Oh mama. It sure is hot out there.
I know I shouldn't complain, considering Canadian summers are so short, but I really do hate Toronto heat waves with a passion. I hate the thickness in the air, like a thick blanket that suffocates the city in its own smog and haze, until it's almost impossible to breathe.
Give me balmy springs and autumns, when the thermostat doesn't budge much past the 20C mark, when the air carries a hint of crisp freshness and the evenings are blissfully cool. Hell, give me the depths of February winters, when it gets so cold that the air takes on a crystalline quality, and the brisk winter winds pelt snowflakes onto my face - I have a ridiculously warm parka and I'm not afraid to wear it. Just spare the hot, muggy summers. Please.
Today, it feels almost like the city is wilting under the non-stop heat. My army of tomato plants is drooping despite twice-daily waterings, the lawn and flower beds are more brown than green, and the soles of my shoes feel like they're melting against the hot city asphalt.
Even I'm feeling a little bit wilted around the edges - well, except for my hair, which becomes impossibly frizzy in this humid weather. I finally understand why delicate Southern Belles are always depicted as helplessly languishing on a chaise longue and speaking in a lazy drawn-out drawl... the crushing heat makes it impossible to do much else, honestly. Right now, the only thing I feel like doing is planting myself in front of an A/C vent with a big glass of ice-cold mint tea before I melt into a little puddle of misery.
Given that the forecast is calling for temperatures in the mid-30s for another week or so, I've got a feeling I'll need all the help I can get to stay cool I've got mini popsicle molds ready to be filled with pureed fruit, lots of ice in the freezer, a big pitcher of iced tea in the fridge and, best of all, central air conditioning.
Hell, I may even throw on my bathing suit and run shrieking through the sprinkler on the front lawn, even though I know that's generally not considered appropriate behaviour in a 30-something year old woman. Why should ten-year-olds should get all the fun?
I'm also going to make a double batch of this sorbet. The colour alone screams refreshment, a pale demure shade of pink that can only be described as blush, as ethereal and light as cotton candy or forthy pink chiffon dresses. The flavour, on the other hand, is anything but delicate - it's pure icy cold in-your-face grapefruit, with a splash of bitter Campari to enhance the pink grapefruit's colour and flavour, and just enough sugar to blunt the bitter edge.
This is exactly how I like my sorbets to be - tart and sweet, with an almost effervescent quality as it melts on your tongue, which makes it the perfect antidote to a muggy day. Perhaps not as good as running through the sprinkler, but definitely less likely to shock the neighbours.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tsp grapefruit zest
- 3 cups ruby red grapefruit juice (5-6 large grapefruits)
- 2 tbsp Campari liqueur
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and grapefruit zest. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Let cool completely.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine cooled syrup with grapefruit juice and Campari. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
- Pour chilled mixture into container of an ice cream machine and churn until frozen. Scoop frozen sorbet into a container. Transfer the sorbet to the freezer for 2-3 hours to firm up (or preferably overnight).