From keeping your drinks cool to making fruity jam, we have tips to help you make the most of your summer party:
Cold water on the go
Fill plastic bottles a quarter of the way full and lie them down in the freezer. When frozen, fill with water for an ice-cold refreshing drink on the go.
Zesty ice cubes
If you’re having a party, thinly slice lemons and limes, and place in the bottom of a patty tin. Fill with water and freeze overnight. Great for a jug of Pimm’s.
Banish strawberry stains
Mix 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp liquid laundry detergent and a little cool water. Soak for 15 minutes.
In the garden
Give your roses a summer prune and if you see any signs of black spots, or powdery mildew, remove the affected leaves immediately. Be water-wise this summer too. By using an organic mulch over your topsoil – it’ll help reduce water evaporation, which means you’ll need less water.
Hosting a function? Add zest to bought-ready mixed drinks with fresh mint and fruit, or save time and hire a professional mobile bar service. Barmotion sets up mini bars with drinks to suit every taste from smoothies to cappuccinos without you having to lift a finger. See www.barmotion.co.za for more info.
Make your own jam
The trick to making delicious fruity jam that’s utterly delicious is to leave the fruit in the sugar overnight. This also gives you big chunks of strawberry in the jam, as the fruit won’t overcook.
Try chocolate-filled strawberries
- Hull 15 to 20 strawberries (the larger the better) and scoop out the middle using a teaspoon.
- Put a bag of milk chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals until all the chocolate has melted.
- Place the strawberries in an ice-cube tray, then spoon the chocolate into them.
- Refrigerate for about 10 minutes until the chocolate hardens.
In the kitchen garden
It’s not too late to sow veg seeds. Try these:
- Rocket is a great salad leaf with a peppery punch. Sow successfully for constant supplies.
- Basil has a wonderful sharp flavour and works well with tomatoes and cheese. It grows best in full sunlight.
- Mint grows easily in dappled sunlight, in warm to hot areas.
Entertaining young kids?
Good to have on hand is a stock of crafting kits, containing colourful and fun craft materials. Timeless Toys in Cape Town has fabulous hair clip making kit, from R150 each or see Polly Potters Toy store for more ideas.
Peas and love
Bring out the flavour of peas in a tasty risotto recipe- add the peas, a knob of butter and freshly grated Parmesan for the perfect midweek supper. Or gently steam and add fresh mint and some butter.