The sweltering heat and a refreshing ice cream - the end of the school term and Summer holidays

These past few days the heat has been unbearable. I'm not even going to talk about the fires that ripped apart this country, and the horrifying images the media spreads out as birds of prey that they are. The media coverage was actually apalling, journalists these days have a lack of emotion that scares me, a lack of respect for human dignity and the loss of life, a disregard for the pain of those who have lost their loved ones and their homes. It's appaling, and I cannot watch the news for that. But the truth is that the sight of those cars on the road was what hit me the most. Because it did not look nor feel real. It was like some sort of Hollywood scenery, it was like an opening scene for a Stephen King adaptation - Cell comes to mind, along with the The Stand and a few others - it was like a new version of The Walking Dead. Contrived. Unreal. But it has been very, very real.

Everyone deals with these things their own way: some need to find culprits, whatever and whoever they may be, others need to talk about the subject to exhaustion, others will brush the subject and live it in their minds, keeping mostly silent. It's what I do, so no, it's not that I'm pretending it didn't happen, it's not that I'm so callous as to just move along, life goes on, but yes it does, you know? Life has to go on. Talking about this, thinking about this, will only make me tumble into a darkness I don't want to dwell in. See, we were supposed to be in the area, last weekend. We didn't go because there was a prediction of electric thunderstorms and we were also short on cash. So we stayed home, and we'll leave it at this, I won't dwell on this subject publicly any longer. I'm going to act all shallow minded and futile, and I'll talk about trivialities and ice cream. Because the heat is sweltering.

And nothing feels better than a couple scoops of ice cream in this heat. Yesterday was my son's last school day for the tem. He is officially on holidays, which for me is actually really bad news. I love my boy, make no mistakes, but hard as I tried - and boy, did I try hard and work hard and gave it all my best efforts - I haven't managed to finish writing the first draft of Book Four in my 'The Preternaturals' series. I'm a couple of chapters away, and it's all well set and defined in my had, but even writing an average of 5500 words a day, I didn't get through it before the end of school term. Now with the boy home, everything gets a little bit harder: there be mornings at the beach and afternoons in the park for sure, there'll be mother and son time aplenty, lots of Masterchef Australia binge watching - kid thrives on it, he looooves George Calombaris! - and there'll be little chance for me to focus and write. Still, I'll manage, as I always seem to do. Mind does not stop working and making up stories, and whenever the muses get a hold of me I actually am able to shut own the world around and write for hours lost in my own magic little world. Poor kid, I'm the worst mom ever.

But yeah, there'll be ice cream aplenty, and the making of it, and some baking and some cooking and the soda breads we will make, and all the delicious cooking we are already planning, there'll be time for it all, and time for reading and resting and relaxing. We're in need of it, boy worked hard this year at school and now he deserves a respite. We're reading Sherlock Holmes together - score! I read it when I was nine, he's only eight so I planted the bug properly yay! - and it's been great fun, because the writing is so different from what he's used to, and the language too, with loads of words he doesn't yet know and that will help improve his vocabulary. Also, the pacing is very different from modern day lit, what with all those long sentences and paragraphs, and I want him to also know this kind of writing exists and is readable and understandable and actually beautiful in its complexity. Seek the simplicity is hardly ever my norm, though sometimes I need to make it a bit more so. But when it comes to reading, when it comes to good books, I kind of refuse to seek the simplicity and I want the kid to also be able of enjoying complexity.

But now for this ice cream. It's a coconut custard, mascarpone and lemon curd ice cream. So what I did was actually make a batch of lemon curd, and you can find the recipe here and later added it to the ice cream. The coconut custard, you can get the recipe from my previous post right here. ONce it's done just let it cool inside a bowl, cover with cling film so it doesn't form a film on top and pop it in the fridge. For my ice creams, I always work with my ice cream maker, so I normally freeze the container over 24h, but that's my thing, and sometimes it may be a bit too long. Twelve hours should be good. Now, for the proper ice cream you need:
  • one batch of coconut custard
  • one packet of mascarpone chees
  • 2-3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4-5 tbsp (heaped) lemon curd
Start up by beating the mascarpone with the sugar to soften it up. Pour it onto your ice cream maker and add the coconut custard. Start the maker going and let it beat the mix together for about half an hour, twenty minutes, it usually depends on the machine. Once it's reached that perfect setting, take it out of the maker and pour it onto a container that can go to the freezer. Start foolding sponful after spoonful of lemon curd, but be real gentle about it, just swirl it around, you don't want to incorporate it into the mix, you want to take a bite of your ice and have the different flavours burst in your mouth. Eat straight away or freeze and enjoy over the week, like we did!!


  1. I read about what happen in Portugal, I feel so sorry for everyone and for what happened, it was such a tragedy. Portugal is an amazing country and I cannot wait to go there and experience it as much as possible. Big love <3

    1. <3 It was really daunting, Marta, if you find yourself travelling through the region, you'll see the devastation. The food around there is still amazing though, and those brave folk are doing their best to pick up their lives again. I always spend my holidays around the area, and this year I intend to go there again and do my best by buying local and eating local for it's the only way I can help. Might not be much, but it's something. Also, fruit around there is sooooo good, the pears and the apples especially.

  2. i know what you mean. i need to talk things through, but at the same time, talking and thinking about all the tragedy and political/social turmoil in the world gets me stuck in a cynical pit and i have a hard time getting out. and even though you didn't finish your book, it sounds like your summer is off to a good start! tons of ice cream and reading sounds like a recipe for a fun time (:

    1. Yes, it should do for a fun time, but work is piling and there's not much respite from it ahah!!

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