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By the pool blender drinks. It’s summertime!

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I may be wrong, I usually am even though I pretend I’m not, but with the temperature already creeping into the very high 80’s I think summer may have just hit south Florida!  It’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing.  Thankfully, we have ocean breezes and central AC.  I hadn’t quite noticed that the heat was upon us but when Jimmy pulled out his bathing suit, rummaged around on his tobacco table for the perfect Sunday cigar and headed out to the pool for the second day in a row it dawned on me.  Time to start REALLY working out again and, by the way, a bikini wax wouldn’t hurt.  I got my suit on, slung my towel over my shoulder and joined him.  Let me make myself clear.  It’s not really MY towel.  When I get in the pool I only take the towels in James’ closet…the boy’s towels.  Let THEM get bleached out by chlorine or get dirt on them.  Any way, the pool looked, well, not quite party ready.  And the water was still too cold.  I stood on the bench seat in the deep end and I wasn’t happy.  I could feel myself getting crabby and peevish.  I hate it when I get that way; I feel it coming and sometimes I can head it off and sometimes I can’t but today is my complete day off and, dammit, the pool looks like shit.  There.  I said it.  I just stood there watching tiny, brown Royal Poinciana leaves slowly drift by as Jimmy was cleaning the pool, happily puffing away on his cigar, and I thought, “No.  I don’t want to waste my day being bitchy and frustrated and stupid.  There’s GOT to be something I can do to ward this off.”  And that’s when Jimmy said, still cleaning the pool, completely unaware that there was a potential hissy fit a brewin’, “Man, I’d do anything for one of those bullfrog drinks right now.”  I perked right up at the idea of outside day drinking.  “Now you’re talkin’.”, I thought happily drying off thinking, “There’s GOT to be something frozen in that house I can blend with rum”.  Task designed and assigned I headed off to the kitchen to see what we had.  I knew we had a handle of Bacardi Lemon Rum living under the bar but what to flavor it?  I tore through the freezer past the now brick-like Tsoureki bread, moving aside the broad beans, the broccoli, the yuca.  Geez, there’s GOT to be something in here.  My hands, now blue with cold, raked through the bottom drawer looking for that peach or strawberry canned drink mix that I knew in my heart of hearts was long gone.  “Damn,” I muttered to no one, “Disappointed!”, I yelled fully aware that only the dog would witness my tantrum.  But, wait.  What’s that acidy yellow plastic corner peeping out?  Well, well, well.  There is a God after all and He has given me a frozen solid pack of pure Lulo puree!  For those of you who are not familiar with the magic of Lulo it’s a fruit from Colombia that imparts a lemony, citrus taste with a pineapple sidecar finish.  I am happy now!  In the blender I combined half of a 14-ounce pack of frozen Lulo pulp with too much of the lemon rum, probably a cup and a half.  I get carried away so pour the rum as you see fit.  I added a bit of sugar as the fruit is unsweetened and packed the blender with ice.  After 60 seconds or so on “liquify” it was perfect.  Smoother than a slushy from 7-11.  I tasted it.  Nooooo!  It was too raw and sharp.  This frozen mess needed something…anything.  I had some far gone bananas for my smoothies but, no, THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANT.  Wait, wait!  There are half a dozen very tired strawberries killing time in the refrigerator until someone throws them out.  Perfect!  I tossed them in after lopping off their tops, added a few more ice cubes and some sugar and a star was born!  After another 45 seconds swirling through the blender I ended up with a gorgeous, incredibly smooth, not too tart-not too sweet summer drink.  I closed my eyes and savored the icy perfection slide down my throat.  The afternoon was saved!  So get to the grocery store and stock up not on the drink mixes in the can but frozen packets of fruit pulp.  The hispanic section will have a treasure trove of flavors so have a party and experiment.  Even if it’s only the two of you!  Guaranteed fun and you’ll be nice to the world.

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