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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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