Tuesday, February 3, 2009

When life gives you 80 degree temps, make lemonade

Our Southern California Autumn came and went with barely a sweater in sight.

Winter wandered in, and I longed for cold nights, a blazing fire, a hearty stew and a glass of Zin, but that moment never materialized. When the temperature dipped to 75 degrees a couple of weeks ago, I forged ahead and slow cooked beef stew in my new enamel cast iron pot.

It tasted great, but it just didn't seem right to be eating stew while fan blades whirled.

I was beginning to feel like one of those women with curly hair who spends hours with a flat iron to make it lie straight. Or the woman with perfectly straight hair who spends big bucks and countless hours to add curl. Why couldn't I work with what I have?

And what I have is a tree full of Meyers lemons and temperatures in the 80s. I gave up my dreams of stew by the fire and gave in to the sunny reality of home-made iced lemonade on our patio.

Now what was I complaining about?

Meyer's Lemonade
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

While the sugar is dissolving, squeeze the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade too sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Serve with ice and sliced lemons.


Andrea said...

I tell you what, you can come here and make stew all day long while it snows outside and you have to walk through all that brown sludge and I'll come drink your Meyer lemonade!! Sounds great to me!!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh So Refreshing. Wish I had those here. Looks perfect!!

Anonymous said...

Good for you, and I love that pitcher.

Anonymous said...

Do you put the cup of lemon juice into the sauce pan of boiling water/sugar mixture and coke all three ingredients together? I'm a bit thick on these matters.

Susan C said...

Andrea and Donna, When I think about the cold and slush, I'm reminded to ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY.

AH, I got the pitcher (shaped like an Erlenmeyer flask) from a good ol' Hughes Estate warehouse sale.

PA, You make the simple syrup separately. In the summer time, I like to make a lot at one time so that I always have it on hand to make lemonade, sweet tea and sangria. Just stir the simple syrup (sugar water) into the lemonade or tea or sangria.

Sangria . . . Now THAT sounds good.

Before I found out how simple it is to make simple syrup (DUH), I once paid $5.00 for a fancy bottle. Sucka'!

Margaret said...

Now here's a girl who actually can make lemonade out of lemons.

Esi said...

This looks so good! I can't believe how hot it has been this winter and this is just the perfect thing to cool off with.

The Food Librarian said...

This looks so great! Just found your blog and am adding it to my reader! This "winter" has been crazy strange - I wore my wool coat driving in and am now in a t-shirt! - mary the food librarian

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't have Meyers, but I happen to know this works fine with regular lemons. Just adjust syrup/lemons to taste.

It reminds me of the fresh lemonade you used to get at the county fair.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish we had Meyer Lemonade weather! Being true to my geographic location, I have been putting thin slices of them in hot tea with honey. No plans on giving up my flat iron. ;)

Anonymous said...

It's raining in Northern California, and lord knows we need the rain badly. But it's nice to see a pretty pitcher of lemonade to make me think of sunnier days.

Susan C said...

Margaret, Every time!

Esi, good thing I enjoyed this before those pounding rains that started yesterday.

Mary, the weather keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

Petrea, yes, any kind of lemons are good, but you may want to go with a full cup of sugar instead of 3/4 cup. The Meyer lemon is sweeter.

Ceres, I'll join you now for that cup of tea with lemon, now that the weather has finally cooled.

Carolyn, I think you sent us the northern California rains, but I'm enjoying it every bit as much as the sunshine. I'm just glad I don't have to drive anywhere today.

Theresa/GardenFreshLiving.com said...

I love that pitcher in the photo! It looks like a giant chemistry beaker. How cool is that? I see you already said where you got it (which was my next question).

My pink lemonade tree is producing well right now. Your post has me thinking I need to do some picking today!

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