Friday, November 7, 2008


4 lemons, sliced
1 cup sugar
2 quarts water

Slice lemons as thin as you can and put into a bowl.
Put sugar over lemons and stir with a wooden spoon.
Allow lemons and sugar to sit for a few minutes
Stir/mash with the wooden spoon until all sugar is dissolved.
Add water, stir.
Strain and serve cold.

Notes: Adding ginger is nice. Make pink lemonade with grenadine or some maraschino cherry juice. Straining out the lemon slices keeps the lemonade from becoming bitter.

In my memory it was my grandfather who made the lemonade for the family picnic on the last Sunday of June each year. I can imagine my grandfather in his bib overalls, sitting in the side yard slicing the lemons into a five-gallon Red Wing crock and covering them with sugar. He stirred the lemons around with some sort of paddle and soon the sugar dissolved as if by magic into a light yellow syrup. The water came right from the garden hose and was topped with ice chipped from a big block of ice delivered by the iceman.

But I can't possibly remember that. I never saw my grandfather make lemonade and I never saw ice delivered by an iceman. And my grandfather was probably expected to wear something less casual than overalls at the family picnic. And yet that's the way I remember it.

I surely remember the lemonade. It was scooped out of the crock with a tin ladle. It was cold and not too sweet and tasted of the minerals in the local water. It was the lemonade to which all other lemonade must be compared.

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