It wasn’t long ago that most folks could only find air-conditioned relief from summer heat and humidity at the back of the town movie theater. My sister and I used to sip homemade lemonade on my grandmother’s porch. Nowadays, most homes have the potential for air-conditioned comfort, but rising energy costs and a simple dislike of being sealed in on a summer day have many of us looking for ways to stay cool naturally.
I’ve consulted with folks young and old to see what they recommend for beating summer’s heat. Suggestions included: swing on a hammock, put a cold washcloth on your forehead, and run through the sprinkler. The most frequent suggestion, however, was to eat lots of watermelon/ice cream/Popsicles ... any cool food. Common wisdom prevails — keep the cooking and eating as light and cool as possible. We’ll help you do so with these simple summer recipes.
Lemonade is the quintessential summer drink, and this recipe, which calls for concentrate, is certainly summertime easy. Lemonade purists might object, but an organic concentrate, such as the one put out by Cascadian Farm, is a reasonable substitute for the real thing — not too sweet, not too tart. If strawberries aren’t in season, try using a pint of fresh raspberries instead. This recipe also makes a nice base for a rum punch.
3 cups quartered strawberries (about a quart of berries*)
1 cup cold water
1 can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate
2 cups chilled sparkling water (divided)
Whole strawberries for garnish
Ice cubes (optional)
Process strawberries and water in the blender until smooth. Add the concentrate and 1 cup of the sparkling water. Blend until smooth and pour into a pitcher with the rest of the sparkling water. Serve in tall glasses over ice and garnish with a strawberry on the rim of the glass.
* Lemonade concentrates and berries will vary in sweetness, so you may want to add a little sugar to taste.
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