Lemons, Roses and Sweetness

More than 25 years ago I attended a herb festival that served some amazing herby lemonade. When I came home, I immediately started making “my version” of this wonderfully refreshing drink. Every time I serve it, I get rave reviews. I have shared this very simple recipe a million times. Maybe not a million–but a lot! One of the best things about it, is that it is so simple. I decided many years ago, the more I can keep things simple, the more I can entertain.

My daughter calls this lemonade … LEMONADE THE MOM WAY. I just love that.

She wrote about it a few years back on her blog…

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Summer isn’t summer without lemonade and my mom’s lemonade is the best. I don’t just say this because she’s my mom…it’s the best. Hands down. She gets asked all the time for the recipe which is super easy and wonderfully refreshing.

Mom’s Lemonade

For each can of Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade add…

  • 2 cans water
  • 2 cans Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  • 1/2 cup sugar3 large sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 – 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • Add ice and ENJOY!

Here’s where the SWEETNESS comes in…

My grandson loves to make lemonade with me. We make a very simple lemon shake up. Lemons, sugar, water & ice. Every second we spend working on our refreshing lemony drinks… are the sweetest ever!

This week while with him, we used special lemonade cups I found (on Amazon). He loved them! #moresweetness

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There “might” be truth to the rumor that I bought him a lemonade stand…

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NOW FOR THE ROSEY PART…

On Wednesday we shared a glass of rose flavored lemonade at the Grateful Cafe. We were hot and sweaty from our tour of Exposition Park Rose Garden and the lemonade was just what we needed!

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Here we are enjoying Pretty Lady Rose in the garden … the fragrance surrounding us was amazing! I will never forget the fragrance and I hope he won’t either!

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Oh how I love to see him put his nose in a fragrant rose. #memories

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Pretty Lady Rose was having a very good day in the garden! Loads of blooms!

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BACK TO LEMONS…

Here are some fun lemonade facts:

  • August 20th is National Lemonade Day.
  • Lemonade can trace it’s origins to the Egyptians when in 500 AD lemon juice was mixed with sugar to make a beverage known as qatarmizat.
  • The first lemonade “soft drink” debuted in Paris on August 20th, 1630. The drink was made from sparkling water and lemon juice sweetened with honey.
  • Frozen lemonade made its debut in 1840 in Naples, Italy.
  • The earliest documented lemonade stands were introduced by a young entrepreneur named Edward Bok who formed them in Brooklyn street cars from 1873 to 1876.
  • Lemonade stands were first referenced in news media by the New York Times in 1879.
  • The “ade” in lemonade means that the product is not 100 percent juice.
  • Grape juice is added to plain lemonade to make commercial pink lemonade.

Even though for many of us summer is coming to an end… there’s still time to make some lemonade and celebrate the sweetness in your life!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Minty Fresh

I have heard it said that once you start growing mint, it’s difficult to stop. There are a couple of reasons for this … you will become addicted to the fragrance and yummy flavoring it provides and the other reason is that it is a true overachiever in the garden–sending out runners in every direction. I find it is best to keep mint in a pot. You won’t love it if it takes over your garden!

Since I garden in Zone 5 and put my mints in pots, I over winter them in my potting shed. They don’t get enough light to flourish but enough to survive.

One mint in particular gets my utmost attention in the winter … the Apple Mint. This mint was the last garden gift from my mother before she passed away more than 20 years ago. The Apple Mint has survived almost 25 winters. I have several pots going … just to be sure. I would be devastated if I lost it. Few things make me feel closer to my mom.

I am not the only one that puts a high price on mint–Luke 11:42 says … for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs.

Mint has long been regarded as a symbol of hospitality, the Romans would strew it around at feasts and banquets as a welcoming sign to guests.

I use lots of mint when guests come too … especially in my “famous” lemonade (click for recipe). In fact, we hardly ever have a drink in the summer that doesn’t have mint in it!

Currently I am growing these mints:

  • Peppermint: Predictably strong and wonderful for tea!
  • Orange Mint: Lighter citrus flavor and great in drinks too!
  • Lemon Mint: Strong citrus flavor … a little goes a long way.
  • Chocolate Mint: Strong, pretty but not the best in drinks.
  • Apple Mint: Fuzzy, beautiful, but better as a plant than a flavoring.

All look great and smell great in cut flower arrangements!

What is your favorite mint? How do you use in it?

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