A few weeks ago, I got some lemonade at the store. I almost never buy or drink lemonade, but I do like it now and then. And at some point after buying that, I thought: Wait, I have a lemon tree in my backyard! I could make my own lemonade!

So I mail-ordered a low-tech citrus juicer. It arrived a couple days ago; today I washed it, and went out into my yard—

—and discovered that most of the lemons on my tree aren’t ripe. Oops. But I found half a dozen that were.

Brought the lemons inside, sliced them in half. Two of them were all dried out, but the others were fine. Juiced about five of them, which made about a cup of lemon juice. All good so far.

Also mixed sugar and hot water to make a simple sugar, as explained to me in various online lemonade recipes. That also worked fine.

And then I realized that despite the widespread belief that lemonade consists of only three ingredients, there was a fourth ingredient, which I was missing:

A pitcher.

I don’t own a pitcher. I do own a bunch of vases, but I was dubious about the likelihood of getting them clean enough to drink out of. I checked various cupboards just in case there was a pitcher I wasn’t remembering, but no luck. And I had recycled the plastic bottle that the storebought lemonade came in.

I decided to proceed anyway, and figured that I would figure out some way to do it. (A big bowl, with a ladle?)

And then I spotted a glass container with a rubber stopper, sitting on an out-of-the-way part of my kitchen counter. Basically a pitcher, though rectangular in horizontal cross-section instead of the usual circular shape.

I don’t recall ever having consciously seen this item before. It’s possible that a friend left it here at some point, but it’s even more plausible that it was left behind by the previous owners of my house, and that it’s therefore been sitting on my counter, untouched, for the entire 11+ years that I’ve lived here. (It’s also possible, I suppose, that it spontaneously generated in response to my wanting a pitcher, in which case perhaps I ought to go back in the kitchen and wish for some other things too.)

I washed it out. Poured the lemon juice into the same large measuring cup with the simple syrup, then poured the mixture into the pitcher, then added a couple cups more water. The online recipes that I saw recommended adding a lot more water, but a total of three cups of water to 1/2 cup of sugar to 1 cup of lemon juice (I don’t like my lemonade to be very sweet) seemed to be about right.

The rubber stopper was mildly sticky even after thorough washing, and smelled a little off. So instead of using that, I just put some plastic wrap over the top of the pitcher and put it in the fridge.

So overall, this was a pretty successful experiment. But kind of funny that I was almost stymied by the lack of a pitcher.

One Response to “Lemonade”

  1. Sumana Harihareswara

    A fun story! Now I am trying to remember whether I have seen that pitcher….


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