I don’t have much experience with Swiss Summers, but this Summer has been hot! The past few weeks have regularly reached 30C (86F) and higher, and this particular spoiled American has been used to the luxury of central air for too many years. That, along with being one who thrives in cold climates, makes these past few days a bit more challenging for me than they should be. But I’m getting better, and acclimating slowly but surely. I remember melting when the temp reached 25C earlier this Spring, and now at 25C I can envision a nice cool mountain breeze caressing my face as the trees gently rustle in the wind, a completely refreshing experience. As with all things, it’s all relative and about perspective. As I adjust to non-A/C life, I notice these differences less and less. I suspect next Summer won’t be an issue at all
However, the hot weather is a PERFECT excuse to escape away to the mountains for some hiking! I am going to have to make sure to do some trips up to the higher elevations this summer – does anyone have any suggestions for some beautiful hikes up in the Swiss Alps that are a must-do during the Summer months? The mountains in my view aren’t snowcapped anymore, but I would love to see some snowy mountains again, like these off in the distance from an earlier trip to Gruyères a few months ago:
But in the meantime, until I can get a chance to escape to the beautiful mountains, we’ve found that a great way to stay cool is through some tasty iced drinks. It took us a few cycles of freezing to make enough ice for this (note to self, need to pick up some larger ice trays this weekend!), but it was SO worth it, especially on one of those brutal 34C sunny afternoons.
I wanted to use only coconut cream to make this drink dairy free too, but I found that the coconut will curdle if it is not mixed with some cream first. Maybe that is a function of the tea/espresso we used, so I’m not sure if that’s an issue with all iced tea/coffee drinks or just the ones we made. If you experiment I’d really be curious how it works for you! But the coconut flavor was so nice, blending beautifully with both the tea or the coffee. I was a bit surprised about the coffee working so well with coconut actually, but it was quite pleasant, and perfect for a hot summery day!
While you enjoy some iced drinks and whisk yourself away to a cool island beach in your mind, I wanted to share a fun little exercise I saw Darren Rowse (whose blog I follow religiously) challenge of his readers this past weekend, which was to share some links from this little blog’s archives that you may or may not have had a chance to come across yet:
1. My first post - well this is only useful to see how not to write a blog post, haha. Let’s just say I’ve come a long way since I wrote about this “best salad ever” (though it is a yummy salad!).
2. Post I enjoyed writing the most - Definitely it was writing about these gluten free bagels, and my other bagel experiences in life. I woke up bright eyed at 4 am with the entire post in my head. My husband definitely thinks I am odd sometimes.
3. Post that had a great discussion – Not necessarily long discussions, but I really appreciated reading everyone’s relationships to food when I wrote about why I cook. I think a little soul searching in the kitchen is good for everyone
4. Post on someone else’s blog I wish I wrote – I love all of Darya’s guides to farmer’s markets that she writes on Summer Tomato. I think a lot of people fail to see just how useful and inspiring farmer’s markets can be, and she always has some great tips on navigating them to get the best experience possible.
5. A title I’m really proud of – S is for Summer. And Strawberries. Ha, I’m so dorky, I was so proud of myself for coming up with that one. Mmmm, I heart strawberries!
6. One I wish more people read – Gluten Free Tarte Shell. For some reason, this tarte shell adopted from my Ladurée cookbook was never really popular, and I’m not sure why. It came out fantastically and made for the most delicious tarte au citron with pistachio cream!
7. Most popular post – by far it is Pumpkin Chestnut Tortellini, Gluten Free. I get a few hits each day on it, even months later. Thank you, StumbleUpon users!
Your favorite very sweetened iced tea or espresso
50/50 mixture of heavy cream/coconut cream
1. Pour iced tea or espresso in a glass over ice. To float on top, hold a spoon upside down over the glass, and gently pour the cream over the spoon. This way the cream will float and not sink.
2. Enjoy and relax in the shade, escaping the summer sun