Whenever you see homemade lemonade where I’m from, it’s usually served out of an old pickle jar and stirred with a stick! This is a staple in the South for summertime, along with iced tea. It’s pretty served with a slice of lemon on the side (if you have it) and that also allows those who like it a little more tart to customize things a bit. There is nothing like the perfect blend of sweet and tart on a hot summer day!
If you wanna dive right into the recipe, hop down to the next picture. If you want to visit a spell and hear what’s been on my mind, keep reading.
As the mother of a teenager and a ten year old, I’m neck deep in young folks trying to figure out how life works. And if any of y’all are parents, you know this time in their lives is sometimes more difficult for us than it is for them: watching them learn, suffer through the hard lessons, and often dusting off disappointment that they never saw coming. No matter the age, though, we all seem to go through these times where we look around and feel like everyone else has life figured out but us. Adults might be just as bad or even worse than kids about this. Kids know this is a growing up time for them but as adults we tend to have the attitude of “Hey, I’m an adult I should know how to do this whole life thing by now!”
Why do we feel this way? It’s simple, because we only see our own insecurity and issues while everyone else around us seems to be “together” on the outside. Did you ever stop to think that you probably seem to have it together to them, too?
So today I just want to let you in on a little secret that you may already know or you may need reminding of: No one has it figured out. We are all just walking around with varying degrees of poker faces. Sometimes those poker faces help give others needed confidence and assurance. Sometimes, our poker faces make others feel alienated and inadequate, so it’s important not to hold too tightly to them around those closest to us.
At the end of the day, though, I may not have it all figured out, but I’m being guided by someone who does, and for me, that is the key. My job as a parent is to make sure my kids know not to look to people who are just as lost as they are for answers when a problem arises, but to dip their bucket in a deeper well instead.
Life is full of lemons but when if you take those lemons and have the wisdom to know what to add, they sure do make for some delicious days.
Now let’s make us some lemonade.
To make this you’ll need lemon juice*, sugar, and water.
It’s that simple. The trick to making this a good, old fashioned and smooth tasting lemonade is in the next step.
*If you woke up with it on your heart this morning to juice fresh lemons, please do so. If you decide to make this old fashioned lemonade with bottled juice like I do and have one of those friends who looks down their noses at it because you didn’t use fresh lemons, tell them you were trying to help the bottled juice recover from the cruel rejection suffered at their hands.
It’s all about balance :).
First, place a cup of water and your sugar in a medium sauce pot. Bring this to boil (or close) over medium to medium high heat while stirring constantly. I’m not kidding about stirring constantly because if you don’t your sugar will scorch and your lemonade will be bitter, just like how iced tea is bitter when folks pour the hot tea directly over the sugar. We do not want that! Once all of the sugar is dissolved it will become clear again, at this point you can take it off of the heat.
A lot of people will tell you that this needs to cool before making the lemonade but we don’t have that kind of time. I mean, have you seen my house lately? No, no you haven’t. And there is a reason for that. But I digress…
The main reason for it cooling is that if you are mixing it up in a glass pitcher and pour the hot syrup in, it might cause the glass to break. We just get around that by adding a few inches of cold water in our pitcher first, and the lemon juice, then pour in the syrup and give it a good stir. From there, add enough cold water to fill your pitcher and VOILA! Lemonade.
See how easy it was to take something sour and make it sweet? Life lesson there. It’s all in what you choose to stir in. Stir in anxiety and drama, it gets more sour. Add in a little positive perspective and good attitude, it becomes lemonade.
- 1 cup water (you'll add more later)
- 1+3/4 sugar
- 1+1/2 cups lemon juice
- Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until all sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear.
- Fill a 2 quart pitcher with cold water to a depth of 2-3 inches. Add lemon juice and sugar water. Stir. Add enough water to fill pitcher the remainder of the way. Serve over ice and store any remaining lemonade in the fridge.
“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.”