You have to agree that last weekend was a scorcher. The weather was amazing, like a Lilt, it was totally tropical. I did naught but lie in the park, burn myself, go to a bbq, burn myself again and chill with friends. Basically I spent as much time outside of the house as possible spending money I did not have. It would have been sacrilege to stay indoors, sweltering away and relying on a cracked window for my air conditioning.
I also have to say that the last few days have also been rather pleasant and I have really been enjoying myself. I have been mixing interviews with eating, walking around Notting Hill (I seriously recommend Books for Cooks, Gail’s Bakery, Mr. Christian’s Deli and The Grocer on Elgin), jogging along the river and reading outdoors. Looking out of the window right now, I can see that the upcoming bank holiday has the potential to be another sunny affair or three days of sunny intervals, intermittent rain with warm humid periods.
Either way we will all need to stay cool and refreshed. Obviously you must stick with the usual iced Appletinis, or if you are a bit girly, some Pimms and Mojitos. But when it comes to the standard cordials, cornettos, fizzy pops and other frozen treats, it is nice to do something different. That something different I found whilst perusing my new and rather pukka Jamie’s America cookbook. Granita is a wonderfully refreshing dish that is incredibly easy to make. The mixture of basil and cinnamon really hits the nose cavity after the initial imbibition and the cold icy orange helps cool you down. It is definitely a great way to get over an overdose off sun tanning or some other form of summer exuberance.
Mexican orange granita
Serves 8 – 12 people
You will need:
350 ml of water
300 ml of white caster sugar
2 basil leaves
1 stick of cinnamon
1 litre of freshly squeezed orange juice (Tropicana will suffice)
- Mix the water, caster sugar, bay leaves and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stirring gently, bring it to a boil.
- Once the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is clear, sieve it into a large dish. You can get rid of the herbs too.
- Pour in the OJ. Stir, cover with clingfilm and place in the freezer.
- After about three hours, use a fork to scuff up the ice mixture into small fluffy shards. If not to your liking you can put it back in the freezer for another hour and repeat. The more you do this the more snow like it will get in consistency.
- When to your satisfaction, place in small bowls and serve. Simples.