian McEwan featured in both of our shopping bags, alongside "Coco and Igor" in mine– I am SO excited to read it.
When we eventually found our way back home, drank our smoothies and discussed our books, we watched the RCS's Hamlet with David Tennant– wonderful film adaptation. But I may have tainted the day slightly by convincing my Mum and Jade to watch Anna Karenina, by which they weren't exactly thrilled... I think I'll let them choose next time!
I had a performance with my youth group at Live Theatre tonight, which went very well. It's always inspiring to see what young people can create in a couple of months with the only stimulus being "Toy Stories". Really enjoyed myself!