Mint Lemonade

Let me tell you about 2017 around here.  It was hard.  Mind numbingly, bone wearyingly, put one foot in front of the other hard.  Looking back on it now, I have no idea how I navigated one day to the next.  Does autopilot have a survival setting?

The Mistah spent 2017 overseas on Deployment #3 which meant Miss Libby had a one (wo)man show at home.  I’d like to think that I rose to the occasion and was the best version of my parenting self for the 328 days he was gone.  I really would like to think that.  But I lived it.  And I know that most days I was lucky to find the good enough version of me.  I suspect the better and best versions of me were hiding out together in piles of laundry….not washing, folding, or putting it away mind you….just hiding there…slackers.

For her part, Miss Libby progressed from a normal 4 year old into a normal 5 year old while The Mistah was away.  Which meant pushing Good Enough just about as far as it could go.  That was usually when Loud Momma would make an appearance.  I can tell you for a fact that neither Libby nor I liked having Loud Momma around.  And I don’t think the next door neighbors cared much for her either (sorry neighbors).

Loud Momma typically brought along I’m Sorry Momma to clean up the mess.  Now that I think about it, you would never see the two of them at the same time….interesting.  And at some point in every single day, Tired Momma would take over.  She was the understudy waiting in the wings for her cue to step into character.

Bless her perpetually tired heart.

Tired Momma hits snooze a few times too many but still gets her child to school…usually before the late bell.  This is not to say that neither Tired Momma nor her child are free of telltale flaws in their outfit.  Hint, it’s usually the socks.

Tired Momma makes the food appear daily as if by magic.  Sometimes that magic goes by the name of cereal or uncrustables or delivery….and that’s ok.

Tired Momma does all of the chores that The Mistah would usually handle like taking out the trash and scooping the litter box.  But in exchange she outsources grass cutting and snow shoveling.

Tired Momma recognizes other Tired Mommas and Daddys.  And we salute them.  Usually as we shamble our way through school drop off, school pick up, and the grocery store.

Tired Momma loves nothing more than a day off.  However, those usually come disguised as sick days or snow days…so you can see how much off time they actually provide.

Tired Momma carried more than her share of the load around here last year and even her shoulders of stone need a rest sometimes.  So it is with the Mint Lemonade that The Mistah enjoyed during his time in the desert that I toast her.  I’m sure that I will call on her again….but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it won’t be any time soon.

Mint Lemonade

BAH Note:  I had to ask The Google to find something close to what The Mistah raved about while in the dessert.  Please note, this isn’t just lemonade with a touch of mint.  This is full on, spinach smoothie green, lemonade.  If you choose to make it with ice cubes, you should expect to have a foamy white top layer.  And since you don’t strain out the blizted mint leaves, you should also expect those mint leaves in the bottom of your glass…and maybe in your teeth.

As always, this is just a starting point.  You should adjust things to your liking.

  • 10 ounces lemon juice (from 5ish lemons)
  • 1 cup water + 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mint leaves (approximately 1 grocery store bunch)
  • 2 cups water + 1 cup ice cubes OR 1 cup water

Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar just dissolves.  Cool slightly.

Mix the lemon juice, mint leaves, sugar syrup, and remaining water/water+ice in a blender, run on high speed until the mint is completely pulverized, and enjoy.

{printable recipe}

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Old Fashioned Lemonade

lemonade

Lately I’ve been looking for old fashioned, low tech solutions to a modern day problem.  Specifically, how to follow the Baltimore Orioles in the digital age without digital resources.  For as long as I can remember, the games have been televised on a local tv station for all to enjoy.  But this year, games can only be watched on the regional cable sports network…which shall not be named and which is not a channel available on any of my streaming devices.

I ask you…what’s a girl to do?

If you’re me, you start by looking on the internet for a broadcast stream of the game.  Nope.  The local radio affiliates do not stream their game time coverage.  So while I could sit in my car and listen to the game, if I use the tablet in my kitchen to pull up the radio stations’ web sites and try to Listen Live….no luck.  I think maybe hi tech isn’t always the answer.

Especially for my 95 year old grandmother.

The things that she still enjoys in her assisted living community are few and far between…hot coffee….decaf….black, getting her hair done, and watching baseball games.  She’s about as low tech as it gets so when the games went off of the local tv station, she was left with even fewer options than I was.  Giving her new technology is a recipe for frustration (hers and mine), not to mention a waste of money. So in my quest to find a solution for me, I also was looking for one that could work for her.

Enter some quintessential old school technology…the radio.  And let me tell you, those things are harder to find than I think they should be in 2018.  I went down a few Etsy and Ebay rabbit holes initially trying to find an old working radio that looked like the green Zenith my grandparents used to have in their kitchen.  In my search, I ended up with three solutions.

One modern FM radio capable of receiving HD stations.  That one lives at my house for rooftop game enjoyment.

One 1970’s Zenith. Silver and beige.  She’s a beauty.  And she is what I listen to in bed on game nights.

And one brand new pocket radio….you might know it better as a transistor radio.  For my grandmother.  The cashier at Target was almost too young to know what it was.  Which officially made me feel like an oldster.

I suppose the moral of this story is that The Google and Alexa don’t have all the answers all the time.  Sometimes you have to ask What Would An Oldster Do and look for the lowest tech option available.

Old Fashioned Lemonade

Adapted from The Lemonade Cookbook by Alan Jackson and Joann Cianciulli

BAH Note:  Lemon juice + sugar + water is nearly as low tech as beverages get.  The original recipe calls for three lemons roughly chopped to go into your blender with the lemon juice and sugar.  I tried it.  I did NOT enjoy it.  I’ve adjusted that ingredient below according to my taste and feel like it’s a pretty reasonable place to start.  I also want to try my hand at blizting granulated sugar in my food processor to mimic “caster” sugar.  That stuff’s hella pricey to keep putting in my cart at the grocery store for as much of this as we drink at our house….nothing’s better on an early summer day than sitting on the roof listening to the baseball game while sipping on a cold, old fashioned lemonade…easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.  Yes, I am an oldster….see reference above.

  • 1/2 lemon, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups caster sugar (don’t confuse this with superfine powdered sugar)
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 10ish lemons)
  • 5 cups water

Combine the chopped lemon, lemon juice, and caster sugar in a blender and run it at medium/high until nicely blended.

Strain out any remaining solids through a fine mesh strainer.

Combine the strained juice and water in a pitcher, stir to combine, and enjoy.

{printable link}

Deb’s Hot Chocolate Mix

to post graphic

I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting this drafts ‘as is’….

Deb’s Hot Chocolate Mix

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

BAH Note:  Deb calls this decadent.  “ridiculously good” is what I scribbled on this recipe.  If that doesn’t convince you to make this, I don’t know what will.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a food process and blitz until fully combined and powdery.  Transfer to an airtight container.

When ready to use, whisk together 1/4 cup mix per cup of milk in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the milk just comes up to a simmer and the mix is completely incorporated.

{printable recipe}

Strawberry Lemonade

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I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting these drafts ‘as is’….

Strawberry Lemonade

BAH Note:  To make the simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  The simple syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container and used to sweeten your beverages all summer long.

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree

Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and stir.  Serve over ice and enjoy.

{printable recipe}

Frozen Cherry Lemonade

cherry bourbon lemonade

I need to get something off my chest….I thought we were friends, but I’m starting to have my doubts.   Sure I might disappear from this space for looooong stretches of time without warning.  And I might be just a touch more forgetful about asking how you’ve been and how the world is treating you.  And my awareness of what is going on around me may have hit an all time low.  But for the life of me I can’t understand why you would do this to me.

For the love of all that is good and right, why didn’t you tell me that 3 year olds are such big jerks?

What’s that?  You say that you don’t have firsthand knowledge of life with a 3 year old?  Ok, well then I can’t hold that against you.  Please accept my apology for being all crankypants with you.

But what about the rest of you?  The parents.  The people who have already experienced the tempest that is a 3 year old.  How could you have failed to at least mention that there might be a chance that my child may, at times, become a total jerk by her 3rd birthday?

That’s just how 3 year olds are, you say?  They turn from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde without warning?  Yeah I’ve noticed that, thanks. It would have been helpful to have been given that nugget of information ahead of time.

So for anyone out there who may, at some point, be responsible for a child, allow me to tell you what everyone else already knows but isn’t saying…Life with a 3 year old is like Clash of the Titans. Every. Single. Day.  There’s no way to avoid it.  There’s little you can do to prepare for it other than to know that it’s steaming towards you like a locomotive.  One day, without warning, that train will arrive.  And when it does, you will most likely be standing in the middle of tracks and get completely steam rolled.

I suggest you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.  And maybe have a cocktail once you get The Kraken tucked into bed.

Frozen Cherry Lemonade

Inspired by Shutterbean’s Boozy Cherry Slushies

BAH Note:  The bourbon is 100% optional.  But after a long day with a 3 year old, you might want to exercise that option.  I whip this up in my Vitamix so breaking down the ice cubes and getting a good slushy consistency isn’t hard.  If your mixer needs a little help, try using crushed ice if you have that option on your ice maker, or place whole ice cubes in a plastic bag and whack them with a rolling pin to break them up.

  • 1/2 cup cherry syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 cup lemonade (homemade is fine but I got mine at the store)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
  • 4 cups ice

Combine cherry syrup, lemonade, and bourbon (if using) in your blender and give it a good whirl.  Add the ice and blend until you get a slushy consistency.  Don’t be alarmed if the drink separates a bit in your glass as it melts.

Shutterbean’s Cherry Syrup

  • 1 pound sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1 /2 cups water
  • juice and zest of 2 limes

Cook the cherries, sugar, water, and lime juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the cherries burst and the liquid starts to simmer.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes before straining the liquid through a mesh sieve into a container for storage in the fridge.

{printable recipe}

Jargaritas

Jargarita

These Jargaritas would have been perfect for Cinquo de Mayo.  But since that ship has sailed for another year, you’re just going to have to find another excuse to make them.  Like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or the random weekend cookout.

But they come with a warning…these adult slushees have a way of sneaking up on you and knocking you on your arse.  So proceed with caution.

Jargaritas

Adapted from Bluebonnets and Brownies and Souffle Bombay

  • 12 ounces frozen limeade, thawed
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups tequila (I prefer patron silver)
  • 3/4 cup triple sec
  • 1 cup chambord
  • 4 cups cold water

If you plan to freeze these in individual portions, go ahead and get your jars and lids ready.  Otherwise find yourself a nice big pitcher or jug and combine all your ingredients.  Stir well.  Give it a taste and add more lime juice or tequila as desired.

Drinks can be portioned into jars, sealed tightly, and stashed in the freezer for about 4 or 5 hours or until they reach your desired level of frozen.  Or they can be enjoyed in a completely unfrozen state.

{printable recipe}

Tastes Like That Good Old Fashioned Lemonade

image from http://www.istockphoto.com

While I’m away on my imaginary vacation, I’m leaving the pantry stocked with posts from Exit 51 that would have been part of the Flashback Friday series. The following originally appeared on 7/17/09 at Exit 51.

Tastes Like That Good Old Fashioned Lemonade

In my childhood, a container of Country Time mix was the closest we ever got to homemade lemonade.  You remember Country Time, don’t you?  It “tastes like that good old fashioned lemonade”, or so they say.  I say it tastes like: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Maltodextrin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate (Controls Acidity), Magnesium Oxide (Prevents Caking), Calcium Fumarate, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Color, Yellow 5 Lake, Tocopherol (Preserves Freshness).  How’s that good old fashioned lemonade? Call me silly but I thought lemonade was lemon juice, water, and sugar. Continue reading “Tastes Like That Good Old Fashioned Lemonade”