Summertime in NoFLA

As you can probably guess, summertime in North Florida can be brutal. Between the heat, the humidity, the bugs, the heat, and the humidity, it’s enough to send folks streaming indoors for some cool air.

Even indoors, the need to cool off doesn’t go away, and cold drinks of all sorts often fit the bill. Although I’m officially a Yankee transplant to Florida, I’ve embraced some of the more traditional beverages of the region such as sweet tea or mint sweet tea, or for something a little more tart, the classic Arnold Palmer. If you are lucky enough to have a Meyer lemon tree in your yard (or have a generous neighbor), homemade lemonade is the way to go. Although it’s almost sacrilege down here, some folks prefer a well-made glass of iced coffee.

Since the Watermelon Festival is this coming weekend, you might choose to indulge in a watermelon margarita or even this totally kid-friendly faux salad caprese.

If you’ve got melon leftover, try my tropicalized fruit salad:

2 cups each seedless watermelon, cantelope, and honeydew melon chunks
1 cup seedless grapes
2 firm bananas, sliced
2 cups strawberries, halved if large
1 tin of guava paste, cut up*
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted (set aside)

Combine all the fruit ingredients a few hours before serving. Add the coconut and stir before serving – some of the guava will have ‘melted’ to coat the other fruits, giving everything a lovely sheen and sweet-tart tropical edge.

*You can use a 1/2 tin if you like, check this link for some more guava recipes

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