Baking in Oregon. Today, that has a dual meaning. It’s hot. We’re not only baking in the kitchen, we’re baking in the living room, baking in the den, baking in the bedrooms. You know, nothing can kill the desire to work in the kitchen over a hot stove like a scorching, sticky, summer day. We don’t get a lot of really hot days here in Oregon, but we’re just coming off a run of 5 really hot days, 3 of which were over 100°F and rather humid. These are the kind of days that just wipe you out, sapping all desire to do just about anything right out of your system. Still, you gotta eat, and on days like these, quick, easy and cool are the way to go.
Not too long ago, we had some family over for an informal gathering. We kept the menu pretty simple, with a few cool drinks to go along. I made up a batch of my Strawberry Lemonade, which has been very popular in the past. I started with a gallon, but it became apparent very soon that it wouldn’t be enough. I whipped up a second gallon and it too, was quickly wiped out. I threw together a third gallon and finally managed to quench everyone’s thirst. Thankfully, I can prepare this simple recipe in just a matter of minutes.
The next day, I found at least 1/2 gallon remaining in the refrigerator. Since my wife and I don’t drink the stuff too often, I wanted to put some of it to good use. Looking around the kitchen, I noticed I had some fruit and yogurt I needed to use. The fruit was just starting to look a little less fresh. In the heat of the summer it wasn’t going to last too much longer.
So, I concocted a smoothie which I based on the Strawberry Lemonade and a few more items I had on hand. The result? Thick, cool and refreshing as well as filling, but in a good way. This was a tasty treat that made a warm day a bit more enjoyable. The next day I tried a different variation, but stayed with the Strawberry Lemonade as my starting point. Want to give it a try? I’ve listed my recipe for Strawberry Lemonade as well as my 2 versions of fruit smoothies here. Enjoy!