Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heat Schmeat

There's been quite a lot of bitching and moaning going on around here on the east coast as the mercury soars into the triple digits, and newscasters screech on apocalyptically about the Big Heatwave of 2010 Me? You won't hear one single complaint spill out across these lips as I'm genuinely grateful for this steamy, bubbling cauldron of New York stew, since the flipside--which will most definitely come sometime in early 2011 in the form of sleet, then snow, then high winds, then downed power lines, then maddening claustrophobia--is certainly no picnic.

As far as I am concerned, this has been a fabulous--and classic--summer here in the Northeast; sunny hot days with nary a drop of rain, other than the occasional rumbling thunderstorm in the afternoon or late evening. And thankfully those few-and-far-between showers that do roll into town quickly make haste, leaving in their wake yet another inviting sunny day. We've not had a summer like this in as long as I can remember -- it brings me back to a time when I was young and school was let out, and I had no agenda other than simply being lazy and carefree for two warm, delicious months.

I made a promise to myself early on in the season that I would not squander this lovely time of year; there has been too much time frittered away over the past twenty-four months, so I refuse to waste any more precious minutes on things or people that don't make me smile.

If it doesn't bring a smile to your face or your heart, then you don't need it in your world.

In 2008 I wrote a post at the end of the summer titled It's not Over Till It's Over, which listed 21 things to do before the end of the summer. Since we are midway through the Summer of 2010, I thought I would revisit that idea and post a new list to inspire you (and me as well) to grab hold of the two remaining summer months, and fill each and every minute of them with carefree joy and memorable adventures, just like we did when we were young and didn't let little things like heatwaves + humidity + limp hair keep us from living each day as if it was our last....

Things to do before September 1st comes around...
Plan a road trip to some place you never thought you'd visit Don't test the water...just jump in (better yet, do a cannonball) Have a water balloon fight (I don't care how old you are) Enjoy a rootbeer float Roller skate Eat an ice cream sandwich Make pickled vegetables Picnic at the beach at sunset (with someone you love, or by yourself) Sleep in a hammock Whip up some homemade ice cream Nap Wear a flower in your hair Construct a sandcastle Hang the American flag Squeeze fresh lemonade Have BLT's with ripe tomatoes for lunch (or dinner) Sleep naked Watch the Perseid meteor shower in August Study bugs in the grass Drink rum and coke while listening to reggae Dig for clams Fly a kite Skinnydip at midnight Go to an outdoor concert Play hopscotch Blow bubbles Grow gigantic sunflowers Tie dye t-shirts Hang a tire swing Buy a water gun + spray people with it Run barefoot around the yard catching fireflies Take a cool bubble bath Make freezer jam to remind you of summer all winter long Dip bananas in melted chocolate, freeze, then eat Skip Stones Go to a midnight movie Get a henna tattoo Eat more hot dogs Wear toe rings and ankle bracelets + paint your toenails different colors Play badminton Watch Grease, Shag + Dirty Dancing Eat cherry (or blueberry) pie with vanilla ice cream Wear flip flops every day Make a bucket list of all the things you want to do when you retire + can be young and free every day....

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana's

From my book, Summer: A User's Guide

3 Bananas

12 ounces semi-sweet or German chocolate

Ice Cream Sticks

Plastic Wrap

Waxed Paper or Coated Paper Plate

Peel the bananas and remove any remaining stringy fibers, then cut in half widthwise. Insert an ice cream stick through the cut end of each half, cover each banana in plastic wrap and place in freezer until frozen (approximately 3 hours).

Melt the chocolate either on a stovetop in a double boiler, or in a microwave. Remove bananas from freezer and use a rubber spatula or butter knife to coat the bananas evenly with chocolate.

Place the pops on wax paper and freeze until ready to serve.

Makes 6 pops.

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