I am finally picking the remaining lemons from my backyard tree, just in time for the blooms to blossom and start another crop. I love the smell of citrus in bloom but my allergies and itchy eyes cannot stand it. Today is supposed to reach record highs of 90 degrees here in Fresno and what better way to start the weekend than with a cold, refreshing glass of lemonade!
Last year at Young Chefs Academy our campers made fresh squeezed lemonade but the fun part was the relay race we created. We broke the students into teams and gave them 5 minutes to see which team could produce the most juice.
To get the most juice from a lemon, roll the juice back and forth on a table top, applying downward pressure. This is of course the best method to engage kiddos. You can also put the lemon in the microwave for 10 seconds to loosen up the juice as well.
To make your lemonade a success, invest a little extra time making Simple Syrup. I suggest making extra to either sweeten your lemonade or store in the freezer to sweeten other cold drinks like Ice Coffee or tea this Spring. For Simple Syrup- bring 1 cup of water to boil with 1 cup sugar (or increase as desired) until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
While you are making the simple syrup have your Little One juice the lemons. This is great for kids of all ages to partake in. My toddler understands the concept of turning the lemon on the citrus reamer but can't quite apply enough pressure. She still has fun trying and then counting how many seeds were inside.
Easy Old Fashioned Lemonade
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ cups lemon juice (8-10 lemons)
- 1 large pinch salt
- Optional: 4 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
1. Make Simple Syrup by combining 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and bringing to a boil until sugar dissolves. Set aside and let cool completely.
2. Juice lemons.
3. In a pitcher, stir together water, lemon juice and simple syrup, and pinch of salt- taste testing to see if you need to add more simple syrup or lemon juice. Stir together
4. Pour into tall glasses filled with ice & enjoy!
Makes 4 cups.
Puree 1 cup of frozen strawberries and add to lemonade. Garnish with Strawberry slices.
Puree 3 cups blueberries with 3/4 cup sugar. Strain through sieve and add to lemonade.
Because I am a borderline hoarder, yes hubby- I am kind of admitting it, I like to try to use all parts of my ingredients to minimize what I throw away. So today I made Ice Cubes with the lemon rinds. I simply place each 1/2 into a cupcake tin and filled with water and put in the freezer over night but you can get creative here, fill it with pureed fruits or strawberry slices in water for extra color. Use these cubes in your lemonade or save them to serve with another drink this Spring & Summer.