Beach bums, afternoon siestas and chocolate icecreams...
This week has had a pretty good start, so far. The heat hasn't been overpowering, and the humidity has been at a low, so mornings have been filled with sand, sea breezes, and salt water. The beach is always best in the early hours, when it is mostly empty, because portuguese people have a tendency to rather venture skin cancers than wake up early and make the most of the beach. I always leave by 11 a.m., seeing that by then you can hardly navigate the sand, filled as it is with beach towels and people lazying or playing ball or walking around and tanning their bodies. But then, I always get there really early.
It's just something I can't really understand, people that take off for the seaside at 11, twelve p.m., when the sun is at its zenith, when it's the most dangerous to be out there, when they should be home, and not under the blaze. It is irresponsible, even if you take a parasol and lie mostly under it. The light reflecting on the sand will do damage to your eyes, and it will still hit your skin. I feel like I could just shake those maggots of people I pass by whenever I'm leaving the beach and they just getting there, towing children and babies with them. Irresponsible. Maddening. And then, if I decded to head to beach in the afternoon, usually after four p.m., I cross those maggots out on the street again. They will be heading home. They seem to be able to enjoy the beach during those hours when they should be avoiding it. Go figure.
To each their own, right? I do enjoy my mornings in the sand, jumping the waves with my son, people spotting, playing around, just being lazy and relaxed and carefree. This has been one of those weeks, and we are really taking advantage of this wholesome weather, and of living so close to the beach. Walking distance, really. How privileged. And I keep forgetting that, in the midst of the daily living, and the daily struggle that we all must face. I am luck enough to have this for free, a beach that is just outside my doorstep, where I can enjoy nature and fun and relaxation. I am lucky enough to have the health that allows me to enjoy this, in every sense. I am lucky enough. Even if I have nothing else. I can at least recognize this much that I have, and enjoy it.
Like icecreams. Who doesn't love having an icecream when the weather is warm and sunny, when one has played in the sand and the water all morning long, coming home with that energy that only a beach tumble can give you, that energy that starts wearing off in the most delicious way after you get home, shower, have lunch. It's then that, when you finally throw yourself onto your couch or daybed, the warm room seeming to envelop you like a cocoon of sorts, and you pick up a book to read but actually start dozing on and off, it's then that, right before you drfit off into sleep, you think having a ready made icecream waiting for you in the freezer would be just perfect. And as you allow yourself to doze off, knowing that there is a bucket of icecream waiting for you, everything seems to be falling into place, just right, and you know the hols have really begun.
I must say that I have been dreaming of buying an icecream maker for quite a while now. For at least two Summers, I believe, but I couldn't find one I could afford. Finally, a couple of weeks ago we came across just the one for us, and seeing that its price tag was really at the bargain point, we jumped in and brought it home, a smile on my lips as I envisioned all I could do with it, in the icecream department. Our first experiment was a vanilla icecream, made with homemade vanilla extract, and it was to die for. As it was only our first trial, we wanted to go or something quite simple, as less tends to be more in these cases. It was a perfectly balanced icecream, and seeing we had somehow hit the spot, on our second trial we opted for something quite basic as well, because, well, why complicate life, really?
So for our second round, we went for the chocolate icecream most people will love. So basic, right? But so good. And creamy. The icecream maker is really a life saver, as I have been making my homemade icecream for quite a while, and it has never come out this creamy and this more-ish. If you have an icecream maker, why not go for this recipe? You can also make do without the machine, just make sure you churn it every hour. What you'll need to do is, if you're using one of those icecream makers, to place its bowl, wrapped in plastic foil, inside your freezer for at least twenty four hours. Then you can get started on the icecream base, and for that you'll need:
- 200 ml milk
- 200 ml heavy cream
- 70 gr sugar (I used brown sugar)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder