Monday, August 18, 2014

blackberry italian cream sodas

I've been wanting to share this for a little while, but food52's recent post on sweet and savory uses for blackberries reminded me that some things are better late than never.  Blackberries are getting a little out of season, and this news is getting a little out of date, but... I like the pictures!

Way back when (okay, at the end of June), I sopped up the vacation time between the end of my third year of medical school and the chaos of starting my fourth year (and studying for my second set of boards).  Nick, who is now in my medical school class, also had the two weeks off, and we spent some time making denim aprons and recreating Ad Hoc food at home.

In some ways, I knew it was coming because we have been planning for the couples match, which begins this fall.  When Nick said, "Leave your Saturday open," I was pretty sure I knew the gist of his plans.

On the Friday, we made plans to try our hand at homemade Pad Thai with my mother and Mia; we (yes, all four of us) even made a special trip to my favorite grocer, Jay's International Food Co. for all the fixings.

With a little time on our hands mid-preparation, my mother and Mia decided it would be best if we took a walk with the dogs before we served dinner.  On our way back, my mother mentioned that she had framed wedding photos of my grandmother in my great-grandmother in her formal living room that she would like me to take home.  We walked towards the living room, which houses a baby grand piano, and inside the double glass doors stood Nick, all dressed up in gingham.  Naturally, he was in nobody's way in that part of the house.

Fortunately, Nick had already clued my mother on his plans to propose so that my mother would not have to keep winking at all her daughters to shoo them out of the room.  I will say that she reportedly was heard to be speaking highly of his [current] "negative thirty-thousand a year" and saying that she "was sure I could not be so beautiful for nothing."

Despite far too much self-flattery and far too many Pride & Prejudice quotes in the last paragraph, I urge you to try these Italian sodas!  Happy Monday!

1 cup blackberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Half & Half (a couple tablespoons per glass)
Sparkling water, chilled (a half cup or so per glass)
Whipped cream (optional)

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the blackberries, sugar, and water.
  2. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer; when simmering, cover saucepan and cook for about 10 minutes or so.
  3. After about 10 minutes, the fruit will have softened and the syrup will be a dark purple color.  Remove from heat and mash the fruit with a spoon.  Strain the syrup through a fine mash sieve.
  4. Allow the syrup to cool before assembling the drinks.
  5. To assemble the drinks, add about 1 cup of the sparkling water and about 1/4 cup of the blackberry syrup.  Stir gently.  Gently drizzle about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the half & half over the drink.  Top with whipped cream to serve.
Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.

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