Sunny Morning Thoughts

Tea and a Peach

If we were having coffee, I would probably be having tea. I would share this sunny patio spot with you, an overflowing bowl of toothsome, sweet White Lady peaches between us. I wouldn’t be very gregarious this morning, because I’ve been a little low. We would be sitting across from each other, enjoying each other’s presence, but our chairs would be angled slightly, releasing the tension from our open circle. I hope you would be happy to simply lean back and close your eyes, savoring the invigorating dance of the sun on your skin after so much rain. I heard there are more storms on the way.

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Porch Cocktails No. 3

Mint Julep

A mint julep will always have a place in my summer cocktail rotation, from the first sip on Kentucky Derby Day to the last sip on a late summer evening on the porch. I shared a very large pitcher of them with some friends recently, and I was struck by their simplicity and versatility. The eight of us have diverse tastes, but we all agreed that there’s no better cocktail for a summer party. I don’t know why the mentholated chill of mint and the fiery warmth of bourbon complement each other so well, but they certainly do. A bourbon drink that’s refreshing enough for sticky summer days is as good as it gets. And one that doesn’t require a ton of fiddly measuring and mixing is perfection.

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Porch Reads No. 2

Summer Reading 2

The Remains of the Day has been recommended to me over and over again. Finally, when I saw it at my favorite used book store, I picked it up and shelved it. Somehow, the book never made it to the top of my reading list, though. Despite my affinity for Downton Abbey and all manner of British period pieces, it seemed too blatantly Anglophilic for me. I don’t enjoy reading just anything written about British people, but I do appreciate that uniquely British pairing of scathing humor with unnatural, almost illogical, stoicism. That’s why I enjoy Evelyn Waugh’s books, for example, or the lovely gem that is William Boyd’s Any Human Heart—one of my favorite reads of the year. In more ways than I had expected, Kazuo Ishiguro’s book was different from my usual fare.

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Porch Cocktails: Homemade Tonic Syrup

G&T with Homemade Tonic

In my first porch cocktails post, I professed my love for a refreshing G&T. I also mentioned that I was in the midst of crafting some homemade tonic syrup in an effort to spruce up my go-to summer indulgence. Even with memories of this hilarious, disastrous saga in the back of my mind, I was itching to make my own tonic. I’m not one to be scared off by horror stories of DIY gone wrong. In fact, anecdotes like these have been known to encourage me. So, I found a recipe through David Lebovitz’ blog, and hunted down my ingredients, adapting the recipe to suit my needs.

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Except to Me

Hosta flower

I don’t particularly like Hostas. They just scream ordinariness. Their leaves, arguably their main feature, display a profusion of ordinarily-shaped leaves in a spectrum of ordinary leaf colors. I’m sure there are interesting and unique varieties out there, as there are with other popular plants, but I simply don’t get their appeal. When they do flower, the flowers are tiny, pale things whose delicate proportions are dwarfed by the plant’s bulky foliage. That is, until you see them without the other 90% of the plant.

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