Where did the time go? Or perhaps I should say ‘how have you been holding up in this awful heat?’ Italy has been experiencing a hotter than usual month of June with daily temps within the range of 32°C-40°C, depending on when and where the sun shines. This heat has had great affect on me wanting to be anywhere other than next to the fan, but after MotH set up the kiddie pool under the big patio umbrella today, I think we’ll be seeing more wrinkled toes from here on out.
Anyway, before June goes sayonara I want to share somthing that I read in the spring/summer edition of Kateigaho. Kateigaho is a highly interesting and sublimely visual digital magazine on Japanese culture, and if you grow hydrangeas, you might want to do this just for fun. Love good luck charms? Well, you can make a talisman, or a whole bunch of them, with hydrangea blooms. Take a slip of paper and write down your name and birthdate as you imagine a wish. Next, wrap the paper around the flower stem, fasten tightly with string, and suspend it at the entrance of your home. I rather like the one I made as it looks way better hanging upside down rather than wilting on the bush in this miserable h-h-h-HEAT!
And one last thing before I run off to dip my toes into the pool. I’ve been waiting for June 30th to make minazuki, a rice flour and azuki bean dessert that is meant to suggest cool fragments of ice. The last day of June particularly stood out in my mind as it marks a summer rite and you can read about it here Kyoto’s minazuki recipe. There’s another recipe for minazuki and 2 more delicious treats at Japanese sweets. I didn’t have enough rice flour and blended 50/50 rice with all-purpose. The 300cc water is a tad over 1 cup. So glad I found azuki beans at the healthfood store to cook and make my own sweet red beans. Eating minazuki with a cold glass of shakerato really hit the spot; I’ll have to make it again but with the addition of matcha tea powder to the rice flour batter. What a cool summer treat!