Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Dog Days of Summer
You have probably come to recognize this cranberry glass pitcher by now. I've used it in several blog posts. It's my favorite little vase that I keep filled from May through September. Once the flowers die, I replace them with different ones. I walk myself out to the yard and pick a bunch of something that I think would look pretty. I love how the light reflects the pink glass and how it contrasts against the colors of different flowers. This is baby's-breath that I picked from my front yard. The bush gets so big that I have to trim it or else the flowers will lay on the ground. Lucky me. I have little bunches of baby's-breath all over the house.....
This is what I call my blue shelf. It hangs in the family room and is filled with my most favorite blue dishes (from my childhood) and this little blue vase that I got at a junk store for .25. I was so happy to bring it home and put it on my blue shelf. It's now the perfect vase for more baby's-breath.
And of course you can't have blue without a splash of pink - which is my favorite color. I cut these from the rose bush by the boccie court in the back yard...shhh - don't tell my hubbie....
It's the simple things that make me SO Happy : )
It's been unbearably hot here lately. Everything in the yard is crying for water. I come home from work and their shrivelled up little blooms are just begging me for a drink. It's no fun being out all day in the hot, hot sun. I know how they feel. I hate the heat myself. I love the early days of summer when it starts to stay lighter longer and you first hear that ice cream truck bell. Exciting for the kids! I love going to the beach early in the morning before it gets too hot. Even better if I can wear my sweatshirt because there is a cool breeze. I can enjoy my morning coffee while gazing at the ocean, listening to the sounds of the lapping waves. There is nothing like that feeling. I really do love it. I love taking care of my flowers and watching them grow. I miss that in the winter.
What I don't love is a 95 degree day with high humidity. Ugh. I have to hibernate inside with my air conditioning. Ever since I was little the heat has bothered me. I used to get terrible headaches from being overheated. I would be outside playing with my friends and would have to come in and lie down because the sun got to me. I'm also very fair skinned and it seemed like no matter how much sunblock I put on I would get a sunburn. I remember my mother having to spray me with solar cane before going to bed so the sheets would not stick to me. I hated every minute of that. I loved summer vacations, family cookouts, and night bon-fires on the beach. But on hot, hot day - you would find me on the couch watching The Price is Right. Honestly, I haven't changed much.
Being indoors on a hot, hot day has it's advantages. The first one being air conditioning (obviously). The house is cool and peaceful. Another advantage is that I can still bake and cook - something that would never happen if I didn't have a/c. Turn the oven on in July? No way! You all know what I'm taking about : )
Last Saturday we packed our beach bags and went to the ocean for a few hours in the morning. My hubbie knows how I am so he's fully prepared with my umbrella and gallons of water. I love him for that. Our son LOVES the water and sand and no matter how much I hate the heat I would never miss that. We are lucky that we live so close to the beach, so it doesn't have to be an all day trip. After a few hours we pack it up and are home in 20 minutes. Sweet.
I had intended on making lemon squares this weekend after our beach trip. When I went food shopping the night before I saw that these yummy raspberries were on sale. Since I never met a raspberry I didn't like, I couldn't resist buying them. I did have my heart set on lemon squares so I decided to combine the two.
If you love lemon and raspberry together you will love these. Here is my recipe for Lemon Raspberry Bars.
1 cup butter
1/5 cup confectionery sugar (¼ cup plus a little more)
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
Mix ingredients together and press into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
1 cup fresh (or frozen/thawed) raspberries
2 cups sugar
½ tsp baking powder
4 tbsp flour
6 tbsp lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
Puree raspberries and spread on baked crust. (I pureed my in the magic bullet : )
Mix all other ingredients together....
...and pour on top of raspberry puree.
Swirl a spatula around a little bit just to marbleize the two flavors.
Put back in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
When thoroughly cooled sprinkle with confectionery sugar and cut into bars.
Keep in the fridge and serve chilled.
A perfect ending to a summer meal.
This is how I stay happy in the summer.....: )
I took this picture last night at dusk. Aside from early morning, dusk is my favorite time of a summer day. All three of us go outside after dinner and have a Popsicle on the front steps. The sun is setting so it's not as hot, and we sit and watch the sky turn colors while red and blue popsicle juice runs down our arms. Seconds before I took this picture the sky was pink. By the time I got the camera it was gone. Still a pretty view, though.
Sitting on the steps having popsicles while the sun sets seems to have become an every night occourance around here. I guess that's what traditons are made of. Summer traditions. Maybe the dog days of summer aren't so bad afterall.