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Abrazos! xox Penny

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hope in a Glass

Remember when I declared I was making some changes to reduce my personal oil consumption and one of them was not using my car's air conditioning all summer? (see Featured Recipes, "environmental impact") Well, I wanted to let you know how that is going. It has been hot, hot, hot here, often over 100+ heat index and so far, I am doing all my errands without the car's a/c. More than several prickly heat attacks later, my track record is still 100% and I am using less gas and more thought before jumping in the car (did I mention it also has a black interior?). So, it's good. Yay!

Now, here's what happened a couple of nights ago that really heated things up and had me hoping for "coolth", as my mom calls it. The air conditioning went out at home. (Before I go any further, although I don't like air conditioning in general, I know I am very lucky to have it, both in my car and home, and these complaints are minor).

Our house is stucco which means that all day long, it absorbs heat and then spews it out all night long. Like a big radiator or convection oven if the overhead fan is also on. Even Stubug, desert breed Chihuahua that he is, pants and gasps through many nights. But Wednesday night with no a/c and very little circulating air (which was also about 90+ degrees), he was miserable. Goes without saying, I was, too. I remember friends in Houston reminiscing that they used to sleep in wet sheets and about 2 a.m., I considered that.  Sleepless, I had visions of hope dancing through my head, which in my part of the world means one thing: watermelon.

Hope, Arkansas is the watermelon capitol of the world and home to these famous fellas. For more on Hope and the actual dates and scoop on its world famous Watermelon festival, visit this link

As luck would have it, when I decided to do Thursdays with "Thirsty Thursday" theme, little did I know that I would find beverages perfect for this post. Take your pick and chill out with a cool one...

 Watermelon Daiquiri

2 cups watermelon chunks, seeds removed
1/2 lime
6 ounces tequila
3 ounces Cointreau
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey (depending how sweet the melon is and how sweet you like your cocktails)

Put everything in a blender, whip it up and serve in a chilled glass, with a drink umbrella! Serves 3-4.

or this non-alcoholic slushy, courtesy of our paper:

Watermelon Berry Slush

4 cups seeded watermelon
1 10-ounce package frozen, organic raspberries
1 12-ounce bottle sparkling mineral water 

Place watermelon in a single layer in a shallow pan and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer and let stand 5 minutes. Place in blender or food processor and blend for a pulse or two and then add frozen berries, alternately with mineral water. Process until smooth and serve in a tall chilled glass with a sprig of mint. Serves 5-6. The paper also noted that for willing adults, you could add 8 ounces of vodka. This recipe is from, the website of the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

I may have to keep a stash of these in the 'fridge.

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