Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fighting heat with heat

I am choosing to avoid blogging about the carnage in the Balcony Garden until this heatwave has passed. Although I must allay many fears and say that in yesterday's 43 degree heat, while water restrictions precluded me from watering the garden (except for recycled water which I did when I could) the garden did survive - well mostly. But this is a post about happier things - those tomatoes I have already salvaged from the garden - and icecream. The picture above is technically from my travels in Adelaide - an icecream flavour I just HAD to try (fairyfloss/cottoncandy, it was hyperinducing-sugary-goodness) but it got me thinking about food and if icecream could be a meal substitute in a heatwave. Nio nutrients, but taste and coolness aplenty.

Mostly I lose my appetite in the heat, except for goodies of the frozen kind. However, given I have so many tomatoes and chillis at the moment my mind has wandered to main course ideas. On the comments from yesterday's blog there was a smart suggestion for Gazpatcho Soup, a chilled and refreshing use of tomatoes. But is that really the only and best way to combat the heat?

In India they pull out some damn hot curries, which go a long way to match the weather in temperature. So too in other parts of Asia where strong-in-heat chillis are paired with limes to sate the palate in tropically-warm weather. When travelling in Egypt and Turkey I recall that tea (Hibiscus in the former, Mint in the latter) was always on offer to combat the heat (even though I've been told rather unequivocably by totally learned male source that the cooling effects are pure myth, I choose to have faith in the practice) So my question is - which of the following should I make tonight to combat what will most certainly be another 43 degree day

1. Black Russian (padded out with some largish red cherries) Gazpatcho Soup - as stated earlier uses the ingredients, is chilling and refreshing
2. Black Russian paste Chilli con Carne - hot enough in taste and temperature to match the ills of outside
3. Just use the Chilli for Salt and Pepper squid, served with Salad which can at least use up some of the tomatoes, Asian inspired, fresh seafood is alwaqys a summer winner and a cool Salad with just enough kick from the Chilli
4. stuff it all I'm having icecream!?!?! (i made a cranberry and vanilla 'icecream' last night)
5. something entirely different ...


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Always go for the ice cream!!
Hope you get some relief from the heat soon and some rain.

Michelle said...

I vote for squid! Love it, especially the tentacles. Plus it's a sustainable seafood choice (at least around here).

Dan said...

My biest vote would be for Gazpatcho Soup and maybe even pour in a little vodka. That has to take you mind off the heat. ;-)

They have been talking about your heat wave on the news over here. You know it is hot when its on the news on the other side of the world.

siskelkk said...

We ended up not choosing any of the options - and heading to the airconditioned Pub!!! (tho vodka was definitely consumed) Squid will be eaten on the weekend, and icecream, well that is an always food right?

Wow Dan thanks for the news, can't believe the heatwave is making international headlines. Adelaide has had heat like this before, but for Melbourne is is entirely unprecedented. Global Warming anyone?

Sally said...

I would go with Gazpatcho--something cool and not so filling, and make room for the ice cream.

I just discovered your blog. I'm jealous of your tomato haul. If your heat wave came on suddenly you probably did the right thing by harvesting them prematurely. Extremes in temperature can cause cracking and other ills.