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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Summer Time Lemonade

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April is winding down which means Spring is also winding down and S U M M E R temperatures are on the horizon here in north Texas. Before we know it, summer time lemonade will be in everybody's hands on the deck, beside the pool, on the porch swing, and under the shade tree. 

For friends in northern USA, Canada, and parts unknown, you all are probably shaking your heads at this thought because Spring is just arriving at your doorstep.

Yet, for us, it is a fact that May can be very warm, even blistering HOT, HOT, HOT. How many Texans remember the summer of 1980 when the 100° plus temperatures arrived in May? 

Raise your hand, too, even if you are not from Texas, but you heard about the record-breaking 100° temperatures in Texas during the summer of 1980. 

Spring weather is still here this year. Saturday was one of those perfect days that occur in the movies... blue skies, little to no wind, low humidity, and temperatures in the 70s. Was there a film crew peeking around the corner, just out of sight, setting up a film set? 

Tulips on the kitchen towel hanging from the oven handle, an embroidered blue bonnet towel atop the refrigerator, and a tulip card in the oval glass bowl on the island counter are set dressing for Spring in my kitchen. 

A bowl of fresh lemons are sitting on the island counter behind the clear glass oval bowl just waiting to be part of the first pitcher of homemade lemonade. Pssst... don't forget to put something pretty, like this card with violets, on the back side of bowls that can be seen from all sides. 

Meyer Lemon Syrup is also ready for when the temperatures, not the official date on a calendar, say it is time for summer lemonade. 

T O D A Y was the DAY for the first pitcher of summer time lemonade. The weather is Spring like, but in the 80s, and it was time to practice making lemonade. 

No recipe... in the tradition of Southern cooks over the generations, I just put a little of this, a pinch of that. Tasted. Repeated a little of this and a pinch of that as often as needed until the lemonade tasted good. I began with fresh lemon juice, ice water, a little sugar, and a little Meyer Lemon Syrup...  

My mom, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and kissing cousins (in small Southern towns everyone is related somehow by blood or marriage) drank sweet tea by the gallons. Now, many people consider SWEET TEA the official drink of any self-respecting Southerner, but we do drink other thirst-quenching drinks. Coca-colas, Dr. Peppers (Texas folks), Orange Nehis, UNsweet tea, but please don't even mention ICED coffee... Only non-alcoholic drinks in my family... 

The first batch of summer time lemonade is a success, sipped through a festive pink and white paper straw. 

However, that doesn't mean I'm ready for 100° weather. Could we by-pass that this summer? 

The hottest summer on record in Dallas, Texas was 1980 with 69 days above 100° including a string of 42 days straight over the century mark. The last triple digit day that year was September 16.  One L O N G  H O T summer!

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  1. Judith,
    I really enjoyed reading about Texas and your summertime lemonade. This is our first spring in the Dallas area and I think I'll be purchasing some of that delicious Meyer Lemon Syrup for my own glass of lemonade! I really enjoyed your bits of history also!

  2. Spring is just showing its face in my neck of the woods and warm temps sound just divine. Although, the thought of 100 plus is a little tough to take!

  3. Oh yum and so pretty too, Judith. Texas and lemonade go together so perfectly. Soon we will have cicadas singing too.
    Have a lovely day and let's hope there is not any hail in these predicted storms.

  4. I always made a lot of iced tea...sun tea usually. I lived in Texarkana in the 80s and I DO remember how hot it was! Now I live in Florida and guess's HOT! haha Hugs, Diane

  5. I think it was Wynonna Judd that said Mississippi is like a hot shower. Drip, drip, drip! I understand your heat, it's steamy here too. I have been dreaming of having one of those huge fountains put in our backyard. You know the kind that the large hotels have?! Then I could just sit in it any time I want.

  6. Lemon EVERYTHING says warmer weather to me! Bonjour Judith! We are finally having spring, and we are about a month early! But it was chilly yesterday with rain. But we'll take the color we are having any day! Lovely images of sunshine and lemon yellow!

  7. I'm one of your newest followers and have to mention how much I am enjoying your posts!

    I'm also a fellow Texan, and certainly do remember the summer of 1980. The thing that sticks in my mind was the silence. It was as though Mother Nature had instructed the birds and insects to stay quiet to conserve energy and to stay cool.

    Love your photography and prose, too!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

    1. Marilyn,
      Welcome to Botanic Bleu. I love meeting fellow Texas bloggers. Thank you for your encouraging comments. If you haven't met Stacey at Poofing the Pillows, check out her blog and leave her a comment you are a Texas blogger so she can invite you to join the Texas blogger Facebook group.


    2. Judith,

      I'm not a blogger, just an avid blog follower. :-) I will check out "Poofing the Pillows".

      Have a good day and let's keep our fingers crossed that the storms coming our way will be mild (for a change)!

      Marilyn (in Dallas)

  8. I moved with my family from England to Texas during the summer of 1980. I will never forget it! I've never added Meyer's lemon syrup, but I will have to try it.

  9. Lemon lover here. YUM.
    Must try that lemon syrup.
    Have a lovely weekend, Judith.

  10. I remember that summer very well! It was HOT! Seems like I remember other summers of extended drought being less pleasant though. Maybe that's because in 1980 I was in high school. Those days are just wonderful no matter what.

    Your idea of putting something pretty in the glass bowl is smart. I love the cards you have in there.

    Lemonade is so old fashioned and wonderful. :)

    Thank you for being a faithful supporter of TOHOT.

    1. Stacey,
      I can never forget the sweat (that is, perspiration for a southern lady) running down my back, behind my knees, and along my bangs in 1980. Whew! One hot, humid summer when I thought it was never going to cool down. Love partying at TOHOT each week...


  11. I totally understand as here in Florida it has been the 80's and low 90's for the last month. Lemonade certainly sounds great!

  12. Your lemonade looks delicouis!!
    I love everything with lemons.
    Happy week

  13. Lovely images ad wonderful lemonade. I so enjoy a nice glass when it's hot.Meyers lemons are the best! Thanks for sharing at DI&DI.

  14. I love homemade lemonade! I need to get some of the Meyer lemon juice. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  15. Your Lemonade sure sounds yummy:) I can't even IMAGINE that kind of weather for that long! My husband's sister and brother live in Texas. One is in Houston, and the other in Plano. My husband has wanted to move to Texas for a loooong time, but I'm the hold up:) I think I would terribly miss my Buckeye State, and I can't imagine Christmas with no snow:)

  16. Your lemonade looks and sounds wonderful.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  17. Don't even remind me of 1980....ugh!!!!! I think I spent most of the summer with three kids sitting in a plastic pool of water!! We had no A/C and I thought the poor kiddos were going to melt!! We rigged a fan in the shadiest part of the yard, and there they played all summer. Looking back, it was really nice not having to plan things for them to was too hot for them to care :^)
    Hope this year is not like that, but at least I now have A/C!
    Have a blessed weekend!
    PS: where do you find the lemon looks wonderful!


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