Sunday, August 22, 2010

Carmela Soprano's and Anna Sultana's Homemade Lemon Ice Dessert

This has been one crazy summer weather-wise.  We've been hit with bad news daily about flooding and mudslides in Asia, record heat in Europe and forest fires that are still blazing in an unusually dry British Columbia.

Here in Manitoba we've been breaking records - on August 9 it was the hottest it's been in 3 years, and then, 8 days later, on August 17 we dropped 20º celcius and broke a record for the coldest day in the month.

Okay.  We're Manitobans.  We're tough.  We can handle anything.

But we're not gluttons for punishment.

Hot muggy days are not the times to crank up the oven.  And with the humidex making it dangerous to be outdoors, barbequing has lost its appeal.  

Liquids are important.

Back to Carmela's Entertaining with The Sopranos.  Carmela has a handy recipe in her chapter on Adult Birthday Parties.  Carmela really is a Mom.  This is something even infants can cool off with on a hot muggy day. 

                        LEMON ICE

bring to a simmer
1 Cup water
1 1/3 Cups sugar
stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves
remove from heat
place in a large bowl
5 Cups ice cubes
add the sugar syrup and stir until ice is melted
stir in
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Cup lemon juice
refrigerate 1 hour
pour into a pan
freeze, then break into chunks and puree
serve or store in freezer in covered container

Easy, no?

Okay.  It wasn't rocket science.  

But my Ma had something even easier.  She saved sticks - the ones from popsicles and ice creams - and gave them a good scrub.  When the heat was on in New York she'd put small paper cups in a tray, fill them with fruit juice and insert the sticks.  Then she'd pop them in the freezer.  We got some fruit and we cooled off.   

Carmela's lemon ice reminded me of ices we used to buy at the corner store when I was a kid.  Back then empty calories weren't a problem.  Now they are.  

Would I make Carmela's lemon ice again?  No.  

The fruit juice has a few vitamins.

Sorry, Carmela.  
I'm sticking fruit juice in my freezer.  

Another recipe down.  Forty-nine more to go. 

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