Like most of the country, Tennessee is having a heat wave. Yesterday the high here was 103—thank goodness the humidity has stayed low—with the same predicted for today. The lawn is yellow in spots, and crunchy. So, in this temporarily quasi-desert environment, who feels like cooking?
Not me. I’ve been eating out a lot the past few weeks, especially while my air conditioner waited for the way-too-busy repairman to come fix it. When I do eat at home these days, I’m definitely thinking Cool. Easy. No Cooking.
And why not start with dessert? This one is scrumptious, refreshing, and so simple anyone can make it in a slowed-down summer heartbeat. Best of all, your family or dinner guests fix their own. Just take some…
Luscious, ripe red strawberries (washed, of course)
Sour Cream (you can use low-fat if you like, but the real stuff tastes better)
Dip a strawberry in the sour cream. Then drag it through the brown sugar.
Take a bite. And enjoy. As Rachel Ray would say, “Yum-o.”
Here’s another that requires slightly more preparation but not much:
Take one store-bought pound cake (Sara Lee is my favorite because it has a good, firm texture)
Whip one container of cream (the real, heavy-duty stuff)
Add a little vanilla if you wish, some sugar and powdered coffee/mocha mix to taste (the International Coffee brand works great)
Split the pound cake horizontally into three or four layers (your choice)
Slather the mocha whipped cream between the layers then reassemble the cake
Cover the whole loaf with more of the whipped cream concoction
Stick it in the freezer for a while (not too long, just enough to let the whipped cream set a little)
Slice and serve
That’s it! For dinner (before or after dessert), I love the cool mint and garlic flavors in Tabouli, and again it’s a simple dish: spices, bulgur wheat (plumped with water and a bit of olive oil), lemon juice, and fresh tomatoes. I prefer the Fantastic brand (I don’t like most others), and the directions are on the box. Takes five minutes to make. Cool it in the fridge for about an hour then serve. This goes with anything and would be a different side dish for that upcoming Labor Day picnic.
Happy holiday weekend! I’m off to my son’s wedding in Connecticut where I hope it will be cooler. Can you believe this (hot) summer is nearly over? Already?