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This recipe is from Jeannie, the mother of Maryse one of my best friends from childhood.  While we were growing up (approximately 11-16 years old in the late 1980’s), Jeannie and Jose would invite a group of 5 or 6 of their daughter’s girlfriends to spend the weekend on their boat the week of her birthday, usually the third week of april.  Jeannie would always come prepared with a few gallons of her homemade fruit punch, “sandwichitos de mezcla” and she would make eggs on a nest (“huevo al nido”) for breakfast.  For several years we visited different beaches and bays in Culebra and Vieques, beautiful islands off Puerto Rico. We had so much fun learning to kneeboard, snorkel and just being close to nature.  No DVD players, nintendos or cable tv, just girlfriends engaging in conversation, making jokes and playing cards and board games. I remember one morning I woke up to find that the girls played a joke on me by replacing one of the boat’s flags with one of my bras!  I was 13 and was so embarrassed!

Culebrita Island March 2008. 35th birthday trip.

Two years ago, I called Maryse (who lives in New York City) to plan a weekend boat trip to Vieques and Culebra to celebrate our 35th birthday.  After we got in touch with all the girls and the trip was a go, Jeannie called me to see if there was anything she could do to help in planning the trip since her daughter was arriving the night before and would not be able to pitch in with the food like the other girlfriends that were living on the island.  I didn’t ask for lasagna or  chicken pot pie, the only thing that came to my mind was her fruit punch.  So the night Maryse and Jorg arrived, which was at around midnight, she came to the marina with a bag of fruit and a gallon or two of her fruit punch specialty.  The taste tranported me to great childhood memories! In addition, I realized once again how lucky I am to have true lifelong friends.  Happy Birthday Maryse!

Jeannie’s Fruit Punch

Ingredients

makes a gallon

1 frozen can concentrated orange juice (12 0z) plus 3 cans of water

1 large can of pineapple juice (46 oz.)

1/4 cup of grenadine syrup

Procedure

1.  Prepare frozen orange juice concentrate according to package instructions (usually adding 3 additional water measurements)

2.  Add rest of ingredients and stir briskly.  Makes one gallon.  Refrigerate.  You may add maraschino cherries when serving.

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