Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summertime = Lemonade!!!

One of the many things I love about summertime is homemade lemonade!!  And I mean real, homemade lemonade.  From lemons.  My parents have a lemon tree in their backyard that produces year-around (made possible by the warm California climate).  Robbie and I take my 6-year-old daughter, Keanna, out to pick bags-full of lemons a few times each summer.  When we get home, Keanna and I get busy juicing.  We have a simple electric citrus juicer that makes quick work of it.

If you don’t have a lemon tree, lemons from the store will work just as well.  Bottled lemon juice will suffice, though there is a noticeable difference in taste from fresh-squeezed lemon juice.  Unfortunately, lemons are somewhat pricey at the grocery store.  Fortunately, lemon juice freezes very well.  If you do not have a lemon tree or know someone who has one, you can buy lemons when they are on sale, juice them, and freeze the juice.  I usually freeze the juice in one-and-a-half-cup portions so I can pull it out of the freezer anytime I want to make lemonade.

One thing to keep in mind when using fresh-squeezed lemon juice is that the acidity and potency will vary from tree to tree and lemon to lemon.  The following recipe is simply a guide that you can adjust to your taste.  Like it sweeter?  Add more sugar.  Like it weaker, add more water.

1½ c. lemon juice
6 c. water
1¼-1 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher and mix until sugar is dissolved.  Serve chilled or iced.  Yield 2 quarts.  Total cost (if you have a lemon tree):  almost FREE!!

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