My husband is quite a purist where food and drinks are concerned. Black coffee to my sugary creamy mug of froth; margherita to my meat feast and fruitcake without marzipan or icing (say what?!). So, currently, I’m drinking Guinness punch quietly, it’s sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder and spices a serious affront to his sensibilities.
The taste (and before you knock it, just imagine a liquid form of chocolate Guinness cake batter mix) takes me back nearly twenty years to the first time tried that marvellous concoction. I used to cycle miles every evening to teach violin and piano in people’s homes and, to cut a long story short, one evening a bus driver decided that I was in the way as I queued at a junction. His course of action was to get out of his bus, lift both me and my bike up and throw us on the pavement with the grunted explanation, “you’re in my way.” As you might imagine, by the time I’d cycled, in a rather wobbly fashion, to my next pupils house I was in a bit of a state. When Edith, the lovely but not overly warm West Indian mother of my student opened the door I burst into tears. And love her, she gave me a massive hug and rushed me into the kitchen for an enormous glass of Guinness punch. I think her version, the more traditional recipe, involved some kind of chocolate build-up milkshake and maybe a whole bunch of other stuff too but it was sublime. And I was really lucky that ten year old Oneeka was the last on my list that evening because I don’t tolerate alcohol well and was probably not safe for my three mile, largely uphill cycle home again.
Hmm.. The adventures of a travelling music teacher. Any of you want more of those stories?