Saturday, June 9, 2012

PDS #9: making lemonade

We've all heard it... "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." If your lemon tree gives you lemons, you can do the same thing. But unless you're ready to get messy and sticky,  it's not really going to be lemonade. If you know what I mean.  Here's a recipe we tried out a few years ago and it's by far been the best homemade lemonade recipe I've tried. One thing to remember though, and I suppose this might defeat the whole purpose of this being a "recipe,"  but this was made, as we say in Armenian, "atchkee chap" (ah-ch-key chop) meaning measuring with your eyes, or in other words, make it to taste.  There are no exact measurements, only a method, but it's worked out pretty good so far.

 First, take your lemons and wash them well (the rind will be a part of this, so make sure it's clean!). Then cut your lemons into round slices, as above. Throw them into a bowl or into a  flat pan, however you prefer based on this next step.
 Here's the part that's "atchkee chap." Pour sugar over the lemons. I used slices from bout 6-7 lemons total, and for that I used about a mug's worth of sugar since the measuring cup went AWOL and I didn't feel like searching too deep into the cupboards. But you can always add more sugar later if it's not sweet enough, or more water and lemon if you go overboard.  Then take a lemon juicer stick (not sure of the real name) or something that you can mash the lemons with without totally pulverizing the rind. You want to mash the sugar and lemons together, juicing the lemons and mixing in the sugar all at the same time. I don't have a picture for this stage because it can get messy and sticky and I didn't have an extra set of hands to get the shot. But just keep mashing until it looks like you've squished the pulp of each ring, still leaving the rings intact.

Almost finished. Now take the rings of lemon rind and put them into your pitcher (try tasting the pulp that's still attached - YUM!). Then you have juice, pulp, and seeds left. I strained this mix into the pitcher, mostly to get the seeds out. I like my juice pulpy, and you really can't avoid it with this recipe since the rind and leftover pulp are in the pitcher. Strain out the seeds and pour the juice into the pitcher, adding water to fill the pitcher up!
VOILA! Delicious, sweet and tart, and also very pretty, lemonade!  I've found that the longer it sits the stronger it gets, so after you've enjoyed a few glasses, you can fill the pitcher up with more water and let it sit, making the batch last a bit longer. Enjoy!