Not that summer really ever wanes in Santa Barbara, but I did awake this morning to a remarkably darker bedroom (this is a good thing. Normally, the blinding light and heat of the summer sun wakes me unpleasantly). It would seem the sun's southward movement has earned us some respite: it has to rise over a taller bit of the hills that flank this narrow valley before breaking into our morning routine, which means we're getting less of that intense white light (and really, 7am is too early for that!) and more lovely sunrise colours. I love waking at sunrise. I also love it when this doesn't necessitate getting up too early. =)
In other news, I FINALLY tried out my first summer pudding. Isn't it gorgeous? Oh, and so delicious. We ate a quarter of it last night, and that was with restraint. This dessert captured my imagination in middle school when I saw a recipe in a friend's mother's magazine of Victorian living (yes, I've always been a bit attracted to fussiness). For a kid with allergies to eggs, dairy, and fat, summer pudding offers a solution to the cravings of the sweet tooth (if you don't serve it with whipped cream, of course): it is, essentially, 8 cups of barely cooked berries (just five minutes with some sugar and the juice and zest of one lemon, to get the juices of the berries going) which are layered with bread in bowl or pan, weighted, and refrigerated for 8 hours. That's really it. I could eat this all day. In fact, in the heat of high summer, I often survive on berries and water-rich vegetables during the daylight hours, as it seems to be the easiest thing on my poor stomach.
Next time, I think I'll reduce the 3/4 c. of sugar to 1/2 or even 3/8. Not that I don't love the flavour - it is, spot on, perfect and completely addictive - but I think I would feel less guilty about eating it all day long if it was a bit less sweet. I also think this would be a fantastic birthday cake for a child's party. Fewer refined sugars, and plenty sweet and fresh. I can't wait to have a slice later today.