On Sunday when Little Guy asked if we could open a lemonade stand, I dismissed it pretty quickly. I had no intention of sitting out in 95 degree heat so he could act out chapter one of the American dream handbook for children. After all, when I was a kid and we wanted a lemonade stand, we just played the game on our Commodore 64s. (Check out the video link. It’s the Apple ii version of the game which had snazzier graphics than I remember the Commodore version having. OH YEAH, you heard me right. Those were snazzy computer graphics back in the day. As someone once said, “That’s the way it was and we liked it!” Oh, and yes I do know all of this is dating me more than just a little bit.)
The nice thing about parenting a four-year old is that it’s still pretty easy to change their minds. I talked him out of the lemonade stand in favor of scrubbing all the dirt and bugs out of the twins playhouse for them. The promise of dirt, bugs, an unlimited use of the garden hose and an absurd amount of soap changed his mind pretty quickly. Little Guy had a grand-old time cleaning that playhouse, and the twins can finally play with their birthday gift from their grandparents. It was indeed a win/win for everyone. The funny thing was that I spent the rest of the day craving lemonade.
I managed to hold out until day three of the heat wave to give in to my craving. But today the heat got the best of me. After dropping Little Guy off at camp, I came home and surrendered to my citrus craving. Remembering a lemonade I bought at the Plymouth Farmer’s Market years ago, I cut a bunch of lavender from the garden and made a simple syrup. Remembering the highly addictive strawberry lemonade I once had at The Cheesecake Factory, I pulled out a pint of strawberries. Then I went for the lemons, but all I came up with was a half dozen limes. When life gives you limes when you want lemons, make limeade. It’s sweet, with a nice lime tang and a very subtle floral note from the lavender. Enjoy!
Makes 8 servings
While the juice of citrus fruit such as limes do not retain much in the way of pesticides, the peel does. So try to use an organic lime for the one lime you use the peel of in this recipe. Also, the amount of lime juice in a lime varies all over the place. I have included a range here, but you won’t know until you start juicing how many limes you will need. If your limes are a little on the dry side, you can microwave them for a few seconds to warm them up before juicing them; you will get a bit more juice out of them this way.
For an adult treat stir in 1 1/2 ounces vodka per serving. Beware if you do this though as it’s one of those drinks that sneaks up on you and you don’t taste the alcohol.
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups water, divided
3 tablespoons lavender, roughly chopped
peel of one lime
2 cups (1 pint) strawberries, stemmed and halved
1 cup lime juice from about 4-6 limes
Combine sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan with the lavender and lime peel. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low and cook for ten minutes.
While the syrup is cooking, puree the strawberries in a blender. Strain the syrup and combine it with the strawberries and lime juice. Refrigerate until cold and add another five cups of very cold water. Serve over ice with fresh strawberries and lime wheels for a garnish.