This Sangria is 1 part dry red wine, 1 part club soda, and 1 part cranberry juice/fruit tea. It makes a nice light beverage, with a zingy flavor. To make the Sangria I improvised with a recipe I found on Spain Recipes which calls for Triple Sec and Brandy, but as it was an afternoon get together, I figured most people didn’t want to get smashed so kept the alcohol to a minimum. These quantities make enough Sangria for 16 guests to drink all afternoon. Some people had several glasses, while some had only one (or none!) The only people who got tipsy were the ones who opted for vodka and orange instead, and even they liked the Sangria, only switching to vodka because they wanted to unwind with a drink with more punch!
Mix together in a small saucepan, and heat to a slow simmer:
2 cups water
1 and 1/3 cups sugar
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced lime
Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add:
*I don’t like to promote brands as I am not getting paid here – YET -…but, for something like this, branded blends can make a huge difference. For the teas I used Celestial Seasonings for both flavors. They blend the fruit flavor with hibiscus, rose hips, roasted chicory, orange peel and blackberry. I found their blended fruit teas brought deep, rich flavors, but you could improvise with mulled wine spice blends. The wine was Peller Estates Proprietor’s Reserve Dry Red, which is both affordable and drinkable, even without the tea and cranberry juice!
I’ve always enjoyed the results of home made bread, and if you’ve followed this blog since the beginning (har har hardee har har) you will have read my Baking Bread post where I tell you all about how I learned to knead bread from a woman who was built like a mound of bread dough. I am starting to acquire a similar shape despite my best efforts to change my diet and increase my exercise, and wonder if it may have something to do with the body reflecting the things we love – like bread!
In any case, I’ve always been frustrated by not having the perfect place and temperature to raise the bread. Either too cold or too drafty, and in the oven, too hot. When I was growing up in Northern New Brunswick (where I learned to make and knead bread), we had a hot air furnace, and I used to stand the bread dough over the hot air register.
I had the experience of using a bread maker when house-sitting for a friend in England, and said if I ever stumbled on one in a second-hand shop I’d give up the sensory pleasure of kneading the bread, punching down the dough, kneading it again and shaping it, and turn over the work (and all that pleasure!) to a machine.
Well, when out looking for bits and bobs for my new apartment, I stumbled on a Sanyo Bread Factory Plus in a charity shop for a mere $15.00. As I stood there, humming and hawing as to whether or not I should drop a mere pittance on the enormous kitchen appliance, the shop clerk told me it was pink tagged, which meant it was half price, which meant it was $7.50, which was pretty hard to resist.
Of course there was no recipe book or manual with it, so I did a web search and found a basic bread-making-machine recipe, and made a loaf with stone ground flour. It was odd shaped and very dense (in my excited haste, didn’t sift the flour!!) and discovered what I thought was a Tablespoon on my set of charity shop measuring spoons was in actual fact half a Tablespoon (isn’t that the same as a teaspoon?) so no wonder the loaf turned out tasting like it did. Not enough sugar, salt, or fat!
I decided to try the old fashioned porridge bread my family loved when I was 14-years old and just learning to make bread, and went over to Mom’s and dug around in her recipe-book cupboard, and voila, there was the Purity Flour recipe book – looking much the worse for wear, but the recipe I wanted was there, so I adjusted the quantities to fit the bread machine (based on the basic recipe I’d found) and produced an amazing loaf of bread.
Oh it is so easy.
Here’s the recipe in order of the ingredients as they go into the machine: