By Sara Anthony Hill
For Farm Carolina
We know when the humidity rises and the afternoon heat of summer pops out those glistening, salty, beads of perspiration on your brow, filling and clouding your eyes, rushing down the end of your nose and sweat-paints your shirt to your back…your naturally-curly hair brings “big hair” to a new level…then you know. It’s time. Time for a big, tall glass of lemonade. Think about it. That frosty glass touching your lips. You open wide and a flood of coldness rushes in activating every sleeping, thirsty taste bud in your mouth, sending a gulp of wet, sweet-tart down your throat for a cooling “Ahhhh.” How great is that?
The earliest mention of lemonade that I could find seems to be from 10th century Egypt when trade in lemon juice was abundant. Then, like now, the locals bottled lemon juice with lots of sugar. Voila’! Lemonade! If you don’t overdo the sugar part, it’s still healthy for you. Lemon with water helps clean out toxins, controls hunger pangs and keeps you hydrated which keeps your body working at its best.
Water is your body’s (and brain’s) best friend in the heat. Not sport drinks…unless you’re doing high-endurance activities for more than an hour. Water is the best way to stay hydrated and healthy. You don’t do water? Just add a little lemon juice to boost the flavor without adding artificial ingredients, excess calories or sugar. Lemon juice has zero fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Lemonade is only one of the refreshing recipes I’d like to share with you. And can you believe there are hundreds of household uses for lemon juice. We’ll get to that after you’ve tried this old-fashioned summertime drink or a refreshing Lemon Frappé. Just pull up a chair on the front porch under the fan, wipe your brow and cool off.
Front Porch Lemonade
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. boiling water
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 1/2 C. fresh lemon juice (about 10 to 12 lemons)
4 1/2 C. cold water
Garnish with lemon slices
Combine sugar and boiling water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lemon rind, juice and cold water. Stir well. Chill and serve over ice. Yields 7 cups.
A slushy dessert beverage — delicious.
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade, undiluted
1/2 C. cold water
1 pint lemon sherbet or vanilla ice cream
1 (12-ounce) can ginger ale
Process first 3 ingredients in container of an electric blender until smooth. Pour into a pitcher and add the ginger ale. Serve immediately. Yields 4 cups.
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For your next special occasion, wedding or anniversary celebration, try this pretty, pale pink, effervescent lemonade. Oh, this is so good I don’t think I could wait for a special occasion. Try it at your next barbeque.
Champagne Strawberry Lemonade
3 (6 ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted
5 C. water
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
2 bottles dry champagne, chilled
Combine the first 3 ingredients. Cover and chill thoroughly. Gently stir in ginger ale and champagne just before serving. Yields 20 cups.
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My husband is wondering if one of the recent storms has damaged the unit in our oven. I’ve been trying to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. It’s just too bloody hot, as Russell, my friend from England, would say.
Crisp, cool and easy Lemon Caesar Salad can be a side dish or a main course. I found this recipe in the July, 1993 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Pick up a roasted chicken from your favorite grocery store or chicken tenders and top this salad for a quick, delicious meal. The dressing can also be drizzled over fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves for another great salad.
Lemon Caesar Salad
1/2 C. olive oil
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 11/2 ounces)
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tesp. Worcestershire sauce
2 anchovies, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 heads of romaine lettuce torn into bite-size pieces
Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a processor or blender and blend well. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with croutons and additional cheese. (This can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)
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Danny Hunt, our Wednesday night guru and his heavenly cooking assistants at First United Methodist Church, prepares a lemon pie that only takes minutes in the kitchen. Make it ahead of time and refrigerate overnight for a firmer set. It’s one of my grandson’s favorites.
Refrigerated Lemon Pie
1 graham cracker crust
1 can condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice
1 (8-ounce) carton whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
2 Tbs. vanilla instant pudding mix
Combine the condensed milk in a large bowl with the lemon juice. Stir until the mixture becomes thickened. Fold the whipped topping into the milk mixture until completely blended. Even though the recipe doesn’t call for it, I always stir in the instant vanilla pudding powder to give it a firmer texture. Pour mixture into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight. Garnish with blueberries, raspberries or strawberries.
(Save the remaining pudding mix for the next time you make this recipe. It’ll be sooner than you think.)
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Most of my friends know that I like to grow roses. It was surprising to find that the lemon is a type of berry, and like my roses, which also belongs to the berry family, has thorns covering its branches. Just a bit of interesting trivia, don’t you think?
Juicy, aromatic and highly acidic lemons not only bring out the flavor in sweet and savory foods but they have serious cleaning and freshening powers plus healthy, natural hygiene capabilities. Try some of these suggestions.
• Perk up droopy lettuce by soaking it for an hour in a bowl of cold water and the juice of one lemon.
• A few drops of lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep it from sticking to the pot.
• Use a cut lemon or fresh squeezed lemon juice to remove bad smells from your refrigerator, cutting board, microwave or practically any other surface. You can add lemon juice to cooking water of stinky foods like cabbage.
• After using fresh lemons in a recipe, simmer the peel in water on the stove top as a natural air freshener
• Two teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of honey mixed together will quiet a hacking cough and soothe a sore throat. Repeat the process in 30 minutes if needed. (My nephew, Rex, who lives in Faith has a bee farm. I’ve tried this concoction recently using his honey and believe me, it works.)
• Lemon juice is a natural laxative that has no side effects. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Drink in the morning when you first get up. Richard Simmons, the fitness guru, used to recommend this as a way to lose weight.
• Remove tarnish from copper and brass. Mix 1/4 cup table salt with just enough fresh lemon juice to make a paste. Apply a coating onto any tarnished pots, pans or other items. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Next, wash the item in warm tap water then rinse well. Use a soft cloth to buff. If any tarnish remains, repeat process.
• Pour 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice into a spray bottle, fill it with tap water, shake to mix then use to remove grease from countertops, appliances and windows.
• Give your hair a beautiful shine by rinsing your hair with lemon juice. Removes residue build-up of shampoo and hair care products. Spritz lemon juice on your hair before going outside into the sunshine. Will give you natural-looking highlights.