Saturday, 9 January 2016

Question: How do you make an elephant float?

Answer: Put him in a glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and pour root beer over his head.

I go through these phases where I become *obsessed* with a food. I have a craving that will not leave me alone. I think about the food ALL THE TIME. Non-stop. Waking and sleeping.

This  happened once in 1990 (before we were vegan) where i became obsessed with some BBQ pork advertised in the back of a play programme. I spent the whole of Shirley Valentine peeking in the back of the programme and salivating.

Clearly, I got over it but only after going out for Chinese food after the play.

And I *really* got over it when I gave up meat 14 years later.

But i digress.

Recently, *something* triggered me to crave a root beer float. Why? Who knows. I never even liked root beer growing up. It was too....rooty. It had a weird earthy quality that I did not like.

Tiggers did not like root beer.

So what in the world was making me crave it now?

I don't know, but it would not leave my thoughts. Seriously.

So i went shopping. Unfortunately, root beer is a bit thin on the ground here in Wales. I did find a bottle of something posh that cost 1.50 for 330ml but would have only made one serving and I suspected that might not be enough.

Yes, it was a more natural product with real sassafras, but in my defence it cost 1.50.

So instead I just thought obsessively about it day and night and mentioned it to every person I met. As you do.

Thankfully this paid off as our friend Adam from Welsh class recommended I try dandelion and burdock instead. It is a similar drink with earthy, licorice overtones and you could buy it in a two litre for 55p.

No, it is not as natural as the expensive bottle. I know it only has licorice and dandelion and burdock extracts not the real root. But so does A&W Rootbeer. That stuff is artificially flavoured. And if it was good enough for me to dislike as a kid, then it was good enough for me to enjoy now.

Does that even make sense?  How could I be craving something I never liked as a child?

Some of it is because my tastes have matured. I love fennel and aniseed to bits. So i somehow, instinctively knew i would love this.

OK, we had the earthy drink. What about the vanilla ice cream? I mean, you need vanilla ice cream to make an root beer float right? Well i could have bought some Swedish Glace but is is full of artificial stuff and it contains palm oil which we try to avoid. Also it costs 2.20 and our weekly food budget is only 30 pounds so i didn't want to waste any more money on some expensive, artificial stuff owned by Unilever who have a dubious record when it comes to animal  testing.
   In the end I used a frozen banana. I mean, we use over-ripe frozen bananas to make ice cream all the time in summer, right?

I decided to blend it all up and make a root beer frosty instead to make it easier.
terrible picture, delicious drink
It. was. Gorgeous.

I could have even stood for it to be a bit more on the earthy side, personally.

A sort of ersatz root beer float thingee

In a blender blend up:

1/2 cup plant based milk (I used oatly)
1  1/4 cups fizzy, rooty, earthy soda drink
1 over ripe frozen banana
1 tsp vanilla essence
about 1 cup of ice cubes

Blend like heck until all slushy. Mine had a few ice chunks so will blend more next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time.

Spoon into two mason jars and top up with more earthy, rooty beverage.

Enjoy with a long spoon. We don't do straws as they are a waste of plastic, but if I owned a reusable glass straw I would have used it here.

it was bloody lovely. Just like what I was picturing--aniseed-y, creamy, icy and YUM. Or IYM as it spelled in Welsh. Pronounced EE-Um.

So what was the trigger for all this ridiculous mania? Well, as we were walking through town yesterday Spiderman spotted it. There is a new shop opening where Games Workshop used to be. There was a sign in the window saying it will soon be an old fashioned ice cream parlour and this was in the window:
That was it.

The trigger.

Subliminally working away at me until I gave it what it wanted.
I am *so* glad it did.  

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