With summer beckoning its hot, lazy days so temptingly ahead, my mind is lured into a state of vacation. I close my eyes and am transported to a place of aloha, where time is just a suggestion. Wake when you want to wake. Play when you want to play. Eat when you want to eat.
I dream of paradise, of mangoes and pineapples, and most especially, of papaya. Funny enough, when I first encountered papayas, I was a little girl, about my son’s age, vacationing in the Philippines.
I scrunched up my face as my mother sat across from me; I watched with a critical eye as her spoon scooped glossy egg-like seeds from the vibrant fruit. With each spoonful, she was in bliss – her transplanted tongue had not had such sweet papaya in years. As I watched her, I turned away in disgust – I was convinced that it smelled quite putrid.
Show me a bowl of ripe papayas today, however, and my heart will swoon. My tastebuds have been convinced, and to me there is nothing better than to eat a papaya simply, as my mother had. But perhaps a sip of a cool Papaya Slushy will force me to slow down even more. Each sweet sip transports me to paradise, even if my feet are firmly planted on my kitchen floor.
3-4 medium ripe papayas, seeds removed (It should yield about 3-4 cups of fruit from the rind)
1/4 cup agave nectar or simple syrup (below), to taste
squeeze of fresh lime juice (optional)
4 cups crushed ice
Spoon the fruit from the papayas into a blender and puree until smooth. Sweeten to taste and add squeeze of lime, if desired. Add ice and blend until slushy. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Makes 1 cup.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 3-4 minutes. Cool completely.