Fresh-squeezed fizzy Meyer lemonade
Pick a bunch of lemons.
Add sugar [or honey/stevia/agave/whatever sweetener you like].
I usually do about 1 c. sugar to 2 c. lemon juice. I think most people like it sweeter.
Mix well. I have a locking pitcher so I just close it up and shake like crazy for a minute or two.
This is your lemon starter — it’s good in the fridge for at least a week, probably much longer, but ours never lasts that long.
Fill a glass 3/4 way with fizzy water [or regular water, if you don’t like the fizzy] and a couple ice cubes.
Top off with the lemon starter — this is highly subjective, but general guidelines are as follows:
– if your drink is too sweet, your starter needs more lemons.
– if it’s too tart, more sugar in your starter.
– too watery, more starter with your water.
– too sweet and tart? Add more water.
I make my lemonade glass by glass — if you want a full jug all at once, just fill up your pitcher with water. Et voila!
If you’re feeling adventurous, toss in some
– strawberry juice [slice strawberries, toss with a sprinkling of sugar and a tbsp or two of water, let sit overnight, mash and/or puree, depending on how chunky you like things]
– ginger syrup [I’ll bet vanilla-ginger is divine, too]
– lavender syrup [boil, cool, strain, and store: 1/2 c. dried lavender, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. water].
Pink flower’s at Lily’s Café in Cambria, California. There is a whole little row of very cute shops there.
Tea tree lives down the street. they’re Australian natives but do wonderfully here in the Bay Area. So do the eucalyptus.
The other day, I met Chad for lunch and when I got home I realized my keys were missing! I lose my keys about once a decade, and it seemed about time, so I wasn’t too too upset. I called Chad and asked if he’d be able to leave work early to come let me in the house, sat on the porch for a bit, then realized it was probably going to be awhile before Chad showed up, because 1. he was in the middle of work and 2. he is slow like that sometimes.
So I decided to garden. I got my flowers put in out back and weeded the herb garden. It felt pretty good and it’s nice that when I glance out the kitchen window I see marigolds instead of waist-high weeds.
At about exactly the time I was finished, Chad showed up and let me in the house, where I found my keys sitting on my desk.
So my tips for when you are locked out are:
1. Keep calm! There are worse things than being forced to stay outside on a nice spring day.
2. Be patient and find something to keep yourself occupied. You will get in eventually and you can get some stuff done in the meantime.
Spanish and Provencal lavender, check.
[This is their third year. Last year they fruited for the first time and were so, so close to being ready for me to eat, then we went to Portland and the raccoons completely stripped them while we were gone. Very rude!]
[I planted this sorry little thing two years ago and it is still only about a foot high and just now starting to finally bloom. Go bottlebrush!]
There’s a house on the corner with a little white picket fence and the sweetest garden that I’ve been admiring since we moved here. I recently properly met the owner at a meet-up a mutual friend puts together — very random!
I sometimes peek through the knots in her fence — forgive me, her garden is so lovely and I am so curious! — and admired her magical little back yard — I’m envious of her green adirondacks that blend in like camouflage.
Her next-door neighbor has a spectacular tea tree, which is something I tried to grow a few years back but managed to kill within a few weeks. Maybe it’s time to try again.
Three things I am in love with right now:
#1: my BLINGtastic camera necklace
I’ve been forgetting to take a shot of this for ages, I bought it at the cutest little shop here in Alameda (To Herb With Love at Oak and Encinal) back before Christmas and I wear it almost every day. harpy owns a similar one, her lovely polaroid reminded me.
#2: surprise flowers
My friend brought her son over to pick some lemons [still going strong, give me a holler if you want to come pick some up] last week and surprised me with this enormous, gorgeous bouquet of birds of paradise from her garden.
#3: daffodils from TJs
You know it is spring when these babies show up. $1.29 for a bunch of ten, which is just enough to surprise my daughter and make myself happy, too.
Vintage milk bottle scored for practically nothing from Muse Reuse on Webster almost immediately after I decided I really need a vase that isn’t meant to hold an enormous birthday bouquet.
In the garden right now, we have lots crazy-blooming rosemary, a bowl of unidentified bulbs that are flowering one by one [current guest star? HYACINTH!], and some Iceland poppies over at City Hall.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many ripe lemons we have right now. This is a full grocery bag, didn’t even make a dent. If you’re local and want to take advantage of the olde u-pick, message me.
Spent a nice chunk of time in the garden center at the Big Long’s in Oakland yesterday. Everyone there is so nice and knowledgeable, except about what’s going to happen and when.
Discovered several of these today smacking their fat little lips as they took giant bites of my tomatoes. Then they turned and looked at me and I RAN.
Bright side: hearing stories about how friends remember their parents dealing with hornworms [paying the kids a quarter per, throwing them them against the fence, shooting them with a BB gun] but I am still too scared to ever return to my yard.