Let's jump into the pool, after a sip of this summertime refreshing drink....
As soon as I saw this recipe for Honey Sweetened Fresh Cherry Limeade, I knew that I had to try it.
The recipe for Honey Sweetened Fresh Cherry Limeade is just so perfectly summery. With this "heat dome" over NYC right now, I can't imagine anything better. I can just taste it when I think of it, and I imagine a little paper parasol in my glass as I sip this sweet and tart refresher.
I already had the cherries and limes in my fridge. All I had to do was make it. Perfect timing, as I recently ordered a Soda Stream online which would enable me to make my own seltzer. Knowing Amazon's fast service, a drone, or the delivery person equivalent should be delivering the Soda Stream any minute. Then I will infuse my fresh seltzer with my newly made Honey Sweetened Fresh Cherry Limeade! Until then, store bought seltzer will have to do. See the recipe for Honey Sweetened Fresh Cherry Limeade, at the end of this post.
In between cooking, "Open a New Window"....
In the Broadway musical "Mame," there is a song with the lyrics, "Open a new window, open a new door, travel a new highway, that's never been tried before...."
I decided to take that advice to heart today and try something new. I attended my first tai chi class at our local YMCA, taught by Master Lin. Master Lin is a very courteous teacher who looks to be about 90 years old, and wears an almost ceremonial costume in which to teach class. His top is a red silk jacket, over black pajama pants and black canvas shoes decorated with hemp trim.
Master Lin's teaching methods....
Master Lin will often communicate softly and intimately with one of the more advanced students, who then translates down the instructions and information to the others in the class, especially to newbies, like me. Learning tai chi became like an adult version of the game "telephone," I had learned as a child in camp. There was also a great deal of playing follow the leader, as well.
Tai Chi for the first time....
I was given a sheet with about 24 forms, and one of my classmates explained that tai chi is a martial art. I was surprised, as I thought of tai chi as something gentle and flowing, involving making shapes in the air with one's hands, related to nature and animals. Sort of like origami, but expressing the forms through the body, rather than by folding paper into shapes. Some of the forms on the list, like "Part wild horse's mane on both sides," or "White crane flashes wing," fit in with my image of the art. Others, such as "Kick with right heel," or "Turn to deflect block and punch," verify tai chi's relationship to martial arts. Not to mention the sword work that came as the grand finale, during the last ten minutes of class.
Happily out of my element....
I would say that I was happily out of my element. The other students in the class were welcoming, friendly and helpful. I liked the feeling of forgetting myself and totally concentrating on what I was doing. The moves were a bit like dance, and so in a way, felt somewhat familiar. But the ability to remember the sequences, though repeated over and over again, seems like a daunting task. Dance is so much easier, as there is counting and rhythm, and relating to the music that drives a routine. It makes much more sense to me. Tai chi is like being in one of the clouds, you are trying to create with your hands. How do you distinguish one cloud from another?
Tai Chi as an antidote for my saggy baggy elephant knees....
Part of my motivation for taking the tai chi course was to test how well my ailing left knee is doing. I have multiple meniscus tears and old age deterioration in my left knee, which has a troublesome history. It is as if my left knee is the dormouse at the tea party in "Alice in Wonderland," telling it's tale of a lifetime of injuries and woe. My leg swelled up so much that I could no longer bend it, and the orthopedic surgeon who treated me, fixed me up with a cortisone shot, and advised me to take tumeric pills twice a day. Tai chi turned out to be not too demanding on the knee, and it withstood the test of gentle exercise today. And I really enjoyed waving my hands like clouds during the course of the class.
As for the rest of it, when not cooking, having fun, or exploring new things....
I continue to slog through papers, make calls to financial institutions, pay bills, and organize papers into labeled file folders. Not to mention my new financial Excel chart for tracking expenses. Since Dan is now gone, my heart is heavy, and I miss my other half. I work at finding balance in this new life I have entered, but it is difficult. Like a boxer returning to the ring to fight another round, I keep coming back to the papers, and so look forward to being done with it all. I am making headway, but I feel like "The Boxer" in the Paul Simon song. Note, two links here, one as sung by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and one to Mumford and Sons. Enjoy them both.
In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains
Cooking just for myself, while taking care....
But back to the sunshine and giving shout outs to this Honey Sweetened Fresh Cherry Limeade....
When life starts to feel like too much, or the "heat dome" and Donald Trump are freaking you out, take a break, shake it off, and make yourself a batch of Honey Sweetened Fresh Cherry Limeade. We can amend the old adage that when life hands you lemons...., to mix it up a bit, and make limeade, instead.
Honey Sweetened Fresh Cherry Limeade
- 1 C 175g Pitted Fresh Sweet Cherries
- ½ C 116g Water
- ⅓ C 90g Raw Honey
- 2 tsp. Lime Zest
- ⅓ C 55g Lime Juice, fresh squeezed (about two limes)
- 30 oz 850 g Club Soda
- Fresh Cherries and Lime Slices for garnish
In a medium sauce pot, add the cherries and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, mash up the cherries a bit, then put a lid on it and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a blender, add the cherries, all their juices, honey, zest and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Chill before making the Limeades. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week in a lidded container or freeze for up to one month.
For individual servings of the drinks, fill each 8 oz (225g) glass with ice. Pour 2 oz. (30g) of syrup into each glass, then top off with club soda. Stir, then garnish with cherries and lime slices.
For a pitcher, fill a pitcher with ice Add all the syrup to a pitcher, then top with 30 oz (850g) of club soda. Stir and garnish with cherries and limes. Serve right away