Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Mama's Cooking: Summertime Fruit Salads

There once was a time, sounds like I'm going to tell you a fairy tale doesn't it? Well it's true, there once was a time when some of us who are still living and aren't necessarily approaching 100 could not go to the grocery store just anytime of year and buy whatever fruit or vegetable we desired unless it was in season. Now there is a healthy for us, our planet and economy push for buying local. Check out this website about why.

So, way back then I was very happy when the fruits of my first salad converged in ripeness around the Fourth of July. This was my go-to dish to bring to early summer picnics and meals with friends and family. Depending how fancy I wished to be I might carve out a watermelon to resemble a basket and scoop small balls of each melon with a melon ballerWhew!

Since it is now early summer and these fruits are at their peak try cutting watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon and mixing those chunks of summer with cherries and blueberries.

This second and more contemporary summertime fruit salad I make has a bit of a story, too.

I started using vanilla syrup
when flavored syrups started appearing in coffee shops. I became curious and needed to experiment because I didn't/don't drink coffee. Molly was little and I would make her vanilla ice cream sodas. You may be surprised to learn (ha, ha) she was sheltered and she only had drinks like Kool Aid when my sister would slip her some. She never mainlined apple juice either. I would mix sparkling water, vanilla syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a very vanilla-y treat.

I was left with this bottle of very tasty and sweet vanilla syrup and I didn't want to use it in those ice cream sodas too frequently, so I tried some of it in a fruit salad of honeydew melon, blueberries and fresh cut mint. The combination became another crowd-pleaser.

Now, since I choose to be parsimonious with sugar and Molly is off on her own. I, alas, have forgone that sweet vanilla syrup and no longer make vanilla ice cream sodas. I still make the salad and it continues to please, though now I sprinkle on pure vanilla powder.
I reap the benefits of those micro-nutrients from spices and herbs and the result is still vanilla-y sweet when the powder mingles with the juices of the melon.

Light a sparkler for me, would you? Mom says be careful not to swallow the cherry pits!

xx Mama and Molly

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