Oh summer. I always can't wait for it to arrive. When spring rolls around, I am anxious for this season. I can barely contain my excitement. I start asking again and again, "When is summer?" like how a small child, who is on a long car ride, would ask his parents endlessly if they are there yet. I start counting the days, hours, minutes, and even seconds left until the final bell rings on the last day of school. I make to-do lists of fun things to do - the things that I wasn't able to do during the school year. It becomes hard to focus in school, especially when the weather on the other side of the classroom wall is so warm, filled with natural, golden-yellow sunlight. It starkly contrasts the chilly, overly air-conditioned classroom, lit up with man-made light bulbs. Who can focus when they could be frolicking carelessly outside?
When summer arrives, I start to sleep late and wake up late. I can go to sleep at 2 a.m., when the whole neighborhood is pitch dark. I can wake up at noon time, right when my grandmother is just finished with cooking lunch. I can care less about my sleeping habits. I can sleep whenever and rise whenever without worrying about being late to school, nodding off in first period, and having enough time to finish an almost endless pile of homework. I can take a nap in the mid-afternoon if I wanted to. I am free in the summer, not tied up with time constraints and a rigid schedule. Summer is also the time for me to cook. The time for me to tackle complicated recipes. I can dream up flavor combinations and make them a reality. Compared to the school year, I am practically without commitments and stress.
And when summer's about to end, I treasure every second of it even more. In just 10 days, I'll have to kiss it good bye and wait for another school year to pass before I can feel the warm sun on my skin, see seasonal, summer fruits at the farmer's market, and not be weighed down with schoolwork, projects, and essays.
I will miss summer.
Last night (actually, this morning) at midnight (I couldn't sleep - blame it on the afternoon nap I took), I was browsing online and reading my favorite blogs. I started reading basilmomma. She had a post about lightly flavoring water to make it more enticing. She discussed how she noticed that her kids weren't drinking enough water, and I immediately thought that I wasn't drinking enough water either. She suggested adding mint, berries, and/or citrus to some water to make it more appealing. I decided to try making some this afternoon.
Originally, I was planning on strawberry kiwi water, but my cousin seemed to not like it. She wasn't a big fan of the flavor. She made a face when I added extra kiwi (too sour). So I moved on to adding orange juice and slices. There was actually a distinguishable flavor this time, but it was overpowering. The kiwi vanished - disappeared from the palate. I tried adding a plum. I didn't get the feedback I wanted (she couldn't taste it). To make sure that her taste buds weren't frazzled from so much taste testing, I gave her a cup of ice water to taste test blindly. It turned out that her tongue was perfectly fine, and my drinks weren't.
frozen green and golden kiwi slices I was testing with
Behind the scenes: the mess (notice the astounding number of cups I used)
Orange Strawberry Flavored Water
Note: just a guideline
some juice from an orange
orange sliceswater, chilled
ice cubes, optional
Squeeze a little (not a lot - you aren't making juice right now, just flavored water) juice from the orange into a glass. Add orange slices and the frozen strawberries. Pour the water in. Add ice cubes if desired (the frozen strawberries act as ice cubes, so I didn't feel the need to add ice cubes). Taste it and adjust the amount of ingredients accordingly (just remember, the flavor should be subtle). Muddle the fruit a little if you want. And of course, enjoy!