Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Little Taste of Summer

Being from the wonderful city of Charlotte, North Carolina and attending college in Columbia, South Carolina, I seem to have developed a high tolerance for extreme heat and the even more oppressing humidity that comes with this southern territory.
Today, however, we topped out at 100 degrees (which is a little hot even for me).  Upon trying to think of something to cool me off after getting back from work, I opened the refrigerator and came face to face with a bucket of blackberries freshly picked from our backyard garden.  Now, I am typically not a huge fan of blackberries due to their seedy texture, but then I remembered a drink that my mom made last summer that helped me forget the stifling July heat-- Blackberry Lemonade.
After making some Kool-Aid lemonade, I set about making the blackberry syrup.  Despite my lack of knowledge when it comes to making syrup, it was an incredibly easy process.  This blackberry lemonade will quench your thirst quicker than you can break a sweat in this heat.  Enjoy your little taste of summer!

~Blackberry Syrup~
2 dozen fresh blackberries
1/2 a cup of sugar

Rinse the blackberries in a colander.  Over low heat, mix the blackberries and sugar in a saucepan.  Next, mash the berries with a potato masher.  Allow the mixture to simmer until bubbles appear around the edge of the saucepan.  Remove from heat and push the juice through a strainer or squeeze in a piece of cheesecloth to remove the seeds.  Add desired amount to freshly mixed, cold lemonade or store in an airtight container.

Here are a few of other ways that you can put this delicious syrup to good use:
  • Pour over some homemade vanilla ice cream
  • Drizzle over pancakes or waffles (just add a 2 Tbs cornstarch while boiling to thicken to your liking)
  • Add some to sweet tea for a twist on a southern classic