I know. What to do when folk come round for drinks – and we have the summer warmth (requiring in most people’s minds, white wine or rose) but no sun as the Autumn rain begins (requiring in most people’s minds, a warming dark red)…
I tend not to drink white wine in the summer as it keeps me awake but I keep an exception for summer time!
So – to Miss Reeve’s recipes I went and I came up with the solution – a cold white wine concoction with warm cheese straws.
First – the white wine concoction – known as ‘Wine Cup’ – all very easy and you know how I like easy:
Miss Reeve’s Recipe
How did I adapt it? Because 2 bottles of white wine seemed, for 3 of us, quite OTT. Although…
Take a mix of lemons and oranges (2 lemons and 2 oranges are what she says but I do a mix of whatever needs using up); Peel the fruit and put the peel in a pan with 1/2 pint of water and 2-3 oz of sugar. Bring to the boil. Then I simmered for about 5 minutes – you don’t want to do it for too long as the liquid evaporates and you need the liquid. But long enough for the house to smell of wonderful citrus scents. Then leave the liquid to cool. Whilst the peel is bubbling away, squeeze the citrus fruits into a jug.
Then, when the sugar/water/citrus peel liquid has cooled, strain the liquid into a jug. Add about half a bottle of white wine (let’s face it, add as much as you like!), then a bit of brandy if you like brandy.
Add it all together. Add garnish of your choice – my borage I tend to leave for the bees at this time of year so that they can stock up before winter. So I added mint.
Wonderfully refreshing. Add ice, if you wish, too.
Now – to soak it up and reflect a bit of Autumn warmth, we move to… cheese straws. This is Miss Reeve’s Recipe. I always make these as they are quick and easy. They make about 10 but I like my cheese straws fat and short! You know how you like yours (possibly far more delicate than I make them) so try and see how many you can get from this recipe and then adapt accordingly.
It is easy. 1oz butter (not marg – I never use margarine) and 1 oz grated cheese (use whatever you’ve got hanging about that needs using up). plus 1 and a half oz flour – plain. Add salt, a bit of cayenne pepper and some mustard. Mix it all together. Roll it to the shape and thickness you like. Then cut into the straw shapes – again, however thin and long you like. Then pop them into the oven on a tray at about 200 (electric or 6 gas), I keep an eye on them but I find that no longer than 10 minutes makes them nice and flaky and light.
And et voila!
A bit of Autumn warmth and spice on a day that still calls for the white wine of Summer days…