Welcome to Family Bites' book week! I'll be sharing a week's worth of my favourite recent reads, giving you the chance to win a copy or two, as well.
I have a huge crush on today's book. Released in 2010, Porch Parties is one of the few practical, inspiring, and simple party guides available in book stores, and it would be remiss of me not to mention it in a week dedicated to some of my favourite reads.
While I don't have a large porch, and certainly not one big enough to entertain on, this charming guide to casual outdoor entertaining is just as relevant for backyard gatherings, and that's something I know a little bit about.
The book is heavily influenced by the author's Southern roots, and is packed with recipes for drinks ideal for serving at any outdoor bash. Also included are recipes for hand-held snacks, which allow you to keep a drink in one hand, while enjoying small bites of food with the other. I've stashed a few copies of this book away for summer hostess gifts - it's perfect to take with you to a summer barbecue, cottage weekend, or housewarming.
Here's one of my favourite summer drinks inspired by the book: watermelon lemonade. Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins C and K, and anti-inflammatory properties, watermelon is not only sweet and juicy, but also, really good for you. I’ve managed to pare down the sugar to a half cup, and I’m thinking it might even be easily replaced with honey, although I’ve yet to try that.
I have a copy of Porch Parties for one Family Bites reader. Leave a comment, and if you're inclined let me know how you feel about backyard parties. Do you have them? Do you enjoy hosting them? I'll draw at name at random on Saturday May 11th.
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (approx. 5 lemons)
- 2 cups watermelon puree (about 4 cups chopped watermelon)
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 cups cold water
1. To make a simple syrup, combine 1 cup of water and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place it in the fridge to cool, approximately 30 minutes.
2. While the water cools, place the watermelon pieces in a blender and puree until completely smooth; strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds and pulp.
3. In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, watermelon puree, simple syrup and remaining cold water. Stir well and serve over ice.