I was trying to think when the last time we have had a week off together. A real week off – no house projects, no splitting up to visit old friends, and no real agenda. The answer is – maybe three years ago or maybe our honeymoon? We went to Asheville two years ago but only for a short visit. Nick got a week off when Gray was born but we were only home together as a family for a few days before he had to go back to work (thanks America!). So I don’t know when or if this has ever happened but it’s happening now and it feels good.

I thought friends on the Vineyard would laugh when I said we were going to Cape Cod on vacation (to the Waldman’s beach house in Truro) but nobody did. Everyone understands the need for an island escape in July or August. Despite the fact that it is one of the best places to be in the summer it’s still the place where we go to work everyday, get stuck in summer traffic, and follow our regular family routine.

On our first afternoon here, we decided to make some Blueberry Soda as a refreshing afternoon drink. I cooked fresh blueberries down with a little lemon juice and dash of sugar into a thick syrup. The soda is tart, sweet, and festive.

Blueberry Soda
makes 4 drinks

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup water
squeeze of lemon juice
1 tablespoon sweetener (cane sugar, agave, stevia, etc.)
seltzer water

First, add the blueberries, water, lemon juice and sweetener to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let thicken for 10 minutes.

When the fruit is ready, strain over a sieve or cheese cloth, collecting the juices into a small bowl. The remaining cooked berries should be saved to top yogurt, oatmeal, or vanilla ice cream.

When ready to serve, place an ice cube in a cup, spoon over 1-2 tablespoons of berry syrup, and top with seltzer water.