Cantaloupe Mint Lemonade
Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Birds do it, Bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it-
Let’s go on a picnic!
And did I tell you that Bill and I found a wonderful new (new to us that is) park over on the east side of Cincinnati this year? We are habitual visitors of parks for the trails, and Bill loves it when they have an archery range. It’s something he picked up as a child. And when we first met, he taught it to me, and I love it, but I have to admit the only things I am worse at aiming at besides a hay bale are probably softballs and bowling pins. I do much better with haystack cookies, meatballs and rolling pins, and put my hiking shoes on to enjoy some lovely outdoors.
I really feel like I am getting back to my true roots when I am outdoors. I feel a real sense of peacefulness and calm, plus, any excuse to make a special meal out in the fresh air and sunshine is good with me!
Parks are such a great place for picnics, and we like to picnic with the extended family when we can, usually at a park betwixt Cincinnati and Columbus Ohio.
When I was a kid we used to picnic on the weekends. My mom liked to pick out parks that were day trips around St. Louis. She would pack the cooler with sandwiches, salads, chips and pop. She liked buying Shasta soda in the cans. And you know how they say psychological connections are made? I’d be in the back of the station wagon while Dad drove down the highways, and in Missouri along the highways you could see hills and cut rock, and on those soda cans they showed a rocky little mountain. So over time I associated that soda with going on a picnic. At home, Dad would get the pop bottles that came 24 in a wooden crate (and unless you are older, you probably won’t remember those at all- although some of you will). Those cans don’t have that design anymore, but here’s what they looked like:
You know, the cut rock sections did seem like mountains to me. I had never actually seen the Rockies, Sierras or Appalachians when I was that young. But they were mountains for me. And far far back in our country’s history, those “were” mountains (Ste. Genevieve Range) that over time, water wore down the granite, loosening huge boulders, making shut-ins along rivers, and also a massive system of caves throughout Missouri.
Today, when I go on picnics, I don’t have those picturesque cans of soda, although I do like bringing tasty drinks. I love bringing dispensers that I can fill with fresh brewed iced tea or things like lemonade made from scratch. They reflect my good old-fashioned sense of what belongs on a picnic. Imagine my delight when I found a dispenser like one my family had when I was young! Who out there had one of these in their family? I know some of my cousins did. My mom said that sometimes the jugs got confused on camping trips.
Besides picnics, we did also camp with extended family often, as well as go fishing at private lakes in and around the old Grand Marais park in southern Illinois (now called Frank Holten), and another stocked fishing lake near there, and Cahokia Mounds state park. I remember one of Mom’s favorite things to bring was a bucket of KFC with sides and things, and fill that aluminum jug with something to drink, like sweet tea or kool-aid. What kind of things did your Mom pack on picnics, outings and camping trips? Did you ever do potluck picnics with relatives and friends? Mom was always famous for her potato salad.
As for things I have liked to bring, hot dogs, sandwiches, fried chicken come to mind, along with sides, chips, fresh fruit and cold drinks, plus something like brownies or cookies, maybe even a fruit pie. If I romanticize about picnics a bit, I like to think of bringing wine and having fruit and a Canadian meat pie, but these days it’s hard to find any place that allows wine. Occasionally a winery will allow you to picnic, but they generally insist that you purchase their wine. But if you do, isn’t this sandwich fabulous? It feeds a crowd.
What are your family favorites for picnics? Is anything a “must-have”?
Thanks for joining me today as I jabbered on about picnics. Sometimes I love nothing more than jumping in the car and heading out to enjoy a bit of scenery and grab a bite. It has made some of the fondest memories over my lifetime. And I am certain to have many more!
Join me again tomorrow as I post with my blogging friends for #BacktoSchool Week. We will be sharing some of our favorite recipes for packing in lunches and having after school. School will be starting up again very soon so it’s never too early to start pinning your favorites so you aren’t short on ideas when the fall term arrives (just a few short weeks away now!) Until then-
Cantaloupe Mint Lemonade
Yield: 48 ounces
- 1-1/4 cups cantaloupe puree
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (with 1/2 cup water)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 cups cold water
- Puree cantaloupe then strain.
- Puree the mint leaves with 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil, then cool and strain.
- Mix strained mint water with remaining ingredients and stir.
- Serve over ice.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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