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Verses from my Kitchen: Strawberry & Mint Granita

April 28, 2011

Strawberry & Mint Granita

These last two days have been wonderful. One thing cascading down after the other, like a life-sized game of dominoes. The weather, finally exhausted after months of cold wind and bursts of storms, has settled in, relaxed and shown herself in the form of warm days filled with bright sunshine.

The temperature has risen methodically and substantially in recent days and the windows in our homes and cars, long ago closed and practically stuck after prolonged periods in that position, have been opened up for all that fresh air to push over us.

Also, after a week that felt like an eternity, my wife is finally back home. I waited patiently and eagerly at the airport for her through delays, but nothing was going to deflate my mood. When she finally came through the sliding doors it was like seeing the sun over the morning landscape. It was a sight for sore eyes and it was refreshing as the vision washed over me.

Now that she's back from shooting a wedding, she has sunk into that familiar routine of editing pictures and calling me upstairs to see each finished shot. All equally beautiful and inspiring. And I've made myself back home in the kitchen with a purpose to my cooking. A reason to make food and a muse to inspire me. Spring weather is one thing, my wife is another altogether.

Today was her second full day back but I'm striking yesterday off the calendar because she wasn't feeling well and that means a limited appetite. When she woke up today she had that look that everything was normal once again. She felt better. That was all-lights go for me.

It was early morning but the warmth of the sun was noticeable, even at that hour. I figured it was the perfect time to finally prep for her first full welcome back dinner. You see, right before she left she asked me if I would make her something special when she got back because the food wasn't supposed to be great where she was heading.

I had just the right thing in mind.

Whenever we get back from a resort we dive into pasta and fresh fruit desserts. Even thought I didn't accompany her on this trip, I didn't forget that deep down desire for home cooking and fresh ingredients that remind you of home from the very first bite. With every bite.

So I spent a bit of time first thing this morning prepping this dessert. It's easy and stress-free and the perfect dessert to start before work and finish when you get back. I simmered the ingredients together until the aromas escaped from the pots on the stove and threatened to alert my wife upstairs of the surprise in store.

I quickly put a lid on that pan.

I took the liquid mixture and poured it into a metal pan and slid it safely into the freezer. Don't get me wrong, I was tempted to pour it into a glass and add a few ice cubes and drink it right then and there. But this wasn't about me nor for me.

As soon as I walked in the door tonight I could see that look in her eyes that she was hungry and had been waiting for this moment for a week. A home cooked meal and flavours that would say welcome home better than any words I could muster together. I  love that look.

I went straight into the kitchen, following the steps I take every night. I made pasta sauce and let the mixture and aromas come together. She wanted pasta and that's exactly what I intended to make her. Now I could take that sauce off the stove and feel perfectly comfortable serving it after 30 minutes. But than the anticipation is killed. Instead I wait for the sound of her voice calling downstairs and asking how long until dinner is ready. I love hearing the ingredients named one by one as the scent finds her upstairs and grazes her nose. I love that sound. 

I grabbed my fork and started raking the frozen mixture into pillowy bundles of strawberry heaven. The mint jumped right through at me and I immediately knew the dessert was going to be a hit. As my wife likes to say, "Sometimes when you know, you just know." This was one of those times. And one of these moments.

This was the perfect dessert for a perfect spring day. All the stars aligned to bring me two of life's greatest pleasures, warm sun at my back and my wife back where she belongs.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Strawberry & Mint Granita

The Goods:
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 450 grams strawberries (4 cups), hulled and halved
  • 8 mint leaves
  1. Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until dissolved. Do not let the mixture boil.
  2. Meanwhile, add the strawberries to a blender and puree. Add to the simple syrup mixture and increase the heat to medium. Add in the mint leaves at this point.
  3. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and run through a fine sieve, and discard any seeds left behind.
  4. Allow to cool slightly and pour into a square metal cake pan or large shallow metal pan. 
  5. Freeze for an hour and remove. Rake the top layer with a fork and place back in the freezer. Repeat every hour for the next 4 hours.
  6. Serve the granita mixture into 4 tall glasses.

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At April 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM , Anonymous Terra said...

You definitely have a new follower, your photography is beautiful!! Love this recipe, sounds so refreshing AND delicious! Very sweet treat to make for your wife to welcome her home:-)
Take care,

At April 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you to have survived on your own for a week. It was like the adult version of "Home Alone" :)

At April 28, 2011 at 6:13 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

I would love if you could share this on my "Strawberry Linky"!


At April 28, 2011 at 9:57 PM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

I love this! And how funny that I just did granita for an upcoming post (different, but similar). Aren't they wonderful?

Glad you've survived!

At April 29, 2011 at 12:16 AM , Blogger Maria said...

Great refreshing and delicious dessert! I love it!

At April 29, 2011 at 8:17 AM , Anonymous Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

What a wonderful post: fantastic photos, vibrant colours and what a lovely description of your wife coming back from the airport. Awe. Great to hear she's back and that granita looked a perfect way to bring her back to life! Enjoy your weekend.

At April 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

so happy your wife is back and that you're settling into your normal routines - love that you love her so much! and the strawberry granita looks like the perfect recipe for a homecoming!

At April 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM , Anonymous Steph @Lick My Spoon said...

i am bookmarking this beauty for a warm summer's day!

At April 29, 2011 at 12:20 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

It's a beautiful warm sunny day here and I want one of THESE!

At April 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thank you Terra! I hope you like following along!

Ethan, it's harder than even I thought. I'm glad I Caulkin'd it!

Carolyn, I'll try to remember to share tonight. And thanks!

It's definitely funny Bryan. You posted the souffle recently that I had in the works as well. Thank you.

Thanks Maria, it's defnitely refreshing!

Thanks for the comment Jill. Have a great weekend!

Debra, it's easy when I have a wife like I do. Thanks so much!

Steph, hope you like it as much as I did.

Carolyn, I have quite a bit left. Help yourself!

At April 30, 2011 at 7:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post. I love this post. SUch a sweet gesture. I am going to make my hubby read this. but he can't cook anything to save his life!! this is so romantic. felt like I was watching a beautiful romantic movie.
The color of the granita is again sooo romantic..


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