Here’s to a happy and cool weekend…with watermelon!

It’s Friday and you know what that means, right? The weekend is knocking at my doors! Problem is, it’s 107 degrees outside (but it feels like 115) and who in their right mind would want to move from the couch? Not me. Yet, I’ll brave the heat and drag my overheated body to the farmers market tomorrow morning. Don’t worry, there is a purpose to my madness: I will be looking for my one and only remedy for summer heat: watermelon, anguria in Italian.

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With 92% water and 6% sugar, watermelon not only is my go-to fruit of the summer, it also is the only food I can stomach when the weather is as hot as it is today. Bonus points: Watermelon contains large amounts of beta carotene (let’s get tanning!). I don’t have a proven scientific method for choosing the right fruit, but what I usually do is tap it once and if it sounds a bit hollow, it usually means it’s ripe, juicy and ready to go. The best way to eat it? Cut it in small cubes, sprinkle a bit of lime juice and refrigerate. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

What is your favorite watermelon recipe? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy weekend, everyone. Stay cool!

Grandma’s Cabinet: home remedy for the summer cold

There is probably nothing worse that getting sick—the down-on-your-knees sniffling, coughing-up-a-storm kind of ill—in the summertime. Got the idea? That is what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn’t know how I happened to get that sick. We spent the weekend in a breathtaking estate in Warrenton, Virginia for the wedding of our good friends Jeff and Marla. We enjoyed seeing old friends, ate good food, took a scenic bike ride, wept at the ceremony, danced at the reception, got sick. In that order.

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I’ve had the idea of introducing this new section of the blog for a while, but I couldn’t find the right time. Well, now the time has found me. Grandma’s Cabinet will feature all the home remedies my grandmother Piera and my aunt Cesarina (and my mom Patrizia for that matter) have taught, concocted and given me through the years.

The simplest, and may I say the most effective, is the remedy for the summer cold: a cup of hot milk (don’t heat in the microwave, let it simmer slowly in a small pot) with a spoonful of honey right before bed. It’s not a secret remedy, but it has worked for me every time and I found that the better quality the honey, the better the results. To that end, I only use local honey from nearby Virginia farms: a rich, flowery taste that lingers in your mouth.

Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!