Well, the last days of summer are here. My classroom is ready, tomorrow I meet my new little first graders at our school open house, and then Monday school starts. But I'm still hanging on to summertime, living in denial that it's actually over.
So, to prolong my time-of-denial, I'm sharing with you this Classic Homemade Lemonade. Doesn't a tall, cold glass of lemonade just scream summer to you? And making it homemade is really so easy ... and tastes to much better than the not-homemade kinds.
But before I share how to make really easy homemade lemonade ... to help with prolonging my 'summer's-not-over' denial ... I figured I'd share some of my favorite "food" memories from this summer. During my summer travels, I had the opportunity to try quite a few interesting new-to-me foods. Here are a few highlights ...
Wine Tasting in 3 different states - Yup, tasting in 3 states ... North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. I love wine. My favorite from these adventures? Super hard to say ... but I really enjoyed the three varietals of sparkling wine at Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery in Dahlonega, GA, and the oaked chardonnay from Laurel Gray Vineyards in Hamptonville, NC.
Spicy Dark Chocolate Truffles with Cayenne Pepper - Definitely not as good as I had imagined in my head.
Cooking with Lavender - I was so excited to stumble across a section in the back corner of a little shop dedicated to lavender products from Mountain Farm, a lavender (and blueberry and dairy goat) farm in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. I snatched up a little cookbook dedicated to cooking with lavender, and immediately whipped up lavender lemonade and lavender & honey balsamic vinaigrette. I've decided that I love lavender!
Lavender Ice Cream - Did I mention I have a new-found love of lavender? While having dinner in the little town of East Berlin, PA, I got to try homemade lavender ice cream. Absolutely out-of-this-world good!
Roasted Sweet Potato Quiche - During our wine tasting trip in Dahlonega, GA, we stayed in the wonderfully-relaxing, beautiful Mountain Laurel Creek Inn ... and they served the best breakfasts. Seriously. The best. One of which was a roasted sweet potato quiche. So, so, so good. Of course I asked for the recipe and, fortunately, they shared it with me and gave me permission to share it on The Kitchen is My Playground. I haven't made it yet ... but believe me, I will! And then I'll be sure to share it with you.
Sweet Bologna - While traveling in Pennsylvania with two of my college roommates, I had the opportunity to try authentic sweet bologna made at a small family-owned delicatessen. I had never heard of sweet bologna, knowing pretty much only of the Oscar Mayer-type. (Oh, and I just sang the Oscar Mayer bologna song in my head to spell the words correctly ... come on, you know the song! "My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name, it's M-A-Y-E-R ...)
Anyway, sweet bologna truly looks much more like a type of salami than bologna, and tastes ... well ... a bit sweet. It was really good! I'm told that it, along with scrapple, is a specialty of the area we were in. (I'm happy to say that, despite great pressure from one of my college roommates, I successfully avoided trying scrapple.)
Chocolate covered bacon - Surprisingly, amazingly delicious!
Chocolate covered barbecue potato chips - I love chocolate covered potato chips, so I just had to give chocolate covered barbecue potato chips a try when I came across them. Not one of my better choices. Amazingly NOT delicious!
I think I'm going to go grab a glass and continue to pretend that summer's not over. Shhhhh! ... let me live in my denial for just a few more days, okay?
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Classic Homemade Lemonade
Source: My Mom
1 c. fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
3/4 c. sugar
4 c. cold water
1 lemon, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a pitcher. Stir to dissolve sugar.
2. Add cold water and lemon slices, stir to combine. Add some ice cubes and serve over ice.
Note - I usually make a double batch. You can substitute Splenda or other sugar substitute just fine.