I knew that my family had landed safely in Europe when I received a text at 7am from Paris, Charles De Gaulle airport, discussing dinner menus: "Mamma, could we have pizza for dinner tonight? We haven't had it in so long!" A smiley face with a tongue sticking out followed. Ah, my boys ...
Now, I love it when I get dinner suggestions, but at 7am that morning my trusted thermometer and my own level of perspiration told me that we would hit indoor temperatures above 30C again. Which meant there was absolutely no way I could have the oven on. Not even for my boys.
So I made a cool dessert instead. I had lots of strawberries (what a year this has been for strawberries! I picked them from May through to the beginning of August!) that I hadn't been able to make into jam because of the intense heat. So I used them to make a strawberry bavarese, a version of the better-known panna cotta with custard, which requires minimum cooking, and sets and cools for hours in the refrigerator.
I should add that my boys showed no disappointment at all from not finding an oven-hot pizza waiting for them. Upon their return, in fact, my kids spent the first 48 hours sprawled out on the cool terracotta tiles, with wet towels on their forehead, trying to adjust to the punishing temperature and humidity. My strawberry bavarese helped.