One of the first times I ever realized that – HEY! I can cook for myself! – was when I first learned to make lemonade.
I magically found the refrigerated lemon juice at our house and followed the directions to make my own lemonade. I stirred and stirred and stirred again until that sugar was finally dissolved. Speaking of which, what gives sugar?! Why aren’t you easier to stir into cold drinks?!
Sorry for the detour. I don’t get sugar sometimes.
Anyway, there was a summer there where I made my own lemonade every single day, making sure to rub it in my sister’s face that I knew how to and she didn’t. Pretty fitting for the oldest child if I do say so myself!
The key to this being the ultimate lemonade is that you blend it up with the lemon rind in there. The oils from the lemons adds so much more flavor – and who doesn’t love some extra lemon in the summertime?! Give me a big tall glass of this any day of the week.
And any time of day for that matter.
(makes 2 pint-glass servings with ice)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large lemons, microwaved for 30 seconds
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup of frozen strawberries, microwaved for 1 minute (you could use fresh, but I think the frozen works better here)
In a blender squeeze the lemons and add the rest of the lemon, rind and all. Pour in the water and sugar. Add the strawberries. Pulse until everything starts to come together and the rind is starting to be processed. Remove the blade (or place the entire contents of the blender into a microwavable pitcher) and microwave for another 2 minutes. You can do all of this on stove top if you’d prefer, but the microwave is easy and quick. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, then strain into glasses loaded with ice. Enjoy!
**Note: I like to microwave the lemons to release more of the juices, and microwaving the strawberries does the same sort of thing. I like to microwave it all together at the end to release more of the oils in the lemon rind as well as dissolve the sugar. Any of these things you could do on a stove.**
***Edited to state that I understand stirring sugar and water together does not constitute cooking, but I was probably about 9 years old, so that was about as close to “cooking” for myself as I had ever been :) I also do know now (prior to writing this post) that you can make a simply syrup, which is part of the reason for microwaving the mixture after processing it. Finally, there seems to be some concerns that adding the entire lemon rind would make the lemonade bitter – not so! It actually adds an entirely different dimension to the drink :)***