Warm summer air. There is nothing quite like it. It's invigorating, intoxicating and all too consuming. It makes one fearless. Warm summer air is peaceful and brings about all sorts of desires. The desire to be carefree and calm. No worries, just happiness.
It is quite extraordinary to think how nature can affect our mood. Despite the fact that autumn is my favorite season for many reasons, summer is usually when most people are cool and relaxed. Maybe do things they normally wouldn't - face fears and be a little adventurous.
Summer makes you notice all the everyday things that are around you in a different way. Growing vegetables and plants in the back yard as opposed to buying them from the grocery store. Seeing all their features and noticing how unique each plant is makes it so much more exciting to take care of them. And also knowing that the end result will be delicious!
Or stunning, like the hydrangeas in my mum's backyard. Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite flowers. Especially blue one, but I must say that I'm quite enamoured by the fused pink and blue ones. So gorgeous. Note to self: get some hydrangea gum paste cutters (but so expensive!)
I can't get over how beautiful some of these flowers are, but what I really can't get over is how I hadn't even noticed the details of the white flowers below. I had never really paid enough attention to them but I'm so glad I did now. So small and delicate, just what I love. I guess that's what summer does. Makes you relaxed enough to notice all these little details.
There have been red currants in my parents' backyard for a long time now and this year I finally decided to pick some to use in a dessert. Normally my grandmother would make a compote with them, but unfortunately I never paid enough attention to what she was doing when I was younger. I now wish I had learnt more from her. My grandmother always made the most delicious meals, often spending hours in the kitchen. But she always said that to make good food, you have to be patient.
Apart from her cake, most people remember her for her dolmas (stuffed vine leaves) using fresh leaves straight from the backyard. Now my mum makes them and I suppose someday it will be my turn. I never realized how lucky I was growing up having a big back yard with lots of little treasures. I love going out and picking cherry tomatoes, little green peppers and cucumbers for a salad to go with supper. Healthier and definitely tastier!
So I hope you are all enjoying your summers and taking advantage of all the little things around you. And hopefully have some time to sit outside enjoying a nice meal and perhaps something sweet.
This post is linked to These Chicks Cooked Link Party
Lemon Pot de Creme with Red currant compote
Yields 4-6 ramekins
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 tbsp lemon zest
250 g red currants
2 tbsp water or lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 325 F. Place the currants, water or juice and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring every so often. Leave to simmer until slightly thickened. (The only problem I found was that the currants still had the seeds which didn't give a smooth texture, so I would advise you to try and strain the compote as much as possible). Spread compote evenly on bottoms of ramekins and leave to set a few minutes in the freezer (with freezer safe ramekins) or in the fridge.
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, honey, lemon juice and zest until thickened. Slowly pour the warm cream into the yolks while whisking to temper the yolks. Continue pouring a little at a time until well blended, then strain the whole mixture back into the sauce pan and transfer to a measuring cup.
Evenly pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, place in a deep roasting pan and fill the pan half way up the sides of the ramekins with boiling water. Same method as creme caramel. Bake for 30-35 minutes until they are only a little wobbly (only one or two ripples when you shake the pan. Leave to cool in pan then refrigerate at least 2 hours or preferably over night.
Enjoy eating outside in the warm summer breeze!