Kids home from school.
I see so many of my friends who are so excited for summer break because the kids will be home, and I always get confused. Not that I don’t love the kiddo and enjoy hanging out with him and all, but it gets exhausting having to keep them entertained all the time.
Yes, even at 16 years old, they still demand that you entertain them. At first, and often throughout the summer vacation, it’s fun and enjoyable. But as time wears on and he still hasn’t been able to find a job and all of his friends are working and all he wants to do is play on the playstation when you’re trying to watch
Firefly reruns educational shows about history and stuff, or talk to you while you’re concentrating on making a treat look just right, or bumps you or your table while you’re trying to take that perfect photo…you quickly remember why school is such a glorious thing.
Actually, it’s usually better than this for us, but since this is a transfer year, we don’t get to take any trips or vacations over summer, so the kiddo and I have to make due. Easier for him, since he had time to make friends before school let out. I force him outside as much as possible, but like I said, his friends have found summer jobs, so on the occasion that the time he spends with those friends is spent over head phones on the couch while he plays Call of Duty and shouts things like, “DO IT FOR THE LOLZ!” and “I GOT THIS, SON, DONCHOO WORRY! DONCHOO WORRY! … DONCHOO WORRY!” and weird strung together mumbo jumbo like “OH MAN HE’S GOT THE FMG, QUIT CAMPING LIKE A LOSER, CARE PACKAGE, HIT MARKER!” Well, things aren’t very entertaining. It’s like he has some weird form of war time Tourettes.
I haven’t thrown in the towel, though. He looked everywhere for a job, but nowhere is hiring, so I’m paying him to work for me. Starting today, he becomes my assistant. This is either pure genius or pure insanity. It’s too soon so say, so here’s a fantastic recipe for you to enjoy…and here’s hoping it isn’t the last of the summer.
I’m sharing this recipe today because the Hubster and I went to a nearby market this past Saturday and tried some raspberry lemonade. There was a long line, and we saw people everywhere carrying the drinks around, so we figured it must be delicious. We shelled out several bucks for one drink to share, sipped, and…were totally let down.
First of all, the cup was so full of ice and fruit that, in the end, we barely had a serving to share. Even worse, though, was the fact that it tasted like poorly flavored, very watered down, boring lemonade (barely). There was just a little hint of raspberry, only slightly more lemon flavor, and hardly enough sugar. The drink was neither sweet nor tart…it was just…blah.
We were so confused as to why so many people were handing over their cash for such mediocre drinks. Just a few days before, after having made some strawberry marshmallows, we used the leftover puree to make strawberry lemonade, and it was really wonderful, so I decided to share the recipe today.
I’ve been making raspberry and strawberry lemonade for years, and I’m sure there are tons of pink lemonade recipes out there, and they’re probably all very similar, but I’m adding mine to the mix anyway, because it’s my family’s favorite summertime drink (besides butterbeer), and because I know it’s delicious and flavorful. It’s got plenty of lemon and berries to make it tart and full of fresh fruit flavor, and a healthy dose of sugar fr a perfect sweet-tart balance.
You can also use frozen fruit, but seriously, have you seen the price of frozen berries lately? If you have access to fresh, it’s actually a better value.
I’ve made this recipe using strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and they were all wonderful. Raspberry is always my particular favorite, but I love each flavor.
The puree is very simple. All you have to do is puree the berries in a blender or food processor until smooth, then press them through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Each of these berry options have a lot of seeds, and I’ve found that the lemonade is much more enjoyable without them. Sieving the puree is easy; just use a spatula to press the puree through until you only have seeds and some skin/pulp leftover.
Next, you’ll stir some lemon juice and sugar into the now smooth puree. The recipe makes two cups of sweet puree, which is enough for a gallon of lemonade. Plus, the puree can be used in other recipes, such as the strawberry marshmallows from my Neapolitan Smores.
This will keep in the refrigerator, in an air tight container, for at least 10 days.
Now all you have to do is make your favorite lemonade recipe and stir in some of the puree to taste. Or you can use the recipe I’ve included below. It’s sweet and tart, full of flavor, and refreshing. Plus, it’s pink. You can’t go wrong with pink.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll add these adorable Daisy cut lids and stripey straws from the TomKat Studio. Seriously, could these little jars of lemonade be more adorable? These would be fantastic for a kiddo’s birthday party, a baby shower, or wedding shower…they’d be perfect for any summer party.
Strawberry (or Raspberry) Lemonade
Makes 1/2 gallon
FOR THE PUREE (Makes 2 cups, which is enough for 2 recipes of lemonade)
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced (or substitute fresh raspberries or blackberries)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (1 oz. or 30 grams) fresh lemon juice
FOR THE LEMONADE
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 cups cold water
1 cup fresh strawberry (or raspberry or blackberry) puree
To make the puree: Place the sliced berries in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth (or puree in a blender). Press the pureed berries through a fine mesh sieve; discard the seeds.
In a large bowl, stir the puree, lemon juice, and sugar together until combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
To make the lemonade: Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a large pitcher and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the water and puree, stirring to combine. Garnish with fresh lemon slices and berries, if desired. Serve chilled.
Recipe by Darla