When I was about Miss Thing’s age, I lived in an apartment across the hallway from a fresh, shiny faced, newlywed mormon couple. I don’t remember very much about them, except that I would go over, probably more often than was polite (but given my age, forgivable), and chatter for a while about my life (I mean, let’s face it, at that age, it’s all about ME ME ME ME). Of course, as in most apartment situations, eventually either we or they moved, and I never really saw them again. However, there was one thing that I remember from my visits – the wife made the best lemonade I’d ever had (up to that point – which was admittedly a very small sampling, mostly that stuff made from powder).
After the first time she offered me some, I was always on the look out for an opportunity to get invited back for more. Eventually, I begged her to give me the recipe – and I’ll never forget how I felt when she told me that there were *gasp* REAL LEMONS in her lemonade. I think it must have been an eye opening experience for me – you can make Lemonade… with Lemons!? I mean, seriously - Does the Kool-aid guy know about this? Because I don’t think he’ll like it. Actually, her recipe did include some of that powdered stuff with the lemons, but it was definitely the first time I had ever considered that you could add lemons to lemonade.
This recipe, however, uses none. I had a friend coming over yesterday evening, and I thought some homemade lemonade would be very refreshing to talk over during all this lovely weather we’ve been having. Considering it’s been almost too warm for coffee, lately. So anyways, in preparation for her visit, Miss Thing and I made this together after school yesterday.
Miss Thing really enjoys squeezing lemons, so I let her start on that part, while I gathered the other ingredients. If you only have a hand juicer, (like me) it does make a big difference to have another pair of hands to help. Of course, I think her motives might not have been completely altruistic, since while I was putting the finishing touches, she hovered like a hummingbird, waiting for a chance to sample the goods.
- 2 Cups Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 4 cups Water
- 6 oz Strawberries, stems removed
- 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
- 10 or so Fresh Mint Leaves (plus more for garnish, if desired)
- In a blender, puree strawberries until smooth, scraping the sides if neccessary.
- Add the lemon juice and sugar to the strawberries and blend until sugar is completely dissolved
- Pour out most of the lemon mixture in to a pitcher, reserving about 1/4-1/2 a cup liquid in the blender
- Add the mint leaves to the blender jar
- Pulse mint leaves until very finely chopped, but not liquified
- Add the mint leaves, vanilla and water to the lemon mixture. Stir to combine.
- Chill until ready to serve