This time of year, around where we live, we celebrate life and family with a tradition called Fiesta or Old Spanish Days. The big gather is held in Santa Barbara and celebrates the traditions of family and community with dancing, parades, singing and, of course, eating, throughout the heart of Santa Barbara. The celebration reaches far and wide and has a solid place in mine and Stacey’s heart.
In honor of this tradition, and also for Stacey’s love of watermelon and strawberries, we bring you Watermelon Strawberry Aqua Frescas. While Stacey was preparing the ingredients she told me about how, when she was younger, her and her brothers would eat their own home-grown watermelon as an after-dinner dessert. They would sit out in the backyard, under an evening sun, eating slices of watermelon down to the rind. Afterward, they would feed their rinds to their favorite ducks. Mike, Patrick and Stacey would call to the ducks and they would waddle over and get a treat all their own. Sweet deal!
Translated, it means “Fresh Water”. I learned that it’s not supposed to be an overly sweet drink, it’s more important that it be refreshing. It’s the perfect drink for an afternoon or a family outing. It can be served room temp or ice cold depending on your preference. Read on to find out how to make your own Agua Fresca, we hope it becomes a tradition for you and your family. Also, Stacey made traditional crepe flowers in honor of Fiesta!
Watermelon Strawberry Agua Fresca
- 1 small seedless watermelon, diced
- 2 cups of strawberries, stems removed
- 1 lime, squeezed
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/4 cup cold water
- pinch of salt
Add all ingredients into a blender or very large bowl and use a hand-held mixer. I prefer my agua fresca ice-cold, so I put it in the freezer for about an hour and then in an iced cold glass.
Makes about four servings.
D.I.Y Crepe Paper Flowers
- Various colored tissue paper
- wire or pipe cleaners
- dowel or stick
Cut the tissue paper to about letterhead size or to your preference, the more tissue paper the more fluffy the flower. Pile sheets together (about 5-10), create a 1/2 ” to 3/4″ fold at the bottom, continue folding the paper, accordion style (back and forth). Trim off any excess paper on the sides, tie wire or pipe cleaner in the center, create a rounded or pointy end on each side. Then slowly start unfolding all the paper, slowly or it will rip. When completely unfolded, separate and fluff the paper.
Viva La Fiesta!!!!!