Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainbow Agua Fresca Fiesta

It's summertime. Around here that means Mama School. Nope, no highbrow philosophy class for me, rather, the kiddos and I are exploring a few special topics we all wish we had more time for during the school year. And guess who gets to play teacher. Uh-huh.

This summer, Mama School is offering our ever popular cooking course, along with piano/music, reading with special emphasis on poetry, weather cycles, and Spanish.
The kids know several Spanish words, but I've been trying to encourage them to string more phrases together and most importantly, to make an attempt to talk to people using the Spanish they know. What better scenario to practice our basic greetings and introductions than a pretend party with chips and guacamole and a few fancy drinks to clink? Agua Fresca time.

With an abundance of fruit in the house, we each chose our own fruit flavor. Here's the rundown:

Looly: Pineapple
Bean: Strawberry
Roo: Watermelon
Amy: Honeydew with basil-infused simple syrup from mojitos the other night

In retrospect, the whole flavor choice thing led to a lot of blending and rinsing when we could have been practicing Spanish greetings. But we embraced the moment, adding fruit names and colors to our lesson for the day. I find that's one of the coolest things about working with kids in the kitchen. No matter what we make it inevitably ties into all sorts of additional learning. Fractions, measuring, vocabulary, music (can you really cook without it?), poetry (Amelia Mixed the Mustard by A E Housman, for instance), you name it.
So anyway, we chopped la piña, blended las fresas, juiced la sandía, and...
"Hola. Me llamo Roo y me gusta la agua fresca de sandía."
Agua Fresca Rainbow

2 cups fruit of your choice, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (We made several batches using watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, and strawberry but you could expand your own rainbow with mango, cantaloupe, cucumber, guava, passion fruit, etc.)
1 cup cold water
2 tbsp. sugar
Juice of 1 lime

Puree the fruit in a blender or with an immersion blender. Pass through a strainer or other fine sieve to remove pulp. Combine strained puree, water, sugar, and lime juice in a small pitcher. Stir until sugar dissolves and serve over ice.

Each batch will make about 2 servings. If you want the full rainbow effect, make a few different batches using a variety of fruits in complimentary colors.