Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Cheers to the weather - hot or cold


This past weekend, I tried to put summer behind me and pack away the cushions, candles and other accoutrements that go with living on the outside deck for four months or more. Too bad Mother Nature wasn't in the mood to play along. I did manage to put away the cushions from the dining chairs, and the various and assorted "soccer mom" chairs are folded and ready to go back into the storage shed. That's as far as I got before temptation to relive summer took over.

The next thing I knew, there was a glass of iced tea on the end table by the wicker loveseat and sofa, a book in my hand and music playing on the Bluetooth speaker on the patio. A few more minutes and I found myself horizontal with my feet up on the couch. I looked over at the loveseat and discovered it was occupied by my yellow Lab, who was also horizontal and snoring up a storm. Lying in the warm sun, it wasn't too long before I was sleeping — and probably snoring — too.

I had plans to pull the veggie plants up and clean up other pots and urns in the yard, but again I didn't. Thanks to all the warm weather, all my marigolds are still in full bloom and I still have some good-sized green peppers still growing. I'm even beginning to think I might get some Brussels sprouts if this weather continues.

Saturday and Sunday I took advantage of the fact that I'm currently in the habit of waking up at 5 a.m., I have no idea why. I usually just roll over and go back to sleep but this weekend I forced myself out of bed both mornings and headed outside to look for meteors during the Orionid meteor shower. Predictions were that up to 20 meteors an hour would be visible, but I saw only one Saturday morning and two on Sunday morning. I was still pretty excited. I've always had a fascination with "falling stars." I look at Orion as my celestial protector. The constellation sits directly over my yard during the fall and winter, seeming to watch over me.

As a sign on my deck reminds me, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere ..." so I took it as an omen to try out a new cocktail that's in tune with the season — and there was a bottle of coconut rum in the refrigerator, for reasons only God and my son, David, know. A mixture of pineapple and cranberry juice gave the drink a harvest moon hue, while a shot of coconut rum gave it a Caribbean kick. And everyone knows how much I love the Caribbean ...

Witch's Brew


2 oz. mixed pineapple and cranberry juice

2 oz. 7-Up or Sprite

1-1/4 oz. shot coconut rum


Mix juices and 7-Up or Sprite in a highball glass. Pour shot of rum down the side of the glass right before drinking.


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