Tag Archives: summer

Summer’s Surprise

Surprise lily

When I stopped by the Branson Candy Kitchen to visit Grandmother and Aunt Macy, it was a hot, clear Ozarks summer day threatening to reach 100 degrees again. Summer is the grand-daughter of Macy and the great-grand daughter of my grandmother.



Aunt Macy said “Summer, you remember your cousin, don’t you? This here is Patsy Kay, your cousin.”

“Hello Cousin”, Summer said. And then my cutest little cousin ran out the back door.

Grandmother and Auntie kept making pecan pralines while I sat in the company chair watching and talking. Every now and then, I was the beneficiary of an imperfect handmade praline.

You can’t sell the ugly ones. Everyone wants a beautiful praline. Yes, I ate the ugly pralines, the things you do for family…

surprise liliesSummer ran in the door with a hand full of Nekked Ladies and thrust them at me. “Surprise! Here cousin. Flowers for you!”

Oh! Thank you, Summer.

What are they cousin?

I’m sitting right in front of MY grandmother and I am not about to tell this cute little three year old that those flowers are called Naked Ladies.

You know the answer to that, Summer. You told me when you walked in the door: Surprise! They are Surprise Lilies.


Surprise lilies easily multiply creating more bulbs to share.

You mean Nekked Ladies?, said Grandma. We all burst into little girl giggles.

And so, sweet Summer, every year when these bold lilies pop up, I’ll always think of you. One more thing, Thank you for the Surprise Lilies.

Real Mojito Mint

Mojitos are a great summer drink.


I grow authentic Cuban mint to make this drink.


Mints and other herbs are easy to grow in containers on the deck or patio so they are handy for your favorite recipes.


Mojito, a daily favorite of Ernest Hemingway, is the perfect drink for summer. Once you taste it, you can easily imagine yourself in Key West in the bar or on the beach, Mojito in hand.


When James Bond drank a Mojito the movie Die Another Day, the Cuban rum drink became a cocktail lounge staple.


While some recipes call for any variety of mint, the real mojito can only be made with the true mojito mint. Like all mints it is easy to grow. I bought this authentic mint from Richters Herbs. (Their catalog is a herb gardeners bible.)


3 cups (packed) fresh mint leaves
9 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups light rum
1/2 cup fresh lime juice


6 cups club soda
6 cups crushed ice
6 lime wedges




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