Blueberry Basil Lemonade.
One summer when we were small we begged and begged our mom to let us have a lemonade stand. Please mom. We promise we’ll do all the work. As I recall I was about 5 and my sister Sarah 8. We had big plans but were lacking in ‘how to start a business’ experience and the start up capital required, not to mention knowing how to make lemonade. Mom somehow was able to distract us time after time, until we eventually stopped asking.
Then one morning a big bowl of lemons appeared on the kitchen table. There was no mention of their purpose, nor for the piece of cardboard and magic marker that laid beside them. Mom was busy at the typewriter, writing her next article for the paper and Sarah was playing in her room. “Mom, what are you going to do with all those lemons on the table?” “No plan, I just thought they’d brighten up the room.” “Mom, do you think we could make lemonade?” And so on this summer day we made a big batch of lemonade. With so much leftover, a lemonade stand was about to be born.
She encouraged us to think of everything we would need for our stand. As we made our list we were pleasantly surprised to find our plan falling into place. It just so happened there were extra trays of ice cubes in the freezer and a brand new package of plastic cups on the counter. Mom noticed the piece of cardboard and a magic marker on the table, and suggested we might want to make a sign out of that. Coincidentally the card table she had borrowed from a neighbor was still in the back of her car, maybe we’d like to use it for our stand. And if needed we could count out some change from the jar that sat on her dresser, in case we had to break a dollar bill for someone.
I can still remember that day. By late afternoon the traffic in front of our house picked up as families returned home from the lake. First one car stopped, then another. Our sign read 10 cents, they’d give us 25. Business was booming and we were so proud of ourselves. When eventually our stomachs longing for supper became too much to ignore, we packed up our lemonade stand. We couldn’t wait to share our stories with mom as we sat at the table counting our loot. Those were the days. Barefoot and carefree the entire summer.
Pictured above is a favorite book from my childhood, published in 1963. It’s titled Sarah’s Room. The story of a younger sister who longed to be invited into her sister Sarah’s room. “On Sarah’s wall, green trees grow tall and morning glories bloom. Of all the rooms in all the world, the best is Sarah’s room.” Her younger sister, who had once written on her walls was not allowed in. The story could have been written about us and probably many of you. Fond memories.
Tidbit: Georgia is officially known as the Peach State, however recently blueberries took over as the most lucrative fruit crop. The recipe below from Cooking Light is a nice variation on traditional lemonade and a great way to use fresh blueberries that are abundant right now.
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup fresh torn basil leaves (I used our lemon basil)
- 6 Tbl. granulated sugar
- 4 cups water
- Pour lemon juice into a pitcher. Add blueberries, basil, and sugar to the pitcher and muddle. Add water and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl; discard the solids. Return mixture to the pitcher. Serve chilled over ice.
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