It's hard to believe that the unofficial "last weekend" of summer is upon us; I know I say this every year, but I honestly don't understand how summer flies by so quickly, while winter seems to drag on forever. There are just a few days left before we have to start stuffing our feet back into practical shoes, trading in our comfy cottons for scratchy wool, and so--in the spirit of making the most of every precious drop of summer--I've compiled a last minute list of 21 things to do before the calendar flips into fall. You of course won't get to them all, but the point is simply to have fun this weekend.
Enjoy your Labor Day and I will see you back here in September as I embark on a new journey, and share my adventures, recipes and musings along the way.
21 things to do before September 1st
Eat cotton candy Go skinnydipping Run through a sprinkler
Chase the Good Humor Truck Skip stones Camp out in the backyard Eat Key Lime Pie Go to a drive in movie (in your pajamas) Make pizza on the grill Learn to do a cartwheel once and for all Go see a live band and don't just stand there, but dance Pick wildflowers Stay up late and gaze at the stars (preferably in a hammock) Make a lobster roll (don't worry about the pricetag) Make fresh watermelon martini's Build a campfire and make smores (and tell ghost stories) Fry green tomatoes Have a water balloon fight Take a nap in a tire tube on a lake Make BBQ Chicken + Ribs (with homemade potato salad, too) Wear your flip flops until October
FRESH WATERMELON MARTINI (PRINT RECIPE)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups diced watermelon
2 oz vodka
Juice of 1/2 lime
Mint leaves, slice of lime, or small wedge of watermelon (optional)
Make a simple syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil. Allow it to cool. (Leftover syrup can be stored indefinitely in the refrigerator.)
Place the watermelon in a food processor or blender, and pulse until smooth, then press through a fine sieve, reserving the juice.
Place the vodka, lime juice, ½ ounce of simple syrup, and 2-3 ounces of watermelon juice (to taste) into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with mint, lime or a wedge of watermelon if desired.
Makes 1 cocktail.
KEY LIME PIE (PRINT RECIPE)
From my book, Summer: A User's Guide
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
9-inch graham cracker pie shell (you can make your own or purchase one pre-made)
Whipped cream (optional)
Mint Leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, egg yolks, lime juice, and lime peel and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow pie to stand for approximately 10 minutes, then refrigerate.
Enjoy plain or garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprig of mint.