13 March 2006


Wow, we have an anticipated high temperature of 71 degrees today. (That would be 21 in the Celsius scale.) And thunderstorms. I do love a Midwestern spring, the t-storms can be very thrilling. Scary, yes, but thrilling. This morning, as I was getting ready for work, it started to hail. There is a skylight above my bed, and I thought that it might crack, so much heavy precipitation was falling. Hail is really neat. And destructive. One of the worst hail storms I remember happened when I was a child and it stripped most of the apple blossoms off of the trees in a local orchard. There were very few apples to be had that fall that were locally grown. I don't normally advocate watching television of any kind, but The Weather Channel is doing a Tornado week that is worth checking out if you're a weather buff.

I wrote the article for low fat party appetizers, and I mentioned the punch recipes that I make for almost any party. However, both punch recipes that I make are not appropriate FitFare items; one has a ton of booze, and they're both high in sugar. So I'm posting them here for anyone who wanders by from FitFare

Sneaky Punch

The original recipe appeared in a magazine in 1996 or so, which was shortly after I turned 21. It always makes me laugh that the inspiration for this punch came from Miss Martha. Somehow I just can't associate her with intoxication.

1 (6 oz) container frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
1 (12 oz) container frozen lemonade concentrate, defrosted
1 (2 liter) bottle clear soda, such as Sprite, 7-UP, Squirt
1 (750 ml) bottle Southern Comfort
3 lemons, sliced
3 oranges, sliced (I like blood oranges for the pretty red color)

Layer the slices of lemon and orange on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze overnight.

Combine all other ingredients in a large punch bowl and stir well. Remove citrus slices from freezer and float on top of punch.

The neat thing about the lemon and orange slices is that they keep the punch cool without watering it down, as pesky ice cubes can do. But this stuff really sneaks up on you. Serve in SMALL glasses and encourage those who drink it to get up and move around between glasses, because (I speak from bitter experience here) you can drink 2 or 3 glasses of it that someone else has brought to you and then discover that you are unable to stand. Or walk; or speak coherent sentences. (smiles)

Mike's Non-Alcoholic Punch

Credit for this recipe goes to my old boss at the big ol' bank. This punch was a staple at department parties. I always thought it would be even better with some rum, but there are two problems with this. One, we were not allowed alcohol at department parties held during the day on bank premises. Secondly, I have two types of punch available at parties in my home because not everyone drinks. Since the point of two types of punch at a party is that one has alcohol and one does not, that would be silly. Right? It is an odd combination; you might think while reading it that lime, apricot, pineapple and something fizzy wouldn't work, but it really really does. The only problem with it is the huge amount of sugar in it. Mike used to freeze maraschino cherries and water in a jello mold and float the frozen ring on top of the punch to keep it cold. That adds a festive touch, but I hate maraschino cherries and so I leave that out. Also, I find the measurments very strange for this recipe.

46 oz apricot nectar
46 oz pineapple juice
18 oz frozen limeade concentrate, defrosted.
84 oz ginger ale

Combine all ingredients, adding ginger ale last and slowly, as it can fizz over. Stir well.

As I said, the amounts of each thing are odd. I do not measure out 46 oz of apricot nectar, just get as close as I can with whatever size container I've been able to find. And apricot nectar isn't easy to find; last party I had back at the end of February, I found it with the stuff from Goya, in the hispanic foods section. Whatever, I was happy to locate it. The brand name is Loza, and strangely enough it says "Product of Belgium" on the bottle. Weird.

Anyway, chickadees, cherrio! Must note that there is a "winter storm warning" in effect for my area, after that 71 degree high, apparently it is going to snow lots overnight tonight. Love it.

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