They say that the sense of smell is most closely related to memories. I believe it. But I think the sense of taste is a close second. Two of my favorite summer recipes are tied to such good memories of carefree childhood summers through the senses of smell and taste.
My dad had a garden the entire time I was growing up. It was always filled with tomatoes, squash and zucchini. Occasionally, we would beg and plead for him to plant something else but tomatoes, squash and zucchini were the staples. I remember walking across the back yard to the edge of the alphapha field where the tomato forms were with my dad and a shaker of salt. The smell of the ripe tomatoes would waft toward us as we got to the far side of the yard. When we'd get to the garden we'd each find a deep red fruit and pluck it off the vine. We'd sit there and eat those tomatoes like apples. Then we'd gather the remaining ripe fruit and head into the house.
To this day when I walk through the produce section and smell the vine ripe tomatoes it makes me pause and remember the carefree summer evenings from growing up.
2 Ripe Avacados
1 can Corn or 4 Ears of corn cooked and cut off the cob
2 Ripe Tomatoes
1 Large Lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cube avocados and tomatoes and put in serving bowl. Add corn. Squeeze lemon over vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat everything with lemon. Serve immediately.
There are some recipes that are so ingrained into my childhood that I cannot even remember specific instances of it being made. Homemade ice cream is one of those recipes. There were only three flavors that my mom made growing up: lemon sherbet, vanilla and strawberry. But I have many memories of watching her make home-made ice cream. We had it often at our cabin in the mountains with the ice-cream maker hooked up to the generator. We had it almost every Fourth of July for my dad's birthday- always lemon sherbet and his favorite chocolate fudge cake. But my favorite was always strawberry. My dad loves nuts and so strawberry ice cream often had walnuts added to it. When it was plain strawberry it was a treat- that was my favorite. This recipe includes not only vanilla but also almond extract that adds a depth to the already creaminess. I made this recipe last Sunday and have enjoyed the trip to childhood comfort every night since.
Grammy's Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes 6 Quarts
6 Eggs, well beaten
3 cups Sugar
2 cups Heavy Cream
4 cups Half and Half
3 cups Milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp. Almond Extract
6 cups fresh strawberries, mashed and sweetened with sugar
Beat the eggs in the ice cream can. Add sugar gradually to beaten eggs, beating well after each addition. When mixture becomes very stiff add remaining ingredients, except strawberries, and mix thoroughly. Begin freezing process. About 15 minutes in add strawberries. Allow ice cream to finish freezing process. When ice cream machine completes cycle remove dasher, place lid back on and cover for at least 1 hour to set up. Enjoy!