After a long and drawn-out summer, the change of season is most certainly upon us and although I find myself dreaming of cooler days, there is a certain sadness that comes with the fading of the strong South Australian sun.
Knowing it will be another six months before we will feel this warmth again makes me prematurely nostalgic for all things summer. A panic comes over me to ensure that what is in abundance is preserved, frozen or simply enjoyed that one last time while the season allows it. Fresh figs from the Adelaide Hills are packed into zip lock bags, placed in the freezer ready for delicious breakfast smoothies or for a batch of rich fig jam. Endless slices of generally oversized zucchinis (it sometimes feels like they triple in size overnight) are grilled and preserved in extra virgin olive oil for the perfect antipasto at a moment’s notice. The glut of tomatoes that hits at the end of the season is crushed into passata, sugo or simply boiled with sugar, vinegar and spices for chutney that will perfectly capture the essence of summer until it comes around again. But there are some things I refuse to de fine by season and this, for me, includes ice cream. There is always a place for a rich creamy scoop at our dinner table; in fact, I think it only gets better in the cooler months! The amazing combination of hot decadent puddings with cold ice cream is something that never disappoints, even on miserable winter nights. A love for ice cream is certainly not a new one, in fact the first reference to ‘ice cream’ was around 3000 BC when it was thought that the Chinese enjoyed crushed ice with fruit juice as flavouring. The Egyptians were next to enjoy this treat flavoured with local honey. But it was the Italians and French who turned this simple notion of flavoured ice into something truly special with the addition of fruit, eggs, milk and cream, which has resulted in our unwavering fascination with gelato and ice cream ever since. Although we are saying goodbye to the long sunny days of summer, winter brings with it a whole new selection of fruit, veg and meals to get excited about. However, it won’t be without glimpses of summer in the way of all that has been preserved and or simply what we refuse to leave behind. In this case, ice cream.
ediblex.com.au Photo: Jonathan VDK