Lemons, lemons, lemons

Lemons, so much more than a simple garnish.

The scent of a lemon brings happiness to my being every single time I get to smell it.  One of the lovely things about lemons is that they can be found all year long!  Now that the summer temperatures are reaching close to the triple digits, a nice, cold glass of homemade lemonade sounds delicious.  The following recipe is my favorite, it is simple and quick and comes from the book; The Compleat Lemon a cookbook  by Chris Casson and Susan Lee. 

Lemonade

Serves 6

6 cups water

½ cup lemon juice

1 ¼ cups sugar

Pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a big pitcher.  Chill for about 2 hours.  Pour over ice cubes in a glass.

Another one of my favorite ways to enjoy this delightful, bright fruit is to turn it into a most refreshing treat from the refrigerator.  Any time I go to an outdoor party this is one of the dishes that is requested of me.  Be prepared for your friends to have a new favorite treat made by you.

Lemonade jelly with basil.

4 to 5 large lemons, juiced to give you about ¾ of a cup

¾-cup sugar

1 ½ cups loosely packed basil leaves, plus more to serve

½- cup pulp-free orange juice

3 teaspoons powdered gelatin.  If you want to make the oh-so-fun, “jiggler” double the amount of gelatin to 6 teaspoons.

Warm the lemon juice, 1 ½ cups water, and the sugar to boiling.  Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Roughly, tear the basil leaves and put them in a small bowl.  Pour the lemon juice mixture over the basil leaves and let steep for at least 15 minutes. 

Pour the orange juice into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over its surface.  Let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes, then warm the pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the gelatin is fully dissolved.  Turn off the heat. 

Strain the basil out of the lemon juice and whisk the juice into the gelatin mixture.  Pour the liquid into six small serving dishes and refrigerate until set.  Garnish with more basil leaves and/or whip cream.  If you are making the oh-so-fun, “jiggler” pour the gelatin into a eight or nine inch pan and let set for at least two hours.  This recipe is from Bakeless Sweets  by Faith Durand the Executive Editor, The Kitchn.

Bakeless Sweets

These are just two of the many ways that our tasty little lemon friend can be used in food.  For more ways to use lemons in your food and home, check out this list of library books lemons, lemons, lemons for more great ideas. 

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