It is late in the afternoon. The shutters are half closed, a woman lies on a bed covered in a patina of sweat, her tanned limbs splayed over tangled white sheets. A ceiling fan hums quietly above her.
If this is were one of those movies set somewhere in the tropics in the Fifties, she would be the sultry love interest, shining with a post-coital glow. But this is Milan, summer 2013. And that lady is me. I lie sprawled on my bed, gasping for air like a fish out of water, my bangs stuck to my forehead and my hair scrunched up unattractively on the top of my head while my kids chase each around noisily in their underwear, my son resembling one of the Village People in his briefs and hard hat, my daughter in panties and costume jewelry (less is more, as Coco would have said).
The awareness that we will be lying on sandy shores and swimming in crystal clear waters soon undoubtedly makes the high 30's and suffocating humidity much more endurable.
In the meantime, however, we have been battling the August heat however we could this past week.
On the week end we discovered a corner of paradise that I am fondly reminded of whenever I look at the blisters on my feet, brush against the sunburn on my shoulders or feel my sore thigh muscles. Mental note: maybe it isn't just the heat that is keeping DH stubbornly turned the other way in the marital bed.
I have been making lots of iced tea, the latest with rooibos, which *round of applause* I found at my local the supermarket.
Then I made ice cream using an ideal recipe because it did not require standing next to a hot stove stirring the custard base.
When you use a Ben & Jerry's recipe, you usually know you are going to get a good result, even when it is so hot that your Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment has trouble freezing the cream (at one point it actually started melting and I had to quickly mix in the peaches and put it in the freezer) and when you invert the amounts of milk and cream (because you don't have enough of the latter). If you manage to churn the ice cream all the way and use that extra cup of cream (because I am giving you the original quantities), you will be in for an even creamier delight than ours.
Recipe from Ben & Jerry's
Ingredients (makes 1 quart)
4 small ripe peaches, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 to 1/4 cup sugar (depending how ripe the peaches are)
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs (or 2 large)
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
Combine peaches, 1/2 cup of sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, stirring the mixture a few times.
Drain the juice into another bowl and return peaches to fridge.
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, add the remaining sugar a little at a time and whisk until completely blended.
While whisking, pour in the cream, the milk and then the peach juice until blended.
Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer's instructions.
When the ice cream ice ready, add the peaches and freeze for a few hours.