One. Coconut water. Feel the heat. A heat like you’ve never felt it before. Or at least you’ve forgotten. Yes, at times, it is pointless to try and remember things that can only be felt. His lips on yours and his hands on you. But I digress…
Ride your bike to the closest shop. A corner shop is more than fine. Buy more coconut water than you think you can drink. Open one on the way and sip it through a plastic straw. Come home. Take your clothes off and drink another two. Keep the rest in your fridge. You’ll need them, trust me.
Two. Watermelon, mozzarella and mint salad. The title says it all. Chop a watermelon and don’t bother to go for the seedless ones as they almost always are tasteless. And really, what’s worse than a tasteless watermelon?
Tear two mozzarella balls in bite-sized pieces. And sprinkle with a handful of mint. Coriander is fine too. Drizzle with a little olive oil and some good vinegar. Perhaps a touch of salt and chilli flakes. Eat it with a fork and drench the plate clean with a chunk of crusty baguette.
Three. Mojito sablés. Cream 150g of softened butter with 80g of icing sugar. Add the zest from 2 limes and the chopped leaves of a mint bunch. Don’t cut your fingers. Mix in 210g of flour, plain is fine. I know we’re doing mojito sablés, but fancy they are not. Form a log and chill for at least thirty minutes. Preheat your oven to 170°C and cut the log into 1cm-thick slices. Arrange them on a baking tray lined with paper and bake for fourteen minutes, or until the edges just start to look like the sunset. Burn your fingers when you transfer the sablés to a wire rack and mix 60g of icing sugar with a tablespoon or two of good rum. Nothing fancy (I warned you), but since you’re going to be drinking it too, you might as well make yourself happy and fight the hangover you have from the night before with good booze. Drizzle this glaze over the cooled sablés. Have fun again tonight.
Four. Fraises des bois et framboises. Go to your garden. Barefoot. You can even pretend to be a barefoot contessa, it’s ok, I won’t tell anyone. And to be honest, I do the same. Pick some raspberries and strawberries too. Strawberries des bois [from the wood], they’re tiny and a little rough. They might be covered in dirt. But dirt is no harm. Remember those times when you put raspberries at the tip of each finger, then eat them, one by one. Un, deux, trois… Dix. I’ll teach my children how to count this way, the best way, really. And how you couldn’t eat strawberries without having some ‘juice lipstick’ all over your mouth. And how cherries got turned into earrings. Yes, remember.
Five. Cakelets in a jar. Make your favourite cake. I can’t advise you on that as the choice is yours. But I think a fromage blanc cheesecake or a very-French yoghurt cake would be perfect. Divide the batter in between eight small jars and bake away. Twenty minutes should be enough, but the cakelets might need another five-or-so minutes. Go with your guts. And drink Pim’s. You can’t go wrong with Pim’s.
In fact, make a large jug of Pim’s with lemonade just so, and plenty of strawberries and cucumber – sliced, hear hear. Or perhaps, even gin and tonic with small balls of watermelon and cucumber. Really, what would we be without cucumbers?
Pack that jug in a large basket and the cooled cakelets too. Go to the beach when the sun stops burning but the sun still sparkles on the sea. Swim, and make a somersault or two. Hear the bubbles pop and let the waves push you on the shore.
Have a cakelet and finish that jug. That’s about how good life can be.
What are your favourites for this hoooooot* summer?
* Might not be super-hot when I land back in London, so i’m currently sucking up as much sun as I possibly can. You should do the same wherever in the world you are!
In fact, I’m off to the beach as I type this. Just a few plants to water and I’ll be the next to be watered on the list. x