I am a collector of orchids and usually have a few blooming at all times thus the title The Joy of Orchids. When the garden is looking stressed and parched these beautiful blooms bring me such joy.
Even though these orchids hang on my screened porch I can still enjoy the view from inside. All of my exterior doors are glass doors like this one leading to the screened porch.
It is still so very hot here in our area and I prepared a wonderfully refreshing drink, a Strawberry Lemonade and it comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Seasonal Recipes From the Garden by P. Allen Smith. This is a new book for Allen written because of his use of his own home grown foods at his country retreat just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. He is best known as a trained Landscape Architect and he was trained in England. I receive his weekly newsletters and enjoy his blog as well. http://www.pallensmith.com/blog/ Allen is a wealth of information.
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1cup fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
2 cups chilled sparkling water or club soda
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Whole strawberries, for garnish
Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir and then remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture cool completely, and then pour it through a strainer into a clean pitcher.
Puree the pint of strawberries in a blender and add the puree to the lemonade. Stir well to combine, and refrigerate until nice and cold.
Just before serving, add the chilled sparkling water and stir well. Pour into glasses filled with ice, garnish each one with a mint sprig and a strawberry, and serve.
This is a wonderful summer refreshment but it makes for an excellent evening cocktail too. I added some Lemon Vodka, FABULOUS!!!!!
Today I am linking to Outdoor Wednesday. I hope you enjoyed my orchids and I hope it will inspire you to try growing them yourself.