Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Can you believe it is over already? After marking the 25th anniversary of Ab Fab by catching up with Jen … then Jane, Jules and yesterday June, I can’t believe we’re at the end of our road. And I tell you, I’m struggling to let go … though I am super, super thankful that we’re finishing with my dear friend and ex-lover – when in drag – Joanna Lumley.

I’ve always loved Jo, and not only because we met in ‘69 – giggity – on the set of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I was dating a then unknown George Lazenby and quickly dropped him to form a powerful clique with Diana Rigg and Jo, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

When Jen and I were getting to work casting Ab Fab, I knew that Jo was the only person that could possibly play the role – after Jen said I was too beautiful for the role, obvi. While I was at first heartbroken to have missed out on the role of a lifetime, me – did I mentioned Patsy was based on me? – I knew Jo would do me justice, so I uncharacteristically remained friends with her.

Jo has been super busy lately with her film appearances and legitimately amaze documentaries, so we’ve been unable to catch-up since the Ab Fab movie premiere. She ran into my arms as soon as she saw me at the airport, congratulating me on not punching anyone out during our victorious marriage survey. And also because she missed me so terribly.

We laughed, we cried tears of joy, we plotted to convince Jen to write a sequel, we reminisced and most importantly, we made ourselves sick on the huge bowls of Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream.

 

 

You didn’t think I’m get through the date without bringing liquor into the occasion, did you? One of the more underrated ice cream flavours, this perfectly balances the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream, with the punch of the boozed fruit. And everything is better for it.

To Ab Fab – enjoy, sweetie!

 

 

Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream
Makes: 2L.

Ingredients
1 cup raisins
100ml spiced rum
600ml thickened cream
395g condensed milk
2 tbsp vanilla essence

Method
Place the raisins and rum in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Whisk the remaining ingredients together until soft peaks form. And fold through the cooled raisins and sticky liquid.

Transfer to airtight containers and freeze overnight, or for six hours or so.

Then devour, greedily, darling.

 

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Jon English Muffins

Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Side, Snack

The number one perk of time travel – outside of fraudulently getting lotto numbers – is being able to catch-up with your deceased friends … at optimal points in their life / career.

Obviously since I was travelling back to see Jon-Jon but didn’t want to let on that everything was not alright, I went back to ‘74 while he was starring in Jesus Christ Superstar with my dear gal-pal Marcia Hines.

You see Marce introduced us when she joined the show in ‘73, so it was the perfect way to slot back into my life without alerting him of any issue. Plus, he was hella banging in the 70s.

Anyway, our friendship was instantaneous and after excusing myself from life in Marce’s entourage, I commenced touring with Jon and quickly became his muse / career adviser. As seems to be the way it goes, I had hits and many misses throughout those times – there are only so many hippie, drug-lord murders one can play before it gets old. It wasn’t until the 90s and the classic All Together Now that we really hit our stride professionally.

It truly was such a treat to see Jon-Jon truly in his element like he was while playing Judas, laughing with the band and firing off banter with Marce and I. And then future me after I chloroformed past me.

After a night of hard performing on stage and hard drinking with Marce at her blackmarket, backstage casino, I used to wake up early day in, day out, and whip up fresh Jon English Muffins that we’d have toasted, slathered with butter and vegemite.

 

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Just getting to experience our old tradition once final time was enough to fill my heart with joy, but the taste of a fresh, freshly toasted English Muffin made me feel euphoric.

Fresh, doughy … do you really need me to describe bread? It is bread. Bread is good. Just enjoy, ok?

 

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Jon English Muffins
Makes: 8-12.

Ingredients
300g bread flour, plus extra for flouring
7g dried yeast (that should be one sachet. Should be)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
⅔ milk
1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
oil, for greasing
polenta, for dusting

Method
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Melt the butter into the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until it reaches 40-45C. Remove from heat.

Pour the butter and milk into the flour mix and knead with a dough hook in an electric mixer for a minute or two. Add the egg and knead for a further five minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and prove for two hours.

Dust the bench with polenta and roll the dough out until it is 2cm thick and cut into mug sized rounds. I say mug sized as I can’t be bothered buying 70s cookie cutters, so reached for a mug. Jon-Jon’s kitchen wasn’t well stocked, ok?

Anyway, sprinkle more polenta on the base of a large baking sheet and place the discs of dough on them. Top with another dusting of polenta and leave to prove – again – or half an hour.

Heat a large frying over the lowest possible heat and fry each muffin for about five minutes either side, or until golden, crisp and perfectly cooked.

Serve however you like, but slathered in Vegemite would make you a happy little Vegemite. So … yep.

 

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All together now

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The festive season has taken a firm hold of me – which let’s be honest isn’t hard considering Mariah Carey’s Christmas albums are year-round listening in my house – and as such, it gets me feeling all nostalgic for the friends I have lost in the past year.

My dear friend Jo-Jo English sadly passed away in the weeks before our birthdays and we never got to have our final joint birthday extravaganza. As such, I’ve decided to dust off the old time machine and celebrate his life / our friendship.

Hopefully without causing a Flashpoint timeline.

Well, unless it causes Skarsy to join me in a throuple … that would be more than ok!

Anyway, what says I miss you without letting on that he died?

Image source: Unknown.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.