From the SMC Kitchen: When Life Gives You Summer, Make Lemonade

by Avajra John Russell

JohnLemonWell, summer is here. Thunderstorms are rolling through the mountains and when they’re not, the immense sky is a crystal clear blue with the ever-changing play of puffy clouds.  And, (finally!) it’s hot this week here at Shambhala Mountain.

But let me take this opportunity to recommend making the most of your summer, wherever you are spending the season.  Although planning those big outings can make your summer memorable, I think it’s just as important to enjoy the small things—not grasping but taking full advantage of this spontaneous creative moment, ripe with possibilities. Try some summer fun swinging in the hammock with a tall one, make fresh lemonade, or spend some quality time hitting the ball around with the kids. Meet an old friend, or a new one, for a walk in the park.  Making the most of this summer is an art form unto itself and although it may take a bit of doing, the potential joys are rich and manyfold.

Here’s an easy and refreshing recipe for mint lemonade:

1 3/4 cups sugar, honey, or agave

1 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice

8 cups of pure water

Several sprigs of fresh mint

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher over ice, stir and shake together chilled syrup, lemon juice, and the remaining 7 cups of water.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Summer Pasta Salad

Recipe by Terri Huggett, Shambhala Mountain chef extraordinaire.Terry the chef

Light fare doesn’t have to be light on taste. This lovely little recipe is perfect for those August scorchers when lunch is less about re-fueling and more about refreshing. This recipe will serve a whole family, or store well for days when you really can’t stand the idea of a hot stove.

2 Tbsp. salt

1 lb penne paste (gluten-free if desired)

1/2 cup olive oil, or to taste

12 roma tomatoes, stem removed and cut into 1/2 inch dices

2 cups arugula

Zest of 2 lemons, or to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and penne pasta and cook until slightly underdone. Drain and run cold water over pasta to cool. Drain well. Place in a large bowl and stir with olive oil. Add tomatoes, arugula, lemon zest, lemon juice and stir to mix. Add salt and paper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves eight.