My theory has always been that my intense dislike of so much frees me up to really, really like the things that I don’t hate. I’m pretty much a 100% kind of gal – all love or all scowly scorn. So, I am 100% in love with lavender lemonade.
If you are planning a trip to Seattle, or maybe (like 85% of my vast readership!) you already live in the amazing Portland/Olympia/Seattle area, might I suggest a visit to this amazing lavender farm, Pelindaba? Super fun. The island of San Juan, on which the farm lives, is really neat, actually – the perfect day trip. Whales, alpacas, kayaking, a really cool bookstore, everything you need. They even have a really nice vegan b&b run by the sweetest couple ever.
Because of my visit to Pelindaba Lavender Farm, I have a ton of dried lavender in my basement as well as fresh lavender in my garden, so I’ve been making a lot of lavender lemonade these days. So lovely. The lavender simple syrup keeps in the fridge for weeks, so after you have it all ready to go, the lemonade can be made in a minute or two.
Simple syrup is a really good trick to have in your repertoire. Even though it’s one more small step, it’s the best way to make lemonade because your sugar will never sink to the bottom of the glass.
First, make a simple syrup with, oh, let’s say 2 cups of water and 3/4 cup of sugar. I use Wholesome Sweeteners’ organic evaporated cane juice sugar, it’s the best. Put both into a small pot with a small handful of dried lavender (3-4 tablespoons, perhaps) buds or a big handful of fresh lavender. Bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves – 3 minutes or so. Cool the syrup. When cool, strain out the lavender.
Now, just mix fresh lemon juice, the simple syrup, and water to taste for your lavender lemonade! If the simple syrup is not lavendery enough for you, make lavender tea (that is: boil water, add lavender, steep to desired flavor intensity, strain), cool it, and use that as your water for the lemonade.
Oh, and a word on lemon juicers. I’ve tried everything in the world, and what I like best is a metal (cast iron, I think) citrus juicer I found in an antique shop for $20, just like this. It’s indestructable and amazing, and I drink a lot more fresh citrus juice because of it. A very distant second is a simple wooden reamer.
(Hmm, has my blog become one of those blegs filled with uninteresting natterings no one but the writer cares about? There are a million (ok, only 14,000) recipes for lavender lemonade on the internet. But I guess the way I’ve come to think about the blog is that I would be fired up to make some lavender lemonade/buy a book/become an atheist if a friend of mine gushed about how great it was, and I have a lot to gush about, so why don’t I gush about things to everyone I know (and everyone in the computer-literate world)? Why not? Lavender lemonade is so fucking awesome dudes! Maybe I’ve become brainwashed by blogging, or maybe my blog is super rad!)
(Photos: San Juan Island, 2005)