Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gluten Free Lemonade: A No-Brainer

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I've never made lemonade from scratch before. The only lemonade I've ever made either has a picture of a talking pitcher or says "Country Time" on it. And to be honest, I've never liked either one very much. So, I owe it to my son for watching "Max and Ruby" and deciding he was up for teaching me how to make yummy lemonade that takes about three minutes and tastes great. When I was a kid, my dad would always be in charge of the punch for our large family gatherings. He would stir, taste, add, taste, and look like a witch stirring her cauldron every single time. The right balance of sour and sweet was very important to him. One of the ingredients I remember he always used was lemon juice, and to this day, I never make Kool-Aid without adding a few tablespoons to it. It really does make it taste better.

First of all, let me begin by saying I truly love my Pampered Chef Quick Stir pitcher. There. Brazen plug for favorite product? Check. It especially comes in handy when making this lemonade, as it helps to squish the lemons and juice them and also acts as a natural strainer for the lemon pieces and most of the seeds, if some happen to make it into your lemonade. This is not a completely scientific process, and, to be quite honest, everyone likes their drinks a little differently, so this may not suit your taste. But for a non-lemonade lover to make this three times in one week and drink most of it, I think that says something.

Quick Lemonade

1. Fill a pitcher half full with cold, cold water.

2. Add 2/3 cup of sugar

3. Add 1/3 + 2T bottled lemon juice

4. Slice 1 lemon and remove as many seeds as you can. Add to the pitcher.

5. Stir (or plunge, if you have the quick stir pitcher) and try to mash the lemons a little to get the pulp out and release the oils from the lemon's zest for extra flavor.

6. Drink with ice cubes, if desired.

As I said, not too scientific, and you fully have the freedom to add more or less sugar, depending on how tart you like your lemonade. If you are a super tart person I would slice two lemons and add 1/2 cup of lemon juice. But play around with it. You may find a new favorite!

Sam and I actually had a great time together coming up with this little recipe, even though I was skeptical and had a "mercy drink" of our first concoction, it ended up being refreshing and yummy at the same time. These are the best parts of goofing off in the kitchen! You go in to appease your kid and end up loving what you make.

And if you are hosting a party for a crowd, this is an economical option: lemons are only about 50 cents each, sugar and water are usually available in every home, and it's easy to double or triple the recipe if needed. And if you run out? Head to the kitchen and make another quick batch. Your guests won't even know you've gone missing. We are so drinking this at Wyatt's baptism in July this year...

Happy eating!

(Post script: I forgot to mention...take the lemons out when you are going to put it into the fridge after you've gotten it the way you like it. The lemons will continue to leach out their lemony flavor and by tomorrow your lemonade will taste like pure lemon peel. So leave them in for the party, but once you are ready to store it for later, take the lemon slices out and throw them away. MA)

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