I’ve been watching Saturday morning telly and have just seen the lovely Nigella making a snowball and talking about a childhood friend’s flamboyant great aunt.
It had me thinking on two scores – firstly my grandfather used to make us snowballs at Christmas. It always felt so grown up to be drinking “proper” drinks. My grandfather was one of the most generous men you could ever hope to meet until it came to serving drinks and then his tight fistedness was legendary but not in a way that one might expect – he was really, really tight with mixers, even when making drinks for quite young children! If a snowball wasn’t in order, and I’m not sure why that would be, perhaps it was dependent on the time of day, the drink alternative for us children was port and lemon.
Sitting here this morning, I’ve a real yearning for both. No, I don’t have a problem – I just have a yearning for flavours remembered and a sentimental feeling of missing my dear old granddad.
The second reason for my Nigella inspired reminiscence is the flamboyant great aunt of her tale – I had one of those, Aunty Nel – she was like something out of the Raj – she was tall, had been a bit of an adventurer for a woman of her age, having been a flapper girl and a model, she married a racing driver and in later years wore the most fantastic turban like creations and a fantastic opera cape with a huge peacock embroidered down the back. She had terrible arthritis but refused to allow it to bend her and carried a long black walking stick with a silver, ornate handle. I may have added this final detail from my own imagination, as others don’t remember it, but it really suits the image I have of her, and these are my memories, after all!
Our family recipe for snowballs differs from most in that we don’t use lemonade or brandy – try this version – it’s rather good!
3 measures advocat
1 measure Grand Marnier
Juice of 1/2 lime
200ml cream soda
2 cocktail cherries
Put the lot in a long tall glass over a little crushed ice and sip, with Christmas in your heart!