St Patricks’s day in Grahamstown signifies many things: Primarily, its an excuse to dress up in green, brandish a beer glass all night and join thousands of others behaving abominably in bars. Great. Except that it also signifies green beer (whose bad idea was that anyway?!), sometimes accompanied by free green cane shots. Sies. The combination of these someone leads to a green mess in gutters. Not so Irish.
This year, I squirmed at the thought of St Paddy’s. It was a rainy Saturday, and mugs of tea appealed to me more than liquor. I decided to resist the peer pressure and stay at home like a grandmomma, catching up on my work. Yes, I even wrapped my knees up in a crocheted blanky while I read.
It felt great. I thought of all the loud noises I was escaping; the squash of bodies and the smell of cigarettes, beer and burps. I made a green mayonnaise as my spirited token for the day, and settled back smugly. There is a time for everything.
Spinach and basil mayonnaise
- 1 tsp butter or olive oil
- One cup mayo (I use this basic recipe)
- 1 bunch spinach, stalks removed and rinsed
- 2 handfuls or 40g basil leaves
- ½ avocado, cubed (optional)
- Heat the butter/ oil in a large saucepan until hot and add the rinsed spinach. Put the lid on. The water from the spinach should create enough steam to wilt it. Leave for about 2 minutes- the leaves should be just cooked.
- Add the basil leaves to the spinach (they should wilt a little from the heat) and then squeeze the whole mixture with your hands ( I do this over a colander in the basin) until it is dry.
- Chop this green mass finely until it reminds you of an Irish cow’s cud. Good.
- Now blend it, along with the avo, with the mayonnaise until you have a tasty green concoction. This is the good kind of green- not the scary, green cane kind, but a nice, natural, edible hue.
We piled our mayo onto hamburgers with tomato, beef patties, lettuce, fresh avo and caramelized onion. Delicious Saturday.