Monday, February 02, 2015

Horchata and Tapioca Pearls

Mmmmmm....tapioca pearls....


in cold horchata and what you have is my favourite exotic summer drink! I love the chewy texture of the former mixed with the light milky and ground almond flavour of the latter. It may come across as a strange combination, sort of a Spanish/Latin/Asian fusion drink. The resulting mix however is not that dissimilar to the flavour of bubble tea drink that is popular in Asia which some of you may be aware of already.

Sweet daydreams of summer after making a brief cold journey from the house to the koi shed to feed the fish and seeing those 'pearls' above that look so much like tapioca pearls.

Alas, those 'pearls' are not edible and are actually beneficial bacteria laden balls and you certainly wouldn't want to put them anywhere near your mouth despite its innocent and chewy appearance. We add them to the pond filter every so often to help with the biological filtration as the filter is new and yet to mature. Basically they help keep the pond healthy until the filter can sufficiently do what it's supposed to do on its own.

Bacteria balls in the filter, it was time to inspect the other residents in the shed which are the succulents. Last weekend I was able to move in the remainder of what's supposed to go there after a quick trip to Ikea to buy more of those colourful bowls.


I'm loving the bright colours, makes the shed a more cheerful place to spend time in. 


Lined like that on the steel shelving they look like laboratory specimens too. Quite apt as I guess a lot of those succulents are products of tissue culture.

Now let's have a closer look at some of them...

Aloe 'Sparkling Burgundy' but not looking so burgundy at the moment
Aloe brevifolia to the left and a couple of Aloe suprafoliata in the middle
A trio of hybrid Aloes at the front
A couple of white variegated Aloe brevifolia at the back amongst hybrid aloes and some agaves
Other residents not on the those shelves are doing fine...


One of the Tillandsias on the left vase did perish so is now gone. The Aloe ferox on the right was given by the kind folks at Jersey Plants Direct
Sat on the chair, a quick look back up to the succulents before I head back to the house...


Come to think of, why wait till summer to have some horchata?? I'll make myself some over the weekend, ice cold enjoyed in a warm house! Even better that I have uncooked tapioca pearls in the larder.

Dreaming of summer? And what's your favourite summer drink?

Mark :-)

18 comments :

  1. Genius! Great shelving and great coloured drip trays. YK

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    1. Thanks Kris! They do the job nicely and inexpensive too :)

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  2. I've never thought to actually purchase the trays that go under my pots indoors, but I have such a variety of pot sizes it would be difficult to find some that fit everywhere. So colorful though!

    I'm also loving the Aloe assortment! I have a couple of varieties potted now, so maybe I'll expand the collection this year -- there are some really interesting ones!

    It's difficult to think of my favorite summer drink as I've just burned my tongue on hot cocoa... :)

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    1. Those pots are so versatile Alan, although I reckon I can squeeze more in if I use a tray instead ...

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  3. Well that's about the most festive indoor display I've seen in quite some time !

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    1. Haha, a bit of colourful fun never did harm Kathy :)

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  4. Your succulents all look exceptionally healthy! The colorful bowls are a nice touch too.

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    1. Adds a bit of interest in the shed Kris :)

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  5. I love the color of the bacteria balls (such a funny phrase to type) and I am positively in awe of the beautiful handwriting of which ever one of you wrote those plant tags!

    As for summer drinks ice cold sparking water and/or a lemon drop, so tasty!

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    1. Ohh I love that refreshing drink combo Loree, especially after some tasty barbecued meat, mmmm!!!

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  6. Love the IKEA colour. As for favourite summer drink - my mother's homemade lemonade. 2 lemons, sliced, 8 tablespoons of sugar and a pint of water. Boil for about 15 mins (I think). Drain the syrup after letting it cool, and dilute as for a cordial. Very refreshing.

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    1. Thanks Alexandra! I haven't thought about boiling lemons before with sugar, I'll definitely try that recipe :)

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  7. Great color! Your new shed looks like a great place to hang out! Before I read further, I kept looking at the bacteria balls and thinking that I'd never seen tapioca pearls quite like that before. I've never tried horchata but am now off to find a recipe!

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    1. So many variations out there Peter, you'll have to come up with your own unique mix :)

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  8. Hello Mark and Gaz,

    Your shed is a rainbow of colour. Just the thing to jazz up these dreary, dark, dismal days. Such a fun idea.

    We do not like Tapioca......perhaps too many memories of horrid school dinners. Lemonade for us. Cheers!

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    1. That made me laugh Jane and Lance, about the tapioca :)) nostalgia eh!

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  9. Did you invented the combination of horchata and tapioca pearls?? I´ve never seen it...it sounds interesting... Can you make horchata in your house? I´ve never thought about making it myself as I could always go and buy it.
    My favourite summer drink is lemonade.
    Your aloes and other succulents are displayed as little treasures :)

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    1. I make some myself but I do cheat and just do a concoction, even adding rice water if I'm feeling adventurous :)

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