The sun and fun of summer – days at the beach, cookouts, good food, lots of refreshing drinks – are over too soon for many. Come wintertime, they take trips to hot, sunny locales and try to recapture that summer feeling, even briefly.
But flights and hotels and vacation packages can put a hurt on one’s budget. So in this era of the “staycation”, I propose an alternative: buy a good Indian cookbook, make a nice hot vindaloo, and soon you’ll feel like you’re lying in the sun in Goa. Or maybe lying in a large frying pan under a giant magnifying glass. Or that you’ve been showering in Tabasco sauce. Or that you’re a naan stuck to the wall of Satan’s tandoor.
In any case, you’ll be HOT, and you’ll want a cooling, refreshing drink to further remind you of those lazy, hazy days of summer (and, simultaneously, to put out the flames from your tongue which are rather embarrassingly starting to make smoke puff out of your ears when you chew.)
Here’s how you solve both needs at the same time: a nice creamy lassi. If you’ve ever wondered what professional fire eaters do after a hard day at work, they head down to their local joint and knock back a few, icy-cold lassis. Nothing does the job better.
For this recipe, I employ the ‘hair-of-the-dog’ theory by using Blenheim ginger ale. Blenheim is a South Carolina-made product that’s so local it’s damnably hard to find even in South Carolina! The company is owned by the same folks who own that gaudy Xanadu of amusement, South of the Border (and that’s a whole ‘nother blog post…) and they just don’t feel the need to sell this delicious and insanely volatile nectar much beyond their popular neon fiefdom. So feel free to substitute any strongly-flavored ginger ale or ginger beer; the yogurt tempers the fire but leaves the complex ginger flavor.
Here’s how to make the Peachy Key Lime Ginger Lassi:
1 large ripe peach (or nectarine), peeled and chopped
6 oz plain yogurt
1 tsp key lime juice or regular lime juice
2 Tbsp honey
Pinch of cardamom powder (or more to taste)
1 cup Blenheim ginger ale (or other assertive ginger ale/ginger beer)
In a blender or food processor, puree together the chopped peaches, yogurt, lime juice, honey, and cardamom. Stir in the ginger ale. Refrigerate until cold or serve over ice. Serves 1.
(I must say I’m rather proud of myself: I managed to get through this entire post without making some awful pun, like “What’s wrong, Lassi? Has little Tihmi fallen down the well again?” Sure, it was tough, but I’m taking it one day at a time, folks, one day at a time…)
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest food and cooking article, a Fish for Friday Recipe for Swordfish Steak with Mango Chutney on Curried Lentils.
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