The days are long and hot, tennis has taken over the telly and strawberries abound in the shops. I’m recalling long gone days spent picking our own on Garsons Farm. Rows upon rows of ripe red fruit were plundered and we’d sit in the car home with full punnets, slushy bellies, stained fingers and heat rash on our forearms. This was many years ago. Long before Andy Murray. Pre-Henman even. Unfortunately I’m old enough to remember Jeremy Bates and how he looked more like (and played more like) the bloke next door, rather than a serious Wimbledon contender. And cheering on a British double grand slam champion was beyond a dream.
Many years ago, long before he became Olympic, US Open and Wimbledon champion, a young Andy Murray honed his skills at the Academia Sanchez-Casal in Barcelona. And it was in that same great city, amongst the bars, boutiques and twisted alleyways of the Gothic Quarter and Old Town, I once stumbled upon a hole-in-the-ancient-stone-wall ice cream shop called Tomo II. Their intensely fragrant strawberry ice cream had me skipping dessert at several restaurants to return there every evening of our stay.
My son loves a strawberry too. Other fruits have come and gone – grapes, blueberries, oranges…but he’s always eaten strawberries. A little pot of them is still the best way to lure him upstairs for his bath. I had some ready last night to try and get him off to bed before the babysitter arrived. Later on I was enjoying date night at our local pub, the Fishery Inn, and although the strawberries in my dessert were nothing special, the rose and mint sugar worked well. They reminded me of Parma Violets – those little purple sweets I could never quite work out whether I liked or not. It struck me as quite a tasty combination.
So I blitzed together strawberries, ice, lime juice and sugar to make an instant granita. It went a bit soupy but I didn’t have the patience to use the freezer. I dolloped clotted cream on top, along with fresh strawberry and scone crumbs toasted off in a dry pan. Finally a dusting of crushed Parma Violet sweets were sprinkled over the top.
Ingredients: strawberries, ice, lime juice, sugar, clotted cream, scone, Parma Violets
Go Andy Murray!