Monday, June 22, 2015

I am melting

The summer solstice occurred less then 24 hours ago, and I think we landed smack-dab into the dog days. Soaring temperatures that reach back a week, with reports that it’s stretching forward. The sun fiercely pelts down, evaporating the morning dew upon kissing the horizon. Trying to be a step ahead, the alarm clock on my husband’s nightstand is going off at 5.30 am in order for me get my java jolt, and grab a hose. I am trying to make sure my garden is not stressed by the lack of rain, but by noon the
squash plants droop for heat exhaustion. Though the tomatoes and peppers haven’t flinched, rather a profusion of flowers have been put out. I am hoping the chili peppers are going to be extra-hot this year. All my herbs are feeling just dandy under these conditions, growing and putting out leaves potent with fragrance. The only downside is the push to bolt, which I expect in August. Add to my just-breaking-day chores: deadheading all 30 plus herbs I am growing. But I am always excited to use these scented denizens of my summer scape.  There are daily sun-teas; torn leaves in every salad; pestos to rubbed into grilled meats, and infusions to magically extract.

As for the people and animals around me, the oppressive heat has everyone seeking shade or the relief of an artificial environment. Personally, I stand in solidarity with my friends in the garden, and suffer the heat…okay, with a caveat or two like a daily dip in the pool and a big scoop of ice cream.

Mango-Rose Geranium Ice Cream – approx 2-quarts
3-magoes – peeled and pureed (3-cups)
6-rose geranium leaves
4-cups whole milk
2-cups heavy cream
1½-cups sugar
4-egg yolks

In a 2-quart sauce place the geranium leaves, mago pits, milk and cream, and warm over a medium low heat.

In the meanwhile, in a work bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar together. Once the milk concoction has warmed beat about a third of the warm milk into the eggs. Then whisk the warmed eggs into the pot with the remaining milk. Using a rubber spatula stir the milk/egg mixture over the heat for about five minutes – making sure you don’t let the egg cruddle.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat, and pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in the mango puree to completely combine. Store the milk mixture in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Pout the milk mixture into your ice cream maker, and proceed according to the manufacture’s instructions.


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