Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Olympic Food Challenge: Ginger Beer - Sierra Leone

If you've been following the Olympic Food Challenge, you may know that sadly we didn't quite meet the original goal of our illustrious team coach.  Despite sterling gold medal shows from Tonight's Menu, Soup Tuesday, Feast and Glory and Come Dine With Rach, we fell about forty countries short of the final total thanks to our silver and bronze medallists.

Undettered, Ewan has rallied some of the troops to complete his original mission during the Paralympics.  Because some of us were so keen to maintain that post-Olympic haze of glory in our lives, there weren't enough countries for us all to do one meal a day for the whole of the Paralympics but we will hit 204 by 9th of September come hell or high water.

Jamie O's idea of sexy is wildly different to mine
To do my bit, I will be cooking recipes from Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Khazakstan, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and Bermuda.  I'm not quite sure how I managed to be so unlucky as to bag all the rubbish ones, but hey-ho.

So we start tonight in Sierra Leone, a country that is sadly most famous for its child soldiers and blood diamonds.  Located in Western Africa, Sierra Leone has only sent one competitor to the Paralympics in the past, that event being in Atlanta in 1996.  According to that tome of truth otherwise known as Wikipedia, however, they are sending a competitor to London 2012 to attempt the mens 100 and 200m race.

As for its cuisine, there's really not much on the web.  Okay so I had far less time to navel gaze when I should've been prepping my recipes this time round.  But most of the dishes, I already discounted when I did the OFC earlier this year.  And those I would've done, I've already done such is the similarity in recipes in Western Africa.

Apparently though, ginger beer is the big thing so I decided to give that a go.  After a little research, I decided to avoid the more traditional recipes when Hugh F-W mentioned that you should use a 2 litre lemonade bottle rather than the fancy glass bottle I'd planned to use because there's a risk of the yeasted beer causing the bottle to explode.

Having performed a risk assessment - dogs that sleep in the kitchen, a toddler, a husband with a short temper - I settled on a Jamie O recipe that basically bungs a lot of stuff in a jug to make a 'sexy' drink.

Jamie, if you think that this drink is sexy then I pity poor Jules.  It's okay.  I'm sure if it was hot and sunny and there was a barbecue going on in my garden then I might have been more appreciative of the drink but as it was peeing down outside, it was also a Wednesday night and I had a random assortment of fridge leftovers for tea, the drink didn't quite have the wow factor for me.  Plus it's a massive waste of decent fresh ginger.  But if you're as rich as Jamie O, you can afford to be extravagant.

You can find the recipe here.  PS: Just like I've said before, the result looks nothing like the lovely professionally-styled picture on the Jamie website.


  1. The HFW one in plastic bottles works brilliantly but you have to not shake it I am told or rather got shouted at about it lol. This looks really funky but I take it from post it was drinkable at least :o)

  2. Hi,

    I am very impressed after reading through parts of your blog. With your cooking skills I think you could be interested in this competition I have found. You cook your national dish and then you have the opportunity to win an iPad mini or money. It could also be a good chance for you to let more people know about your blog since you will be shown on their homepage and in a cookbook!
    Here's the presentation about the competition:
    Competition: Win iPad or Money
    And here's their facebook page:
    Facebook Page

    I hope you will be win..



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