Sunday, 6 May 2012


Before the midge season starts in earnest it is pleasant sitting on the patio in the early evening sunshine enjoying the garden after a day landscaping and planting out. And what better than to sup a glass of wine, or a thirst quenching glass or two of homemade lemonade whilst doing so. The lemonade recipe that I follow was first used in the Crimea War. The French chef Alexis Soyer who lived and worked in London formulated it. He was chef to “high society” and used his influence in high places to improve the standards of Army cooking, even inventing a very efficient cooking stove, so good that it was in use in the British Army until the 1930s.

I digress, however, so back to making lemonade!

Take two good sized lemons, cut in half, and over a jug containing two level tablespoons of sugar, turn them “inside out” to release the juice and the fruit pulp. Scrape the lemon skins to add the zest. Take two limes, cut them in half, but before turning them “inside out”, cut two slices from the middle and drop them in the lemon juice. Add a cup full of boiling water, stirring vigorously as you do so. When all the sugar has dissolved top up with cold water, place in the fridge and serve chilled. It will keep fresh as long as refrigerated but as it tends to be popular with visitors I tend to have to make it fresh most days. Home made lemonade is not only tasty, full of vitamin C, it contains no preservatives, colorants or other chemicals beloved of the soft drink makers. A bonus is the use of spring or sparkling water!

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