After an unseasonably cool summer, we finally got some heat this week here in Southern California. At the Rancho Santa Fe market on Sunday we had decided to have a little party as the market ended, to celebrate summer as well as our market manager Raquel’s birthday….any excuse for a party, right? The problem was, it was so hot, low 90’a, as well as humid…the kind of of heat that you really don’t want to eat very much. What to serve, with little preparation, and how to beat the heat just a little? For starters, we offered up a little hydration, with some mint-lemon water. Boiling hot water over fresh crushed mint and sliced lemons from my tree; add ice and a generous pour of agave syrup, and you’re done~
In the market basket on display, I showed a ton of peaches and tomatoes and passion fruit,as well as a French beach staple; a can of Evian spray. You can find those cans HERE, and if you don’t know them already, they are probably the single best thing to get you through the day looking good and feeling cool~ spray your arms, spray your face, love these…..I also bought a new bottle of balsamic, this one from Akram and infused with wild berries….thick and great; I’d love to pour it over a bowl of fresh peaches and ice cream; you will see this soon….
As the market was underway, I did a little prep, and dealt with the heat and the fact that I didn’t have a refrigerator. The big copper bowl from Guy & Jacqueline was chilled with ice, and held the eggs I needed shortly.
Raquel brought six vintage steel blade knives, which I used to slice peaches, and I later brought home to polish and prep properly (hint: clean thoroughly then oil them)~
This was my worktable; you can see the cake in the back left, bags of frozen lemons, ice cream making bowl, sliced peaches, and gelato mixed with frozen lemons; the paper bags held the cartons of cream that went into the ice bath; It was an improv, it was a real mess, but it was delicious.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a hot afternoon than with an Italian Gelato. We had a triple recipe, and this is my all time fave~ the single recipe is to heat a cup of water and a cup of sugar for five minutes at a boil, then add three cups of lemon juice. Freeze. Mix the resulting ice in a blender with an egg white. Freeze again for about 30 minutes. This will result in a light and frothy gelato. When ready to serve, scoop into bowls or glasses or fancy champagne cups. Drizzle with a bit of vodka and a touch of berries or passion fruit juice if available. I had mine in a glass as it didn’t have time to refreeze properly, but it was still super good~
This recipe calls for a lot of lemon juice, so I used tiny lemons from the grocery store for part of the recipe, and scooped the finished gelato into the tiny frozen lemon shells for serving. This was sort of a quick slurp it up shot of lemon and vodka, and a perfect way to cool down after the market, garnished with a little sprig of fresh mint from Atkins Nursery~
And as soon as we sat down to the table, food started to arrive; Daniel from Rollswisserie brought us platters of quartered chickens and rosemary-roasted potatoes~
Emilio set down platters of the paella he made and then got to opening the bottles of Prosecco for the tables~
And before it got too late, I assembled a three layer white cake with the fresh peaches and passion fruit juice on a marble slab; it was appropriately loose and informal for a hot day….dig in, or pick a piece or two off the sides~
And for the entertainment as we ate, the vendors showed off fancy eggs, brought pretty straws and generally needed no further excuse to have fun~
Oh a little music didn’t hurt; Sally got right into the karaoke~
While the rest of us just sat around and ate and chatted and had a laugh, or ten~
Akram to the rescue with more fresh crudite and the tahini he makes from scratch;
My prescription for the heat? Bottle of Evian, lots of gelato, lots of good friends and light foods….I don’t like to eat a lot when it’s too hot. Reve Paris is progressing, and I get more and more excited the further this project goes; though the death of my beloved 98 year old Grandma Virginia has also set me back this week.
Enjoy the dog days of summer…no news means I am busy and making progress on Reve, which I must finish soon as I have SO many great projects stacking up after that!!