When summer gives you lemons, squeeze them dry
We are back at that time of the year when we have to wake up to the sweltering, humid mornings of summer. Nothing beats a summer like ours: you could daydream about the perfectly ripe mangoes, all the while drowning in your own sweat round the clock. Since there's hardly any point in fighting off a bond so strong, let's turn the tables on summer and make lemonades out of the lemons it throws at us, shall we?
Speaking of lemonades, fresh smoothies and juices are a must to keep you hydrated throughout this season. But are you in the mood for something new which you can simply put together from leftovers? If so, try popsicles. Don't let the idea of making popsicles scare you; all you need are paper cups and some lolly/Chocobar sticks you have been saving up for no apparent reason. Now it's just a matter of creating your own chiller combo.
Throw in slices of fruits, any juice, add a bit of sugar or salt to taste or even some yoghurt or milk to get a "creamsicle!" After you're done creating a blend of scrumptious flavours, pour them into the paper cups and allow to freeze. After the mix has slightly solidified, put the lolly sticks in the middle and allow to freeze again. So, whenever you're in the mood for a popsicle, simply tear the paper cup away and enjoy! If you're still lost on recipes, here are a few delicious combos that you should definitely try:
* Mango Lassi – sliced ripe mangoes + yoghurt + milk + sugar+ salt + ground cardamom
* Dulche De Leche Lemonsicle – milk + lemon juice (with pulp) + condensed milk
* Orange Creamsicle – orange juice + cream + honey + vanilla extract + sugar
But then again, who says you have to stay restricted to fruits?
* Cookies 'n' Cream – Oreo cookies + heavy cream + milk + sugar + vanilla extract
* Coffee Popsies – coffee + condensed milk + cream + vanilla extract
When you can't fight the Sun, let it power your shoebox.
Let's move on to cooking now, yes? All this intense summer sunlight can be used to bake omelettes in your very own "shoebox solar oven". The instructions, of course, are very simple. You'll need a shoebox, aluminium foil, black spray paint, black chart paper, two pencils and a clear plastic sheet. To make your solar oven:
* If your shoebox isn't already black, paint the exterior using black spray paint.
* Create a hatch on the shoebox's lid by cutting three sides of the lid, leaving one side intact.
* Line the whole inside of the shoebox with aluminium foil, shiny side out. Ensure that no cardboard is left exposed. Line the inside of the hatch with foil and glue the foil in place.
* Place black chart paper to line the inner four walls of the box, leaving the bottom foiled.
* Cover the opening on the lid with a clear plastic sheet and prop the hatch open with two pencils on each side.
All those days when you were on a picnic and wished your sandwich was warm are now over. Lay back, let summer do all the work and have some time to spare (it's not exactly an electric oven you know). Chilled popsicles in hand and sunlight at your mercy, you're what's hot this summer.
Labiba Mustabina studies biochemistry and biotechnology at North South University. A tree hugger, she also claims to be a closet artist. You can reach her at [email protected].