Fresh fruit of summer makes for refreshing treats

We had snow two weeks ago and warm temperatures last week; go figure. Today will be the second farmers market of the season at the Pony Express Pavillion in Mills Park. opening at 3:30 this afternoon.

Remember to give all the vendors some time and space to get set up. Everything you want will still be there at 3:45.

Also remember that it is early in the season, and there won't be vine- ripened heirloom tomatoes or a great selection of summer fruits and vegetables until later.

Go with an open mind, and ask to try a sample. If you are unsure of what something is or need some preparation ideas, talk to the farmer standing in front of you.

For the rest of the summer, I will try and give you recipes that use seasonal fruits and vegetables from the farmers market, the supermarket or your garden.

This first recipe that I'm going to share with you comes from my friend Paula Tlachac, who is not really into cooking, but makes this smoothie all the time. The only variation is she uses frozen strawberries, and I try and use fresh.

Use this recipe as a guideline. You can substitute most any fruit you have on hand - peaches, blueberries, mangos, etc. You can also add a tablespoon of wheat germ or flaxseed for added fiber.

Paula's Get-U-Going

Fruit Smoothie

• 1 banana, sliced

• 1 orange, peeled and cut up

• 1 cup strawberries

• 1-2 cups fresh pineapple

• One container Dannon Light 'N Fit vanilla or plain yogurt

Place all ingredients in blender: process until smooth. This will make more than one cup, so just share it, or save it in the refrigerator and finish it up the next day.

The next is a recipe for another refreshing beverage to try, maybe for Father's Day.

Ginger Beer

• 5 ounces fresh ginger

• 4 T. brown sugar

• Juice of 2-3 lemons

• Sparkling water

Grate ginger with pulp, sprinkle with brown sugar, squish and mash together. Add juice of lemons and let sit 10 minutes. Add sparkling water and strain mixture before serving. Add a shot of dark rum, with ginger beer over ice, and you have a "Dark & Stormy," one of Ralph's favorite libations.

• Linda Marrone has been a Carson City resident since 1973, and together with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone's Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin's Cookin' Catering.


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