My Mum and Dad were visiting New York, and we took a side trip out of the city to see what we could see and have lunch. What I saw was a four leaf clover, right in the middle of a grass verge by the sidewalk.
I donâ€™t know how I spotted it. My family will tell you that, to me, Whereâ€™s Waldo is one of lifeâ€™s great mysteries. But spot it I did. I stopped. Bent down. And picked it.
â€œThatâ€™s very lucky,â€ said Mum, who admitted that up to this point she hadnâ€™t really believed they existed. â€œWhat are you going to spend the luck on?â€
The idea of luck as currency appealed to me. What should I spend my luck on? It would take some thinking about.
â€œLottery ticket,â€ said Jon when I showed him the now limp leaves over a delicious dinner at Clearwater that night. â€œPick a nice big jackpot, kiss the lucky clover and win big.â€
â€œIâ€™ll think about it,â€ I said, carefully slotting the clover into the back of my notebook for safekeeping, as though it were the worldâ€™s most useful and magical gift certificate.
On the way home a black cat walked in front of my path.
Let me reiterate: I was on a path. A back cat walked in front of me. In a city of apartment dwelling felines, this is a singularly unusual event.
â€œLucky!â€ said Mum.
â€œItâ€™s adding up,â€ said Dad.
â€œThatâ€™s it. Weâ€™re totally having a bet on the Derby,â€ said Jon.
We walked back to the flat to drink coffee and look at photos. People that I love I the city that I love. And I felt extremely lucky, clover, cat or no.
Frozen Mint Julep (per glass)
I love this description of how to make a traditional mint julep, and if you consider yourself a purist, I recommend that you heed the writerâ€™s advice. But this version is the version that I actually prefer to drink. Extra frosty, extra minty, with no annoying mint bits in the teeth â€“ and itâ€™s easy to make a pitcher using the same basic proportions.Â¾ cup crushed ice 1 measure water 2 measures bourbon (or Kentucky Whisky) 1 measure of mint sugar syrup (to taste) Fresh mint to garnish Â
- Spoon the crushed ice into your julep cup and add the whiskey, water and mint syrup
- Stir to combine and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint
For the mint sugar syrup1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 cup fresh mint leaves Â
- Stir the sugar water and mint together in a pan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved
- Cool off the heat for 30 mins to allow the mint to really infuse into the syrup
- Strain the mint out using a fine sieve and keep the syrup in the fridge until needed â€“ lasts a month, covered and chilled
If You Can Make That You Can Make This
- Use the syrup in lemonade to give it some zing
- Or make frozen mojitos by blending 1 measure of white rum, 1 measure of lime juice, 1 measure of mint syrup and a cup of ice together. Top up with a little soda water