Archive for the ‘recipes’ Tag

This weekend I have been mostly drinking…   Leave a comment

BUN-i-para-tivo (makes 2) — sorry about the blurry picture, but this is what it SHOULD look like

4 shots gin
2 shots lime juice
1/2 shot Agave syrup
1 shot pomegranate molasses
4 or 5 small basil leaves folded/crease a couple of times but neither crushed nor muddled
Ice to fill a Boston shaker after all the other ingredients are in.

Shake, strain into chilled cocktail glasses.

The recipe is one of those “what to do with the ingredients available” chimeras. I found the Juniperitivo recipe online, but didn’t have anymore mint (hence the sweet basil) and didn’t want to boil up a simple syrup (thus, agave).

Delicious, but more suited to the other side of Summer.



Posted September 2, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Recipes

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Sauerkraut   1 comment


I haven’t made sauerkraut in a while and didn’t have a crockery suitable for it when I got a hankering for Reuben sandwiches a month or so ago.  My cravings will not be ignored, though.  Here’s what happened.



I spotted the jar in one of the charity shops we scoured on the Isle of Wight and bought some bags of marbles in the toy department of our local department store (John Sanders, a fabulous shop).

The marbles were there to weigh down the veg in the fermenting broth and needed to be contained.  This would normally be done in a sheet of cheesecloth or tighter muslin but I have been carrying around the headscarf I used to keep my hair off food in the Mellow Mushroom I used to work at — the original, on Spring Street but covered by the parking decks of the IBM Tower a few weeks after I shifted my pie-spinning skills to the Dugout — from late 1985 to early ’86 ever since (and, with very little hair to worry about any longer, it seemed time to find it a new purpose).  I boiled it a couple of minutes with a piece of ClO2 tablet then rinsed it with more boiling water to clear the chlorine.



I bought an unusual shaped cabbage (that the green grocer in Ruislip Manor, for some reason, felt the need to assure me was Turkish).  Once rinsed, it was ready to shred.

As I put this into a bowl, a handful at a time, I scattered salt on it as I have done in the past.  However, I have recently taken up sea salt and I’m really not calibrated to its larger granules ( I mention this because the first taste at the end of a week and a few days is a bit saltier than normal … some fermenting friends I made at the Smithfield Market 150th Anniversary celebration suggest measuring it to 1.5% w/w and I will try that next time around).



So, for those mystified by the technique…take a handful of shredded cabbage with a good dusting of salt (even measured, it is more than you think is prudent the first go) and really manhandle that shit.  Crush it like it broke your heart and don’t stop until it starts to bleed a bit of water.  Grab another handful, salt it, and do likewise.  Add some carrot or beets or sliced turnip or really anything (this batch has a couple of carrots, two minced garlic cloves, and an Italian’s pinch of carraway seeds).

Once everything is in the bowl, abuse it some more then scoop and firmly pack each handful into your jar.  Once it is all packed in, press your bag of marbles firmly on top.  There should already be some liquid, but push down on it every 6-8 hours for 1-1½ days until all the veg is under its own released juices (see the pic at the top of the article for what this will look like).

Check every day or two (you might have to skim some mould but that’s harmless).

Take out a little after 7-10 days and keep in the fridge until you’ve eaten it all.  The batch might last 6 weeks (if you are stingy) and continues to develop as it matures.  Delicious, and it carries bacteria that really boost the gut microbiome (if you are so inclined as to worry about such).



Like I said, this batch is a bit salty so the Reuben will have to wait but it is SMASHING on a straightforward roast beef sandwich.  And, as a side with eggs and toast.  Or, by itself.

This weekend I have been mostly drinking …   Leave a comment


Louisville Mules.  Essentially, they are just a Moscow Mule (2 shots of vodka, 1 of fresh lime juice, lots of ice, topped with ginger ale) with some mint leaves crushed in the bottom of the glass (the plague of mint continues).

Posted August 12, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Recipes

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This weekend I have been mostly drinking …   2 comments


Mint Juleps.  Jim Beam was on sale so I’m using it to eradicate this bumper crop of mint.  Needs must.

Mine is a Philistine’s mint julep.  Use a Collins shaker and pour 4 shots of bourbon on top of 1 shot of agave syrup (or a simple syrup or, even, 4 spoonfuls of confectioners’ sugar).  Pack in a healthy amount of crushed ice (from about 4 ice cubes).  Seat the steel side and shake the living shit out of it … especially if you went the powdered sugar route.  When either the metal gets frosty or the ice is melted (we’ve returned to the heat wave conditions of last month), pour it over some — or a lot of — freshly plucked mint.*


*From my copy of Mr Boston Bartender’s Guide entry on the Mint Julep:

“Follow this advice from Frances Parkinson Keyes: ‘Never insult a decent woman, never bring a horse into the house, and never crush the mint in a julep.'”

I have been guilty of all three, but not in a long time.

Posted August 5, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Recipes

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Random thoughts whilst reviving an old hobby   Leave a comment

Jokes on metaphysics:

A month or two ago, I heard a woman on — I think it was — a comedy panel show on Radio 4  wherein she pointed out something I am ashamed to have missed all these years.  A joke that all native speakers of English has known since early childhood is both much darker and more mystical than almost anything you’ve heard since.  It goes like this …

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side.”

Death? Enlightment? See what I mean?






An Old Head Injury Story:

There was a bit of snow during the soggy Winter of 2000, and I drove from our home in Buggville, where I last practiced this faith*, to the trailhead of Cook’s Trail, a nature path some four miles along Sandy Creek.  I spotted some coppers chatting in the otherwise abandoned car park as I headed into the wood, struggling to balance on the slick mud but certain the icy bits would give way to something more firm a quarter-mile in.

At about a quarter-mile, I was between some boardwalks and immersed in radio on my headphones just a little ways short of the Highway 441 bridge when I caught a surprising glimpse of sudden movement to my right and tried, instinctively, to stop.  My feet slid out from beneath me and I was already heading down when a tree — A FUCKING TREE — grazed the crown of my head and slammed me to the ground with all the force you might expect when a 60 foot tall and 18″ diameter hunk of wood hits you.

I jumped up almost immediately but, dizzy, went right back down 180 degrees from the direction I had started.  I was bleeding like a motherfucker and, because of this and that, couldn’t stop laughing about it as I pulled my sweatshirt off to use as a makeshift bandage.  I had a formerly grey t-shirt under it which was now muddy all along the back and dark red down to my tits.  I emerged from the trail heading to the first aid kit in my car where the two police cruisers were still tip-to-tail a couple of car spaces away.  Shifting my hands to hold the soaked stanch of a sweatshirt with my left so I could fish my keys out with my right, I noticed they weren’t talking anymore…just staring at me (how rude).

I put on my dry kit which also got a bit bloody in the transaction, then went over to let them know what was going on.  “I guess it is only good and proper that the guy staggering blood-soaked out of the woods should introduce himself to the officers there,” I remember saying.  “Are you okay?” they seemed to ask in stereo.  “No.  I just got hit in the head by a falling, fucking great oak.”

They offered to take me to the hospital but I got one of them to put a couple of butterfly bandages on the flap of skin on my scalp instead.  One of them asked if he could take a picture so somewhere out there is a shot of me and his buddy leaning against my old Subaru grinning like Cheshire Cats.

But the point of this one wasn’t my incredibly bad luck (had I run through instead of trying to stop the tree trunk would have just missed me) or my rapport with the constabulary.

Instead, for several weeks afterward, my senses of smell and taste were scrambled.  For instance, smoking in bars was still legal and cigarette smoke suddenly triggered the scent of bergamot and a taste in my mouth of chocolate whenever I was exposed to it.  Odd to me, I talked with a friend and colleague from India about it and he wasn’t surprised at all.  Instead, he found it a very reassuring aspect of his own beliefs in mysticism.  I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt on these things, anyway, but that has stuck with me ever since.

*The practice was suspended, finally. in 2005 long after this anecdote, between our return from two years in Amsterdam and our departure for several years in Tucson where cacti were the more common sacrament.



“Stone” Mountain Easter Sunrise Service 1985:

I had a union card that allowed me to run projectors in cinemas AND I had a substantial debt to some Viet Namese gang members (I grew up with a couple of these guys and walked away from a muling gig in Denver Airport when I spotted some coppers — or, SOMEONE with ankle holsters — waiting near the pick-up place) so to work it off I wound up ‘managing’ a pornographic cinema across from South Dekalb Mall for them for 6 months (they found it convenient to have an articulate white guy with a military public relations background to liaise with the District Attorney’s office and officers).

I also maintained the completely DIFFERENT cinematic attraction on top of Stone Mountain at the same time.

I actually lived in the projection booth of the masturbation-and-cruising-emporium at this time since I worked there from 10am until 2am (minus a few hours every couple of days for the kids’ show maintenance on the mountain) but took a day off the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday to go enjoy the Sunrise Service which I was assured was breathtaking as the light filtered through across the flat landscape out toward South Carolina.  I arrived on the last cable car up (literally atop it, with some other park employees) that evening and ate a small amount of paper then went into the makeshift cinema and started playing music.

Really loud.  I got a call from the base of the mountain that they could hear it perfectly as they prepared to start shuttling the worshipers up starting around 4am but could I turn it down before the service started.  Sunrise was at 6:15 so I reckoned the crowd wouldn’t be so large and at 5:15 I started up “Dark Side of the Moon,” cranked the volume the last quarter-turn, and went out for a wee stroll in the dawns early light on the lunar landscape of the hill.

I forgot about the walking trail from the base.  There must have been 10,000 mushy headed Christians milling about not looking best-pleased about the musical accompaniment.  Them, and about a half-dozen Park employees tripping balls trying to explain that only one guy up there had the keys to the booth and he was kind of a weirdo.  I tried to blend in and just enjoy the light show but eventually one of the christian leaders and one of the sky bucket pilots found me.

It went a lot better than you might think.  “Dude!” I exclaimed as I recognised the middle-aged man.  “I thought you were barred.”

He looked at me, still raging, then recognised me as the fellow that threw him out of the Sunshine Cinema a couple of weeks earlier for blowing someone in the bathroom shitter while I was trying to wash my hair in the sink.  I had leaned over and was pouring rinse water over my head from a red picnic cup when I spotted his shoes sticking out from under the stall door.

Chastened by this turn of events, he asked VERY politely if I could turn the music down.  “I-I-I just don’t think this is exactly what constitutes a spiritual experience.”

“You’re absolute right, sir,” I apologised with a big grin.  “Let me give the ol’ knob a twist, and I’ll check back with you to see if it’s how you like it.  You’ll be around the toilet, I assume?”  I explained the situation to my colleague as we climbed the cable/rope ladder into the sound booth to return control of the show to the clergy.


[Picture showing successful Brixton mushroom farm removed by request]


So, there I was, no shit…: Your story is probably much more interesting than any of mine.  Use the time you would spend reading them to tell yours to a stranger (perhaps yourself).

2017: Year in Review   Leave a comment

Everyone does an End-Of-The-Year retrospective and I almost always do, too (here’s 2016’s review, for example).  Remember, this blog is about pubs and running more than anything else and most of what remains is primarily adolescent humour.  With that caveat, I bring you the Year 2017 In Review:

The Running Year 2017 (painfully detailed post to follow) was only salvaged in the last 1/3 of the year despite an initially strong start.  I started training for the Siracusa Marathon which had been cancelled at the last moment in 2016 and which was again cancelled this year nearly 3 months before it was scheduled to run.  Shit.  However, this left me in pretty good shape for tackling the London Outer Orbital Path mostly in May (while Jackie was Stateside), averaging more than 6½ miles per day and one week over 90 miles.

But, a prolonged respiratory infection hit me the first week of June (lingering for another week and with a relapse mid-July) and a spot of cancer related depression thereafter pushed my weekly mileage down significantly.  I had only managed to hit 1000 miles for the year by mid-August.

Fortuitously, I came into possession of a block of hash and a few very oily buds of home grown pot and, with their help and guidance, rediscovered the joys of hard training with no specific goal.  Well, one specific goal: I decided to try to salvage the annual mileage with a modest 1600 by year’s end, upping that to 1800 as it became clear 1600 was going to fall easily, eventually ending on 2022.  Now, if I hadn’t already blown through the weed I might target some real mileage for 2018.

So, running was all personal this year and that made it a good thing.  No races.  No hashing.  No GHAD.  Just finishing the London A to Z Runs, the London Outer Orbital Path, the Holiday Run Streak, and starting the TfL Run Project with 267 pub stops for the year in the midst of runs (and, 322 total, bringing the grand total to 2038).

Pub details (especially write-ups)

Pubs by month
16   Jan
17   Feb
20   Mar
11   Apr
74   May
12   Jun
19   Jul
23   Aug
30  Sep
28  Oct
40 Nov
32 Dec

Other good write-ups (reverse chronological order under the subheadings):

Favourite Pub visits:

The Woodman, Birmingham (pub #2000)
The Charlie Chaplin, Elephant & Castle (atmosphere)
The Queens, Crouch End (stunning)
The Victoria Tavern, Plaistow (atmosphere)
The Harp, Covent Garden (beer curation)
The Britannia, Plaistow (drunken conversation)
The Land of Liberty, Peace & Plenty, Chorleywood (damn near perfect pub)
The Marquis of Granby, New Cross (weird encounter)
The Old Oak Tree, Southall (whorehouse as revealed at the Lamb, shortly thereafter)
The Pineapple, Lambeth (not a half-bad local this close to Waterloo)
The George, Isle of Dogs (trying to convince a middle-aged guy he’s still fuckable)
The Wattenden Arms, Kenley (surreal art criticism)
The Sir Julian Huxley, Selsdon (foul-mouthed grannies)
The Tiger, Homerton (rare to find a hipster joint so hip)
The Duke’s Head, Crayford (almost too hospitable)
Dive Bar, Hull (they gave me too much change!)
Wm Hawkes, Hull (dark and awesome, despite fucking up my order)
The Rising Sun, Mill Hill (Grade 1 Listed)
Grim’s Dyke Hotel, Harrow & Wealdston (stunning former home of WS Gilbert)
The Queen’s Head, Limehouse (maybe gone by now, but as local as they come anymore)
Ye Olde Greene Manne, Rickmansworth (more encounters with nutters)
The Castle, Holland Park (architecture and hopelessly incompetent staff)
Lavin’s Bar, Hanwell (another psycopath encounter)
The Bull, Iver (for the local day drinkers)
Tap Social, Oxford (awesome microbrewery and tap room)

Other Events:

TfL Run Project (ongoing)
Beaujolais Nouveaux Day
Socialism 2017
Notting Hill Carnival (August Bank Holiday)
Mets vs Capitals Baseball
Nunhead Cemetery
Anti-Tory March and Rally (Not One Day More, July)
My First UK Vote
My Trip To Hull (many good posts)
Shakespeare’s Globe for “Nell Gwynn”
Taping of Have I Got News For You
Anti-Trump Rally at the US Embassy

Food and Feasting, mostly Recipes:

Vodca Sméar Dubh (Blackberry Vodka)
Tom Collins Obit
Feast of St Arnold
Hot Dogs
Treasures From Trumpministan
Yellow Peril Dandelion Wine
Angostura Tinted Martinis
Iron Duke Punch
Limping Lotta’s Banana Muffins
Tafel Spitz (Viennese boiled beef and stuff)
Chateaux La Limace et Le Gaz Hilarant (Drunken Bunny Cabernet)
Tamarinds (also, growing them)
A Week Of Haggis
Lyme Bay Mead (gift from workmates)
Winter Solstice Mead (another Drunken Bunny brewing attempt)
Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch Bourbon (gift from a lab visitor)
Best Kebab: Streatham Kebab, Fish and Chips House
Best Fish: The Carp & Trout, Hampton Hill

Previously Unwritten Recipe:

Basil & Grape Cocktail (from a food section article in The Guardian): makes 2 (these were really refreshing at the end of Summer)

Put these in a blender and blitz:
3 shots of good gin (I know, I know … all gin is good gin)
16 chilled green, seedless grapes
12 basil leaves
2 tsp sugar
juice of a lime

Pour into a shaker with ice, shake vigourously, and strain over 6 FROZEN grapes in each of two glasses. Garnish with one more basil leaf in each.  Yummy.


Obits (note, Tom Collins Obit in Food, above):

Robert Blakely, designer of the Fallout Shelter sign
Unnamed Person’s Wake at the Red Lion, Southall
Bill Simonsick (one of the few truly great Americans I have known and loved)
Bruce Langhorne (one of Dylan’s inspirations and dead ringer for my cousin, Chuck)
Lord Snowdon (trivia topic at the Sportsman, Croxley Green)
Tommy McDermot (late of the Old Crown in Hayes)


Best Ludicrous Posts:

Be Careful Of Your Dreams Coming True
Unfortunate Business Name
The Man Cave, Oxford
Party On, Wayne
The D.H. Lawrence Car Hire, Sudbury
A to Z Run W for Women
Jello Biafra/Dead Kennedys Tribute
A to Z Run U for Udders
New Cds From Notting Hill Market
Julie’s In The Drugs Squad
A Cancer On The Presidency
D90B (Drunken Bunny version of P90X)
NOT a Fetish Bar
Post to President Bannon
Trumpageddon…Inauguration Day

What an absolute bastard year.



Fill a 6-foot-deep hole with 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part simple syrup…   1 comment

At cocktail bars, I’m ridiculed by bartenders when I order something old-style like a Manhattan or a Side-Car.  But, going by the evidence in the Ruislip Cemetery, the Tom Collins is quite literally dead.  R.I.P.

Posted August 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Obits, Recipes

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