Saturday, June 18, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade

The other day, my roommate asked me how I decide what to bake next. It’s a good question, and one that I can (sort of) answer. I told her that I decide based on what ingredients I have in the house, but this is only halfway true.

A lot of what I bake on a whim depends on what I have at hand — for instance, I currently have several lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits leftover from a citrus craving two weeks ago that was sparked by the discounted price of lemons at the Produce Station. However, I bought the lemons specifically to bake and cook with. The limes were purchased impulsively today because I can never get enough lime (and because I found a cookie recipe I want to try that calls for lime juice and zest!)

So to sum up, I’m going to be baking with lemons and limes (and potentially grapefruits and oranges) because I have those ingredients in my house, BUT lets not forget that I also purchased said fruits in the first place because I wanted to be able to bake with them. Catch 22?

I guess that I would say I try to be inspired by what I have at hand, but I also try to buy flavors I want to bake with in advance.

Today I took a walk to the farmer’s market, bought a quart of strawberries, and spent the rest of my shopping time and 20 minute walk home trying not to squash them — I wasn’t entirely successful.

Not wanting my new berries to wind up in the trash, I picked out all of the squished berries and deiced to muddle them and use the juice to make strawberry lemonade. I also used the remaining strawberry pulp as a quick sugar-free jam on top of a piece of toast with peanut butter. The end result was a refreshing summer afternoon treat!

To make one serving of strawberry lemonade, I smashed about six or seven strawberries with a spoon to get the juice out. That many strawberries yielded about:

this much juice
I then juiced the three lemons that I had left over from making cupcakes (I needed a lot more zest than juice for those), which yielded about half a cup of lemon juice.

The next part I would suggest you do slowly, tasting along the way. I ended up adding 3/4 cups of water (adding 1/4 cup at a time) and 2 teaspoons of sugar (1/2 a teaspoon at a time) because I wanted to maintain some of the tartness of the lemon flavor.

all the ingredients
I topped off the drink with a handful of flower shaped ice cubes. No promises, but I imagine any shape of ice cube would yield the same cooling effect — it will just be a little less summery looking.


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