Tormenting Inga…

Sometime last month, for some bizarre reason (possibly wine related) I volunteered to be the official taste-tester for random beverage recipes that Emmy stumbles across in her readings. It sounds like a delicious riot, except for the fact that Emmy is a sadistic witch who has taken it upon herself to pull up the most exotic, esoteric and bizarre concoctions the internet can spew forth. So now I find myself merely a pawn in her maniacal board game; the inevitable loser in a one woman version of the Hunger Games, drowning in a tide of arcane ingredients while my ‘friend’ cackles gleefully somewhere across the ocean.

For the first instalment, Emmy’s instructions are as follows:

Recipe: It’s a simple smoothie with ginger, mango, coconut and banana. Oh, and a spoonful of turmeric.

Now I don’t know where I’m getting mango from, considering it’s the dead of winter in Melbourne and the nearest mango crop right now is probably in Indonesia. Of course, this could be part of her nefarious plan to make me come over for Tough Mudder 2015… “Hey Inga, you’re already in Indonesia, you might as well pop into New England while you’re at it!” YEP, I’M ONTO YOU, WOMAN.

Having said that, I did manage to source some coconut, fresh from…er, Thailand. The recipe was rather vague as to what form this coconut should take, so I opted for a can of coconut water ‘with pulp’. I’m actually supposed to be hunting down local, sustainable ingredients, but frankly it’s too cold to leave the house and I’m still depressed because my holiday is over. You’d think she could at least start me off with an alcoholic beverage to ease me into this whole endeavour, but NO. Honestly, why did I sign up for this?

Enough whinging. Here’s my haul:

MasterChef or gullible twit?

MasterChef or gullible twit?

I cheated a little (ok, a lot – it’s cold outside and I’m depressed, remember?!) and bought a bottle of Emma & Tom’s Life Juice to substitute fresh fruit. The ingredients are literally carrot, apple and ginger. These guys procure fruit and veg from Aussie farmers, don’t throw garbage additives into their juices, and use square bottles to maximise storage space and cut down on packaging. That makes up for my 14,000-food-miles coconut water, right?

The ginger is organic and locally grown (from an overpriced green-grocer that caters to the Rich Paleo Wife Club), and the turmeric is from Bangladesh and is probably steeped in lead and orphan tears. Yes, it’s the same brand that’s in the link. I already had it in my cupboard though, and I’m not going to buy more because it’s cold and I’m depressed.

Come to think of it, that could be lead poisoning.

Anyway, onto the method!

1. Steep some sliced ginger in boiling water for a little bit. I actually drank most of it and saved a little splash for the drink. Ginger tea will fix anything that’s wrong with you. Except inexplicable compulsions to volunteer for random food experiments, apparently.

Rolling in the steep.

Rolling in the steep.

2. Add coconut water to your shaker thingy (because a blender will waste precious unrenewable resources. Manpower FTW!).

Put the lime in the coconut...

Put the lime in the coconut…

3. Add juice.

4. Add maybe a quarter teaspoon of lead-drenched turmeric. I know this spoon looks big, but trust me, it’s only a teaspoon. Shake all ingredients vigorously to the tune of Meet Her at the Love Parade by Da Hool.

5. Et voila! Served in a wine glass with a mint garnish, because I’m a classy broad.

Holy contaminated spice shipment Batman, there was WAY too much turmeric in there. A tiny sprinkle would have done the trick. It tasted like I was licking the floor of a curry kitchen in a shopping centre food court. I think it needed a hint more sweetness, which is obviously why the recipe calls for mango and banana as opposed to carrot. The coconut pulp added a nice crunch, but coconut and ginger together is kinda like watching Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger making out – awkward and disorienting.



In summary, I don’t think this is something I’d make again. And I’ll definitely be buying a new batch of turmeric.

London & Paris, Part Deux

Wherein we take a trip around the notorious Champs-Élysées roundabout, drink poison, and get targeted by snipers.