Just a few days ago in California’s Inland Empire, the temperature rose to a sweltering 96º. It was oppressive and unexpected. I went to the backyard to fill up the bird seed and make sure my wild little buddies had water in their birdbath. I found my lemon thyme was withering in its pot. So I turned on the hose to soak it and save it from the unrelenting desert heat.
The water hitting the dry grass and dirt gave off that unique smell of summer. I suddenly remembered splashing in a kiddie pool and running through the sprinkler. I remember drinking iced sweet almond water (an Italian specialty) and having snacks of melted sliced cheese and tomatoes on toast.
I went to the store and bought a variety of fresh fruits. Mangoes, plums, peaches…I wish I could say the were great. But, as often is the case in our modern world, the fruits were obviously picked at the wrong time and shipped long distances, leaving me with sour tastes and mealy textures. Obviously…I just need to wait for June and July for my peaches and plums.
The day after, temperatures plummeted and a surprise couple of rainy days graced the desert. My cravings changed indeed and the urge to make a loaf of fluffy cinnamon bread was overwhelming. So I did…I ate a slice (or perhaps a few) with a bit of butter and apricot jam.