Manila is almost as hot as the steam rising out of a lechon’s butt… Really uncomfortably hot and humid. Newspapers and websites report 36C, but feels like 41C. What does that mean, really? That because of the humidity, the net effect is to feel hotter and more bothered? If that’s right, 41C is the equivalent of 106F! I was once in New York during a serious heatwave and it hit roughly 104F then, but it wasn’t as humid as it is here. And I once traipsed through the ancestral royal mud huts of the Saudi Royal family before oil was discovered in the Kingdom, and it was a whopping 112F that day, in the shade! But honestly, the last few days have been nearly unbearably hot. Thank goodness for airconditioning, one of the GREATEST inventions of the last century in my opinion, even more important to me than a cell phone or a laptop. I kid you not, if given a choice between having a cell phone or airconditioning, I would definitely pick the latter, ditto for a laptop… :)
After hitting the market at 6am this morning, I returned home laden with produce, and sweating something fierce. As we tried to clear out some old items in the fridge to make way for the new arrivals, I noticed a lot of citrus fruit, plus had some small strawberries from baguio, so we made a pitcher of citrus juice (lemons, oranges and grapefruit (the last one, banished from our house for now due to problems with my statin medicine) to enjoy throughout the day. Amazing how fresh fruit juice is so incredibly refreshing compared with say, a canned soda. And I LIKE my canned sodas!
Into a pitcher, I added the juice and slices of say 6-7 lemons, 2-3 oranges, one grapefruit and half a pint of small baguio strawberries. Added some cold water, a few tablespoons of simple syrup (sugar + water, heated and allowed to cool) and mixed it all up. Taste and adjust either amount of fruit or syrup to your liking. Serve by pouring into large glasses FILLED with ice and add some fresh mint if you have it. I learned a trick last night from a cooking show on TV, take the mint leaves and crush them up and place them in your palm and clap once vigorously… the abuse will help the mint release its essential oils and fragrance. Keep the pitcher in the fridge, you may actually add water for a weaker tasting “ade” later in the day… Currently enjoying a glass of this citrus-ade while having a serious “conversation” with our now “67” year old chocolate labrador who is complaining that they haven’t created little airconditioned rooms that would be perfect for her to snooze in… she is feeling the heat too. :) Stay cool, everyone.