Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Easy Home-made Lemonade

Growing up at a camp in the country afforded me many 
adventures and valuable lessons for life.
My parents moved to minister at a Christian camp called
that allowed kids from the cities within a few hours distance
to come out for weekends during the school year
and weeks at a time during the summers.
(I put the link above if you click on the words
so you can see it for yourself if you're looking for an excellent
place to support; the last couple years of the economy's struggles 
has been very hard on their monetary needs.)

My sisters and I were very involved at the camp,
working at the horse-farm (which has since closed for insurance reasons)
in the kitchen,
and helping with general cleaning.

I honestly felt like there was never a dull moment
and we got to see God's "finger-print" 
(as my Dad says)
on lives first-hand.

We got much of the food for the kids
from donations and the food bank.
Two things we quickly learned working in the kitchen
was that if it said that it was "diet" food in any way,
it needed to be removed from the package
and put in another package,
or it wouldn't be touched.

The other was that
most (of course, not all)
outdated food is fine for a while
after the date.

But if the campers saw the date
and it was one day after the expiration,
they wouldn't touch it.

Such is the mindset of most of us, I suppose.
Something magical happens on the expiration date
and the contents immediately turn into inedible waste.

Camp taught me how to recognize foods that were still useful,
even a few days after the expiration date.
I took this valuable lesson with me into my married life:
the local grocery store began giving us their old bread and produce for our
farm animals.
My cheapskate ways came to the surface,
and I began admiring the produce that the chickens were eating.

I was reminded of the prodigal son.

But this was perfectly fine fruit;
a new shipment had come in,
so the "old" produce had been given to us
for animal feed.

My Mom had ingrained in me some of this as well,
as she grew up in a family of seven.
The only bananas they ever ate were badly spotted
that the grocer gave to my grandfather on his rendering truck rounds.
They couldn't afford perfect bananas.

When a case of lemons arrived in the back of the pick up truck my husband 
brought for the "animals"
I snatched it, knowing the chickens wouldn't like lemons much anyhow
and that I had a thirst for some fresh lemonade:
(I just couldn't pass up on a whole case of lemons!
What a way to experiment!)

Using a recipe book I had called
Joy of Cooking,
I tweaked the recipe a bit
and created my own recipe
using a large glass sun tea jar purchased from Walmart.
(I think it holds a gallon).

Here it is,
for those of you who just gotta have that fresh lemonade taste.
First, roll the lemons around under your palm to loosen the juices.

(At this point,
when my son sees the pile of lemons sitting on the counter,
he volunteers to juice them).

He and his sister enjoy this little
 juicer that my Farmer gave me after watching me
manually squash about 50 lemons.
Sweet man.

I have found that 8 - 10 lemons will make a little over a cup of lemon juice.
This is sufficient for a jar of lemonade
(although I usually prefer 1 1/2 cups for the prefect amount of pulp).

I use raw sugar,
which has not been bleached...
so it looks brown.
For special occassions,
when I want the lemonade to look like lemonade,
I will use white sugar.

I've add fresh smashed raspberries as well,
to make it a pretty shade of light purple.

Perfection in a glass
on a hot sunny day!

Here's the recipe:
8 - 12 lemons (or 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice)
1 3/4 cups sugar (more of less, depending on taste preference)
1 gallon of water.

Roll lemons under palm of hand to loosen juices;
juice the lemons.
heat 1 1/2 cups of water and stir in sugar to dissolve.
Pour all ingredients into glass gallon jar and ad water to fill.  (Be sure to ad the hot sugar water
after adding the lemon juice so that the glass will not break if the heated sugar is too hot.  Yes, this is experience speaking).
Stir, cool, and enjoy!

Linked to:


  1. That lemonade sounds like heaven!

    As for what you learned at camp, it reminds me of my mother, who never throws ANY food away at all.

    One thing I've learned to do is freeze fruit that is going bad and then throw it in my morning smoothies to give them a little "milkshake" feel.


    PS. The last post I have from you on my google reader was your one about the wooden counter top. Something must be wrong with the feed, so what I'm going to do is unfollow and then refollow you to see if it fixes the problem. Again, I'm grateful that you pointed this out. I just assumed you were on vacation or something.

  2. It looks like you have some sweet little helpers and it sounds like that camp gave you lots of great experiences and life lessons. Thanks so much for adding my button to your post. I hope you have a great day!


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