Approaching August

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Stare long and hard at the horizon out beyond the low-lying hills.The nights you spent huddled over the wood stove and buried beneath blankets with a good book and a cup of tea vanish into fond memories as the sun erupts into pinks and blues across the sky. How you have waited for summer to arrive. Keep your eyes open and alert. Even when tears form, do not blink. Summer is coming and almost done–Anticipating April blending into Hot and Humid August. Where did all those lazy, hazy days go?

photo (11)“Mid-August,” the woman answered as she folded plastic wrap over our blueberries and secured each container with a *snap* of a rubber band. Peach season, summer’s signature digestif, were three weeks away and I found myself wondering where all the time had gone. July and July had been trusted friends and secret admirers but August was coming, a childhood sweetheart bridging the worlds between blazing sun and crisp fall chill. My summer had floated by, fierce and brief as smoke rising off a sizzling grill before dispersing into the thick warm air.

My plan is to eat my way through these remaining days and nights of late sunsets and hazy sunglass goggles. I will savor each blueberry in pancakes, muffins and sprinkled in my morning yogurt or smoothie. I will patiently bide my time with cucumbers and fresh cherry tomatoes while I wait for beefsteak varieties of hungarian hearts and Cherokee purples. And when the branches grow heavy and tired with ripe peaches, I will satisfy the summer child within me until my tongue itches with fuzzy sweet juice.

Summer is luscious and fleeting. Eat up every last moment of it. I know I will. 

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Peach Strawberry Lemonade

With the temperatures hovering in the mid-90’s and the humidity gluing my legs to the seat of any vinyl chair, saying the weather is hot is an understatement. Back in Colorado where forest fires have destroyed thousands of acres, the story of drought and prayers for rain clouds is all too common. Farmers in the Midwest are worried about their corn and soy plants as estimates for crop productivity decrease. Deaths have been reported in states such as Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Charred land, fragile food supply, human lives. For those who still do not believe climate change is drastically affecting the recent weather patterns and extreme fluctuation, it is not too late to change your mind. In the meantime, make a peach strawberry lemonade.

 Peach Strawberry Lemonade

  • 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 bottle lemon seltzer
  • 1 peach
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ice
  • blender

I will be the first to admit fresh lemonade is much better. However, if you don’t have time or energy for squeezing lemons, the concentrate will work just fine. I had frozen strawberries left over from the farm as well as a fresh peach from a local farm stand. Work with what you have.

In a pitcher add the amount of water suggested on the can and stir. Add half the liquid to the blender. Cut the peach into pieces, take a handful of strawberries and add both to the liquid. Blend together. Strain out fruit pulp ( I leave them in to give it more color and have something fun to chew on. You decide). Pour the mixture into a glass about 3/4 full leaving room for a seltzer with a hint of bubbles and some ice cubes.

Note: Some people prefer smoothies instead of more simple cold beverages. If so, adding 8-10 ice cubes into the blender will give the drink a nice ice-y consistency.

I never said it was a difficult recipe but it certainly is delicious. Whether you have attempted to jog outside (sweaty) or done yoga indoors (still sweaty), this drink is delicious and will quench your thirst. Staying hydrated, specifically drinking lots of water, in the heat is extremely important. So sit outside, or lay against your air conditioner, and sip your lemonade while planning a trip to the Arctic.