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.
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 2 1/3 cups water
- 450 grams strawberries (4 cups), hulled and halved
- 8 mint leaves
- Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until dissolved. Do not let the mixture boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow to cool slightly and pour into a square metal cake pan or large shallow metal pan.
- 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.
- Serve the granita mixture into 4 tall glasses.