Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Love and Lemonade: Summer's Here by Milou Koenings

Almost summer - but not quite.  In our neck of the woods, summer has official arrived only when the cafes start to serve crushed-mint lemonade.   On a sweltering day last week, I stopped at my bakery café during an errands run, throat parched, clothes soaked through thanks to stratospheric temperatures, and asked the waitress for one.  

mint lemonade
She looked at me askance. "It's not summer yet!" A shake of the head. Subtext: How could you even think of asking? Right...

Meanwhile, I waited for summer.

It came yesterday. Unofficially.  Ushered in by my daughter.

This young woman is newly married.  (She got married last summer - during official summer, that is, the kind with lots of crushed-mint lemonade.)  And having moved out, she is developing newly acquired culinary skills.  This is the one child whom I could never teach how to boil an egg, who never displayed the slightest interest in anything remotely connected to cooking, and whose one reluctant, now-legendary, experiment with baking ended up – no joke – with chocolate-chip salt "crackers" rather than the intended cookies.  

"How will you ever feed yourself when you move out?" I used to moan. 

"I'll learn when I have to!" she'd grumble, her head buried in a book.

But now that she's moved out into her own apartment, she's suddenly discovered a latent culinary-whiz streak none of us suspected.  Since the week after the wedding, I've been the lucky recipient of a daily feed of Pinterest-worthy photographs of what she's making for lunch or dinner.  

With the innocence of those who don't know better, she launches fearlessly into any recipe that catches her fancy, regardless of complications or challenges.  Gorgeously colorful salads, spicy kebabs, mouth-wateringly beautiful meatballs, roast chickens of every variety, lasagna to make you drop everything and rush over across town to beg for some...  

Someone who didn't know would think she's studying to be a chef, not a scientist.

When she stopped by for a few minutes yesterday, she casually handed me a covered plate. "I brought you something," she said, as if it was no big deal.  I caught the impish glimmer in her eye before lifting the cover.   Still warm from the oven, chocolate chip cookies.  

She started to laugh.  "You can eat them this time," she assured me. "Honest!"

Then she dug into her satchel. "Oh, and this..." She pulled out a still-frosty bottle in which swirled an emerald-green potion. 

"Mint lemonade?"

She grinned.  "Yup."

So we took a mother-daughter vacation. 

We sat on the porch swing, shared warm cookies and toasted each other with chilled, crushed-mint lemonade.

It might only be May, but summer's here.

Milou Koenings is a USA Today best-selling author. She writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with a happy ending bring more joy into the world and so make it a better place.  

Her Green Pines sweet romances, Reclaiming Home and Sweet Blizzard are available on Amazon and

You can find her on her website,, on TwitterFacebookPinterest, or Instagram.

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  1. Such a fun post, Milou, and I love your book covers!

  2. I love your book covers, too, but I don't like to cook. LOL!

  3. Milou you are awesome!!your writes about romance and the stories ending with happy bring more delight into the world thus improve it a spot.I have a large collection about the federal job resume,it will help you to write more stories.