Gerald’s Oct 2019 Musings

It is sixty years this month as a newly married couple we moved to Whittington to start married life. After leaving school I was an apprentice motor engineer for six years,before two years national service, with the REME army corps, where I was employed maintaining Centurian Tanks for the Seventh Hussars Cavalry Regiment.

During that time we had little chance to save for married life. My first weekly wage was £1.43 for a 44-hour six day week, and the army pay was around £3 per week, but we managed.

The village we moved to was totally different then. The main street was very narrow, there was a shop and a post office, a thriving school, Fred Hall the builders, Vince Watson the joiner, Jack Usher was the landlord at the Dragons Head, Tommy Tallon was the blacksmith, Fred Goad at the garage, Pelters Haulage and coal business, as well as at least fourteen working farms.

Sellet Mill was still working, a lot of village men were employed maintaining the local roads, and some worked for the Forestry Commission. Not many people had their own transport (I had a motorbike and sidecar) but the village was well served with regular calls from butchers, bakers, fishmen, and hardwear vans, plus the Co-op travelling shop. No need to leave the village to go shopping, it was all brought to you.

I wonder what changes the next 60 years will bring?

The next dance in the Village Hall is on October 5th when Denis Westmorland will be playing once again.



For a change – A recipe with a difference

Who says medicine can’t taste amazing? This essential cocktail was created for sailors as a way to prevent scurvy. It didn’t take long to realize that this preventative drink was also delicious. While scurvy may be of the past, it seems like this tart tipple is here to stay. It doesn’t get much simpler or more refreshing than the classic Gimlet.

Basil, Vodka Gimlet

About The Simple Syrup Cocktail
If you can boil water, you can make a simple syrup. The staple cocktail sweetener more than earns its name, consisting, simply, of equal-parts granulated sugar and water. From there, the variations are endless. Like your sweetener sweeter? Up the ratio to two to one, sugar to water. Looking to add a little zip to your Paloma or oomph to your Old Fashioned? Steep a couple of jalapeño slices or cinnamon sticks.

The best part? Your homemade simple syrup once sealed and refrigerated can live a happy, productive life for up to a month. That’s 30 days shaking, stirring, blending and drinking your own homemade cocktails. Now doesn’t that sound sweet?

Ingredients in The Simple Syrup Cocktail
120mL Granulated sugar
120mL Water

How to make The Simple Syrup Cocktail
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Strain into a jar and seal tightly with a lid. Simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about one month.

Other Information
Use Demerara sugar for a richer flavour.

Ingredients in The Gimlet Cocktail  
75mL Gin
15mL Fresh lime juice
15mL Simple syrup
Garnish: Lime wheel

John Keegan