When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons...

Elizabeth Kaiser graphic

I live in Illinois, so we recently got news that our stay at home order would be extended for at least another month, until May 30, 2020. I know, it is to keep everyone as safe as possible, but I still couldn’t help feeling sad that I will be missing a lot of what was happening outside of school this spring.
At this time last year, I was working all day Saturday at Longhorn Saddlery, and then taking some of my friends to meet my family at a racetrack in Maquoketa, Iowa. We have been racing my brother’s modified dirt track car there since my junior year of high school. Racing is a big part of this family and we have been at it for a long time. My brother started out racing go- karts at a really young age. He moved up to driving a dirt track car at age 14, before he even had his drivers permit.
It is sad that we don’t get to enjoy some of the nice weather doing things we like, with our family and friends. There really isn’t anything like listening to the cars start when the green flag starts waving, and I am really starting to miss it.
With that being said, I have had to suck it up and find other fun things to do, things that have kept me out of harm’s way as well as those around me. So, life gave me lemons. Actually, my mom bought them at the store. So, I made lemonade.
Literally.
It started out that I just needed lemons to zest for the lemon sugar cookies I was going to make. The store was only selling bags of lemons, and I didn’t know what to do with the rest. I decided to make freshly squeezed lemonade. I will admit, I started watching “Hart of Dixie” per Morgan’s recommendation from Netflix. Lemon Breeland always makes her lemonade from freshly squeezed lemons. I wanted to try it out, and I can’t imagine anyone consistently making that much lemonade, because it is actually harder than it looks. You have to make simple syrup (sugar and water boiled together, and then cooled), and for lemonade, you have to include lemon zest in it.
That part was not very hard. But juicing enough lemons for lemonade is. Eight lemons produced less than two cups of lemon juice. And while squeezing these lemons, the juice made its way into every small papercut on my hands, and it stung. But I finally got enough juice to add to my mixture. Once the simple syrup was cooled, I added three cups of water, the simple syrup, lemon juice, and extra slices of lemon to a pitcher. It turned out delicious.
I am grateful for the use of the internet to be able to admire Lemon Breeland for working so hard to make perfect pitchers of hand squeezed lemonade for George Tucker. I am also fortunate enough to have Pinterest at the palm of my hands to find new recipes for me to try, like lemon zested sugar cookies, and freshly squeezed lemonade to get me through this pandemic.