Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Hurrah for homemade lemonade and winter picnics

It hasn't been a great year for our lemon tree.  Luckily, our neighbours don't eat lemons.  We were given a bagful from their tree.  And when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  Just as when the sun shines in winter it is time for a picnic, even if you aren't leaving the house.

Making lemonade isn't always as easy as it seems.  My last attempt was not great. After success with Elise's limeade, I looked to Simply Recipes again.  This lemonade is just right.  It tastes of lemons but not enough to make your mouth pucker up.  It is sweet but not enough to make you feel like you are drinking a glassful of sugar.

Life feels good when we can spend a winter lunchtime drinking this lemonade on a picnic rug on the verandah with a plate of pikelets or a hummus platter.  The winter sun is gentle and warming.  We love the sun when it imparts more vitamin D rather sunburn.  Homemade lemonade offers the perfect refreshment.  Fruity and fizzy, it so much nicer than store brought soft drinks.  I am sure we will be drinking more of this over summer.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Smoothie, floors and craft
Two years ago: Olive oil bread and calzone
Three years ago: Pumpkin soup for busy days
Four years ago: Slideshows, Nostalgia and Hedgehog
Five years ago: Curious Chipotles and Bonza Burritos

Lemonade
From Simply Recipes

1 cup water
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 cup lemon juice (I think I used about 4 large lemons)
4-6 cups soda water to serve

Gently heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Add the lemon juice and pour into a jug that you can store in the fridge.  Or if you want to drink straight away, you could add some ice blocks to cool it down.  To serve, pour in about 1/4 cup of the lemon mixture and add 2 to 3 times the amount in soda water.  Or keep cool in the fridge.

On the Stereo:
Babel (Gentlemen of the Road) - Mumford and Sons

18 comments:

  1. Oh wow - I would love to have lemon growing neighbours who don't eat lemons! This lemonade looks very refreshing.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - we don't seem to go through heaps of lemons but I always like to have a few on hand and it is nice not to have to pay for them.

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  2. This sounds lovely Johanna, I haven't had homemade lemonade since I was a child! My lemon tree hasn't been as fruitful as I had hoped either but I still have a couple to play with...

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    1. Thanks Mel - I don't remember making lemonade as a child - though as I didn't like much of the lemon stuff my mum made maybe I wouldn't have liked her lemonade either

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  3. Hi! I love the idea of using soda water in your homemade lemonade. I've pinned this to make ASAP. Thanks :)

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    1. Thanks Angela - hope it is a nice refreshing summer drink for you. I love fizzy drinks so the soda water makes it just right for me

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  4. My lemon tree now has small lemons, still green, but it is progress...a bit slower than I'd have liked though! I hope yours catches up but neighbours with lemons is almost as good as your own tree, and it seems you put them to great use. I love the idea of an indoor / verandah picnic (I also love the idea of a verandah - one day I'll have one on my own house).

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    1. Thanks Kari - hopefully your lemons will grow big and yellow - it feels like a miracle when they do on a fledgling tree. I hope you have a verandah for picnics one day - though in the UK they don't seem as common - always seems odd as surely they are good shelter from the rain

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  5. Lemonade in the winter is just pure happiness!

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  6. Love the idea of a winter picnic. I think I'd have to make it an indoor picnic in the winter here though. Having said that, my grandma used to take her children (my mum and her siblings) on picnics in winter, with flasks of hot drinks and it was always an adventure. Love the lemonade too.

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    1. Thanks Caroline - we have been known to have indoor picnics too. Your grandma sounds like she is made of stern stuff to do outdoor picnics in winter - we do a few more in summer - though even summer picnics are hard enough to organise when busy

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  7. Winter picnic! So nice! :)

    I must admit I never really was fond of lemon flavor, but I remember elderflower lemonade from my childhood. My parents had an elder tree in their garden, and when it bloomed, we'd cut off the blossoms and cooked them in water to make elderflower sirup. We also harvested the berries and made juice from them which my mom used for elderberry jelly or soup, or we heated it and added sugar and lemon and drank it hot (you have to dilute it because it's so strong in taste) - that was the favorite cure for a cold in autumn and winter.

    Have I told you about elderberry soup? It's a northern German dish. The soup is made from diluted and sweetened elderberry juice. You add chopped apples and heat it up in a pot, and then thicken it a little with starch. In another pot, you cook a very firm semolina pudding from wheat semolina, milk, and sugar. When the soup is served, you put in some "dumplings" from the semolina pudding (simply cut them out with a tablespoon). They soak up the purple elderberry soup and become nicely colored. :)

    Here's a picture: http://www.marions-kochbuch.de/rezept/3553.htm

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    1. Thanks Kath - I was never fond of lemon flavour in my childhood and I think this is why my first attempt at lemonade failed. Your elderberry harvests sound fantastic. I've heard of elderflower syrup - in fact my brother in law made an elderflower drink in Ireland just recently (I think he went foraging). I have not heard of elderberry soup but it sounds very warming and pretty.

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  8. I make lemonade with lemon juice, water and vanilla stevia. I go roughly 1 lemon to 1 liter and a couple of peppets of stevia (to taste) it may not be conventional but it doesn't fill you with sugar either.

    After your last post and comment I decided it was high time we had a picnic! I took up your suggestion and went with an indoor picnic first. We went down to the coast for a week and when the weather was too bad to go out we had a lovely little picnic on the bed in our room. Since we had no kitchen and it was impromptu it was nowhere near your standard but we had hummus, beetroot dip, eggplant dip, carrots, celery, cucumber, dolmades, chips, nuts, banana chips, Emma and toms bars and sesame snaps. Quite a feast in my eyes :) and it was so much fun! You were so right. Now I've got my eyes on a proper outside picnic with some planned food and everything. Thanks so much for the push, it was just what I needed xxx

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    1. Thanks Claire - I prefer not to use lots of sugar but have gone back to a traditional one because I am quite fussy about lemon drinks. It is good to know that stevia works too.

      Love hearing that you have been inspired to have indoor picnics - yours sounds fantastic - all the better for being down the coast - sounds like my sort of holiday. Hope you have lots of picnics ahead of you.

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