Every now and then I get an email from a person asking if I could use more “prepared” items in my recipes. I’ve gotten suggestions about potato buds (what part is the bud?) And hints about modern conveniences like pre-cooked bacon and dehydrated onions. There are even stir-in mixes that can make your food taste like you are magically in a café in Paris. (Okay, that was a little sarcastic and maybe a bit snooty, sorry.)
I understand that everyone is busy. I do things the “long” way because I have the time to do so. Part of my joy in cooking is standing over my stove and tasting as I go along. (And no, I don’t double dip….at least not while anyone is looking.) I don’t judge people who use “helpers,” it just isn’t my norm. (Okay, judging IS my norm but I’m working on being nicer.)
There is one quickie item that I do use more frequently that I probably should admit and that is lemon juice. I always seem to have a bottle of it in the fridge. It just comes in handy at times when I want to add a little tartness to a dish and I don’t want to take the time to squeeze or run out for a lemon. (I might add it is also nice to use when you have a paper cut.)
So one of my recent emails (Hi Gayle!) asked why I don’t use a substitute when I make lemonade. It is a good question and my honest response was that I never had tried. I’m a bite of a purest when it comes to my lemonade. I like the pulp and the occasional pip that finds its way into my glass. (A pip is a seed in case it ever comes up in your crossword puzzle.)
I took this challenge and ran with it. (I didn’t really run but I do have a wicked mosey.) I thought I would make a lemonade that doesn’t require all of the fuss of simple syrup and squeezing lemons. I will revolutionize how people make lemonade. I will change the world!!!! (Okay, I now am getting a little carried away.)
I think my readers will just be happy with a laborless lemonade…perfect for a Labor Day!
4 cups of watermelon juice (It was about 5 cups seeded, pureed in a blender and strained in a fine sieve. Yep, that is laborless!)
200 ml Lemon Juice (not from concentrate), I used an organic one that looked like a lemon so I knew that would be authentic tasting. It was just under a cup if you can’t find the one that is in the plastic lemon.
2-4 Tbsp sugar (my watermelon was sweeeeet so I used less sugar)
4 cups ice
Before you roll your eyes at me about processing the watermelon into juice, it really was quite simple. I literally cut my melon in half and scooped it out with a spoon right into the blender. There was barely any pulp left in the sieve and you could probably omit this step if you don’t mind it being a bit pulpier. (You do need to remove the seeds, I can’t help you there.)
Now back to the recipe…..put watermelon juice and lemon juice in blender. Give it a twirl and taste it. Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar at a time until you get the desired sweetness/sourness.
This mixture is your “base.” Remove it from the blender but don’t put the blender away yet.
Mix equal amounts of ice to your base in the blender. Whirl it until you have a slushy consistency.
Serve in a glass with a sugared rim.
I was pretty happy with this recipe. It doesn’t have the tartness I would usually associate with lemonade but it was an easy, resourceful way to use some extra watermelon. (It would look really cute with a little slice of watermelon on the rim but I didn’t think of that until right now.)
I hope everyone had a restful Labor Day weekend. I’ll work on including some substitutes every now and then to help cut your workload in the kitchen. All suggestions are appreciated but be prepared to be mentioned in a post!