Food for Very Hot Days

Hi stitch readers, nice of you to drop in despite the infrequent installments over the last few weeks. Sorry but sometimes RL gets in the way of the online business, I’m sure you can relate. I was busy with work, the typical last weeks of school madness and the slings and arrows of getting into the groove of life with a dog (who is adored by everyone except our old lady cat :-(().IMG_0465.jpg

IMG_5985All in all, taking care of the pup has been much less of an adjustment than I would have thought, and I’ve adapted to my new routine with ease. Walking a dog is as good a purpose for leaving the house as I can think of, and probably really healthy for me to boot, because we all know how most types of exercise bore me. I’ve found out that both pup and I prefer walking in the forest rather than at the park, so most mornings that’s where we go after the kids leave the house at 8.IMG_6629So, summer break. Some years this means nothing to do for a couple weeks other than catering to the youngsters and driving them to this beach or that. Other years it simply means working in a different place (as of last week, the country cottage). This year being one of the latter, I never really stop working unless it’s the weekend, and sometimes not even then. But what with the heatwave we’re experiencing, it sure is pleasant to be out here, with the lake a mere 5 minutes away.IMG_0547Eating when it’s well in the 30s (Celsius) is a challenge because unlike some, I’m unable to survive on ice-cream alone. You can’t really not eat, because despite the heat you get hungry. And even though for some odd reason watermelon makes me really full, that is also not exactly satisfying when what your body really wants is something savory.

So today, my son requested a chilled tomato soup. That was, as it turns out, a genius idea, for this awesomeness is how it turned out:IMG_E0692It would probably have benefited from a handful of croutons, but really who can be bothered when it’s 37 °C?! Not me. You want to make this? Here’s how.

Tremendous Tomato and Basil Soup, Chilled

1 shallot

1 green onion, the white bulb portion

1 fat clove of garlic

1 handful of parsley

2 handfuls of basil

5 sprigs of thyme

1 vegetable broth cube

2 cans tomatoes

1/2 l tomato juice

1 large carrot, sliced

4 TBSP olive oil

1 slice of lemon

salt, pepper and sugar to taste

1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 bay leaf

1 small jar capers in brine

Peel and chop the vegetables and herbs, stalks and all. Heat the olive oil and sauté your chopped vegetables and herbs. Pour in some water and add the broth. Add sugar, salt and pepper, as well as the slice of lemon. Bring to a boil. Add the canned tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes with a closed lid so the flavors can combine.

Take off the heat and remove the bay leaf and the lemon slice. Puree with a stick blender. Then (sorry, but you’ll have to, or it won’t have the elegant, silky quality we’re aiming for) pass through a sieve. You may have to do this in batches. Discard the coarse stuff. Add to the strained soup the tomato juice, chili flakes and capers, along with their brine – it adds to the tartness of the soup. Check your seasoning.

Chill the soup thoroughly. If you’re impatient and/or very hungry like we were today, you might as well freeze it – the flavor won’t suffer, I promise.

Garnish with a basil leaf or two. Add to your heart’s desire: mozzarella, Parmesan shavings, feta cheese, goat cream cheese, a dollop of crème fraîche, or croutons. And enjoy :-).

After taking an evening walk with the pup, we were all sweaty and exhausted (it was still 36 °C), and after a shower, I had both a craving and an idea. Peach milkshakes, I thought. We did have a bunch of fresh peaches, and an orange, as well as some frozen pieces of mango, and some vanilla ice cream. The stick blender did its job. It was really, really yummy, and just what I needed after the insane heat of the day.img_0696.jpgThis is how we made our concoction:

Peachy Milkshakes

4 peaches or nectarines (or more to taste)

1 orange, squeezed

4 TBSP frozen mango

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

1/2 lemon, squeezed

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 cup milk

Puree all ingredients with a blender, add some water if the shake is too thick for your taste, and drink up!

And finally, since it was the weekend, and my wayward son came back after 2 days of partying in the city, I also made these, feeling way more like a stay-at-home-mom than I would like:IMG_0679I’m well aware I’ve written up cinnamon buns before, but it’s only recently that I thought of making them look like a bunch of roses from the top – all you really need to do it set them in a round baking dish, next to each other, and voilà, you have this very pretty piece of baking on your hands. The recipe is the same as here. Only they look a lot prettier like this, aaand they don’t dry out as they might do if baked as individual rolls. If they even last long enough to, teehee. This batch was gone after a day :-), and there was only three of us!

So, have a most excellent summer, everyone. I may or may not be back soon with more food stuff. Translating really good recipes is always an inspiration ;-).IMG_0550