a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Three Simple Summertime Treats to . . .

Cool You Off by Bringing On the Tastes of the Tropics  
in the Scorching  Days of Summer

When we had our first official "summertime" meal last Monday we served the Bowl of Sunshine and the coconut pudding as dessert. However this fruit bowl combo is perfect and refreshing at any time, beginning with the first meal of the day. 

Bowl of Sunshine

There are no precise measurements --- simply adjust to your taste and the amount you need.  The pineapple and orange juices keep the bananas from turning dark.  I cut the oranges over the bowl so their juices drip onto the other fruit.  

In a non-metal bowl combine:
1 can crushed pineapple
bananas cut into bite-size pieces
orange segments cut into bite-size pieces
Store covered in refrigerator.

When Dave and I lived on a remote atoll for six months we learned that the coconut palm tree is truly the "tree of life."  The islanders did not carry bottles of water on their treks. They knock down coconuts when they were thirsty.  They told us the liquid of the fresh coconut is so pure it can be used intravenously if necessary. We learned that the coconuts we purchase from our stores (and then  laboriously dig out the chewy meat) are basically what they discard. The interior of a fresh coconut is very smooth and custard-like. It is the perfect food for their infants and ill and elderly. The closest we have found to duplicating the taste and feel of fresh coconut  is the following popular tropical pudding.

Helen's Haupia (Coconut Pudding)

3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 cups canned Coconut Milk

Combine cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan.
Add a small amount of the coconut milk and stir until 
the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining coconut
milk and cook, stirring constantly until mixture
is thick.  Pour into 8x8 inch glass dish or a bowl and refrigerate.

We love iced herb tea when the weather is hot. There are many great flavors but our favorite is "Lemon Zinger" by Celestial Seasonings. After making tea the usual ways ("steeping" in boiling water or hours in the sun) before the impatient waiting for it to get cold, we came up with a quicker way by simply cutting out the middle step.

Simply Iced Tea

You can adjust number of herb tea bags to suit your taste.
We put 5 herb tea bags in a large pitcher and add 
two quarts (8 cups) room-temperature water.
Place in refrigerator until cold.  The hot water/heat
part is not necessary. It will start  "steeping" before 
you even get it to the frig!)

'til we eat again,
          Simply, Gail

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