Friday, April 20, 2012

Life handed me a lemon tree: I make lots of Lemonade

This is my Lemon Tree (and my cute kids playing nicely together, sometimes it happens)
I like it. We are on the end of Lemon Season. My second one here in FL. I know this tree needs pruning but I don't know when to do it, since I am still picking lemons when the blossoms come on for new ones... I will learn, until then...

I like tart lemonade, my family can't be expected to. Since we will be drinking a lot of lemonade (lemons are free after all and milk is SO not) I needed to find a reliable, consistent, easy method for storage, preservation and usage.

Juice lemons using citrus juicer. We have four ice cube trays so that's usually about 1 full basket of lemons. Ours are really big and juicy so a number may not be appropriate. Sometimes I strain out the pulp and seeds and sometimes I don't. It depends if I have time or not.

Pour juice into ice cube trays and freeze.

When frozen store 24 cubes to a ziplock freezer bag, write date, fruit (because I have juiced light grapefruit that looks like the lemons too) and whether or not it was strained.

Back into the freezer or deep freeze. When we need lemonade, it's easy.

2quart pitcher
1cup of sugar
6-7 lemon juice cubes (about 6-7 TBS)
Stir up

I can add a spritz of key lime juice or another lemon cube to mine. But this is the perfect ratio where my kids and husband like it and it is easy and consistent. And if I am putting on a meal and the pitcher is half full it's a no brainier to add a few cubes, sugar and water.

Eventually I will branch out and use my lemons for more, but this is where I am at. I have a recipe to try so that's a start. :)

When we first moved here, this sweet tree with it's tart fruit gave me something to love about being here. It was a hard transition, but as I look back on it I am grateful for the little things like the lemon tree and the big things like life's Lemons that teach me to be better, to look for the positive and acknowledge the Lord's hand in my life, to appreciate the blessings I have.

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