Even if I had no communication with the outside world, no way of knowing the date or time, I’d still be able to sense that summer is dwindling. We’re wearing long-sleeves again in the evening and early morning and the mosquitoes are back in full force after hiding from last month’s heatwave.
To avoid worrying about this coming Winter (the last one was an unusually mild perpetual March, so I know this one will be bad), I waxed nostalgic about summer’s highlights: tank tops and bare feet, weekly tide pool explorations, and impromptu evening porch parties with neighbors, complacently watching the kids run out of gas.
This got me thinking about the day a few weeks back when my daughter and I whizzed past a lemonade stand while out riding bikes. She begged me to go back, so we pedaled home, got some money, and rode back to check out the goods. Now I haven’t been to a lemonade stand in ages, but their table was better-stocked than the bar at some of the weddings I’ve attended. They were serving lemonade, limeade, lemon-limeade, raspberry limeade, cucumber lemonade and basil lemonade, all of which they made to order. These 8-year-olds knew what they were doing, and at 2 bucks a pop plus a presumptuous “tips for college” jar, they weren’t afraid to charge a premium for it.
They took our order for straight-up limeade, and we watched as they went to work. First, they squeezed the limes, then added sugar, ice, filtered water, and stirred. They served it up in a cherry red k-cup with a straw and a wedge of lime. I quickly drained my cup, crunching contentedly on the stray sugar granules that I dredged up from the bottom with my straw. Something about citrus is so thirst-quenching on a hot day.
Limes are the lemon’s prettier but slightly more complicated little sister. They require a little more effort to juice, but if you cut them correctly, you’ll get your money’s worth. Don’t be tempted to cut them in half, as you do a lemon. Start by cutting through widthwise, about a quarter of the way into the lime.
Next, turn the lime onto the cut end, poise your knife a quarter of the way into the lime, and cut through lengthwise.
Turn, and repeat two more times, until you have four cut pieces and a pithy center.
Squeeze the juice out of each piece, and you should take everything that lime has to give.
Enlist a helper (or two) and the work will practically do itself. My daughter and I went home and recreated this concoction. It was just as delicious as the first time around … and cost us about 50 cents a cup. I think those girls were onto something. Forget writing, I’m opening a lemonade stand!
- 1/2 Cup water
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 3 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 Cups cold filtered water
- Add the water and the sugar together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour half of the lime juice into a tall glass. Add half of the syrup and 1 cup of water. Stir to combine the flavors. Repeat with the other glass. Drop in a few ice cubes and garnish with a lime wedge or circle. Serve.