I know I often complain about being stuck in the Midwest and I long for being a living part of the pages of Coastal Living, but I will say this… we live in a great neighborhood. This weekend has been full of food, friends and fun. Friday night we went to a block party across the subdivision and enjoyed the company of neighbors as we all ate, conversed and watched our kids play. Same thing on Saturday night… an evening of great conversation, yummy food, and fun times.

Sunday, I volunteered at something called the Jiggle Jam, which was a great kids event at the Crown Center in Kansas City, MO. I worked at the beverage tent, of all things, while my husband got to drag the kids all over the event by himself in the heat of the day. Needless to say by the time my four hour shift was over, my husband was very ready to head home and was completely “Jiggle Jammed” out. We got home, changed into our swimsuits and headed up to our subdivision pool for a quick dip to cool off. While there, we ran into our good friends/neighbors and decided to invite them over for drinks on the deck that night.

I made up a big pitcher of Mojitos, a batch of guacamole, and they came over around 7pm for a relaxing evening of catching up and enjoying the gorgeous summertime air. As we were sitting there, another one of our neighbors walked by and I invited them to come on over when they were through with their walk.

We had a lovely evening, ending when the storms started to roll through around 11pm. Weekends like this is what makes me think I never want to leave my house, my neighborhood, the Midwest, etc. Friendships, camaraderie, good neighbors.. you can’t find this just anywhere. I feel very blessed to have it right here in my own backyard.

Mojitos by the Pitcher (from Recipezaar)

10 limes, fresh pulp and juice
30 leaves fresh mint
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup white rum
club soda, chilled
  1. Place lime juice/pulp, mint and sugar into a pitcher.
  2. Using a muddle stick mash to release mint oils, and dissolve sugar into juice.
  3. Add rum and lots of ice topped with club soda. Adding more club soda to glasses if a lighter drink is desired.
  4. Garnish with fresh mint and lime slices.

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  1. says

    You are one busy girl, Mojito completes the fun!:D

    When we visited NY for the first time, I had read that how rude they are and they didn’t disappoint me at all. I felt like a fool smiling and trying to be nice while there, was so glad to be back in the South and to be amongst the polite people!:D

    Love Minnesotans, so friendly and genuine folks, loved all 3 1/2 yrs while we lived there although almost froze to death half the time!:)

  2. says

    I hope I end up having neighbours like yours. Right now I live downtown, so most of the people in the neighbourhood ignore each other.

    A mojito pitcher on a summery night sounds like a perfect way to spend the evening.

  3. says

    I moved to “Coastal Living” land from the Midwest and I can easily say that while I do not miss the weather, I certainly miss the people. This is the first time in my life I haven’t lived in the midwest and I think I took it for granted all those years.

    Oh, and the mojitos look delicious. You’re a great neighbor!

  4. says

    Are you reading my mind?

    Over the weekend I was asking my husband if Mojitos were delicious or not (I’ve never tried them,) and today I find this recipe. Yay! Glad you shared because they are definitely on my list of drinks to try this summer.

  5. Lisa :) says

    I think your next contest should be a house in your neighborhood! 😉 I’d so love to be your neighbor! And I’m not just saying that because of the food I hope to taste-test! :)

  6. says

    Our good friends in CA love mojitos, yet I’ve never tasted one. This is a must-do recipe for the Summer of ’08! They sound delicious.

    We live in an older tree-lined neighborhood with front porches and children playing kickball in the middle of the street. I love where we live and often times (mainly in the summer), I feel like I’ve stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting. We even have a small market a couple of blocks away and can buy groceries without cash. They’ll send us a monthly statement if we choose to sign for our purchases! We feel quite lucky to be where we are.

  7. says

    Good food, good friends, good times that is what it is all about…although if you can throw in a charitable event once in a while too that makes it all worthwhile:D

  8. says

    I’m originally from Michigan and now out in NY. Boy, you don’t know how great the midwest is until you’re out of it!

    We enjoy the occasional mojito- usually made with mint from our yard. We have a couple little fun things we do to keep them interesting and make them distinctively “ours”. Sometimes we use a rhubarb or demerara simple syrup instead of the granulated sugar. Also, we make them with golden rum instead of the white rum. It seems to have another dimension of flavor entirely.

    …And finally, if it’s is scorching hot out, we throw the whole kit and kaboodle in the blender with a bunch of ice and make mojito slushies. Not too shabby when the mercury’s up there!

  9. kathryn says

    I just went back to my old hometown in Kansas. First off, that Kansas breeze. People sitting on the porch in the evening, kids riding bikes, laundry hanging neatly on clotheslines (not allowed where we currently live), miles and miles of Kansas wheatfields – still mezmorizing to me, sitting outdoors visiting with dear friends; laughter rolling easily through the course of an evening. The heartland holds a huge corner of my heart. Now. back to our current residence…neighbors who will not speak, will not even look up when you drive by. I miss those salt of the earth people…the grass is not always greener. You have what the majority do not ever get to experience. I’m thankful for the memories.

  10. says

    I feel very lucky to have the Coastal Living scene and a fantastic neighborhood! My neigbor makes some killer Margaritas maybe I can nudge her to make these :)

  11. Jonell says

    I just had my first Mojito which I made for a friend and I yesterday evening. What a wonderful, refreshing drink. I will try your recipe for a pitcher and have a few more friends over next time. I, too am from the midwest and now I’m doing the “Coastal Living” life in Southern CA. We’ve met so many nice people here and although many are from the midwest, lots of native Californians too. Hope you’re having a wonderful summer and thanks for the stories and recipe!


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