In which we’re pondering warm weather things

I’m currently in New Orleans for the RT Convention. This post is from the archives. Enjoy!

Here are a few of my favorite warm weather things:


*Watermelon Margaritas. I tweeted about this and got several requests for a recipe. I found it in one of Martha Stewart’s magazines and it’s very simple: bring to a boil 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for three minutes and remove from heat to let cool. (Sugar should be completely dissolved.) Blend 2 cups or so of watermelon chunks in the blender. Strain. (This is essential. Otherwise you’ll have a watermelon/tequila slushy. Which I suppose is not an entirely bad thing, but not quite a margarita, either.) Combine watermelon juice with cooled sugar syrup, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, and 3/4 cup silver tequila. Serves four. Now, personally, I prefer a traditional margarita, but I had no Cointreau or Triple Sec in the house, so watermelon it was. These go quite well with fish tacos.

*White cotton clothes. I seem to have amassed a collection of white cotton without meaning to. I have five skirts, a pair of shorts, two pairs of cargo pants, seven blouses, and four dresses. I’m not entirely sure this is normal unless you’re Isak Dinesen, but nothing feels more like summer than some variation on white cotton. I am particularly fond of long, petticoat-style skirts, probably because it makes me feel like I’m camping out on the Serengeti, even if I’m just doing the laundry.

*Pocket Pond. My new favorite iPhone app. Seriously. It is a tiny koi pond that you carry around on your phone. It even has nature sounds. You can make little plinking noises in the pond as if you just skimmed a stone. You can feed the koi and populate your pond with lily pads and dragonflies. (You can also kill the dragonflies and feed them to the fish if you like.) It’s incredibly relaxing.

*Summer books. If I weren’t tail over teakettle trying to get through my research material right now, I would be assembling a stack of summer books. Top of the list? Summertime by Raffaella Barker, The Love Letter by Cathleen Schine, and My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.

*Lighter fragrance. I seldom wear Chanel No.5 in summer. I think it’s too much of a good thing. Right now I’m wearing Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria in Mandarine-Basilic or Frederic Malle’s En Passant. I also have a bit of L’Occitane’s Eau d’Azur left because I think mimosa is lovely in warm weather.

*Herbs. Yesterday I planted basil and cilantro, and I am on the hunt for lavender plants. The rosemary and chives from last year are still going strong, and to me nothing says summer like being able to crush a handful of your own sun-warmed herbs in your fingers.