When it's this hot, my weekends blur into a strict underwear-only dress code, accented tastefully with a cold can lodged against my neck. I resolve to hunker down in my apartment until the sun sets. I am like a vampire ... without the yen for blood, of course. When it's this hot, there are few things powerful enough to dislodge me from the direct path of my swamp cooler and make me put "real" clothes on, and one of them is ice cream. Beer is another. Smoothies are in there somewhere, too.
There's a fun game to play when you're eating Indian food called "What Kind of Tandoori Bread Would I Be?" Are you multi-layered and buttery like paratha? How about oily and rich like poori? Maybe you’re sweet and nutty like a slice of hot kashmiri nan. I like to think of myself like a fresh round of garlic nan—smoking hot and a little acidic.
“It recalls your grandmother’s perfume,” warn the makers of delicious Persian ice cream when patrons walk through the door of Mashti Malone's in Hollywood, Calif. That's the rosewater. True enough, when I took a carton to my mother-in-law after falling in love with the stuff at Albuquerque's Persian Market, she scooped a small spoonful into her mouth and remembered how her mother used to have her rinse her hands in rosewater. Though she wasn't sure it was a flavor she enjoyed having in her mouth, I can vouch for the rich, pungent bastani (Persian for ice cream), a combination of rosewater, saffron and pistachios in thick, frozen cream.