Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunshine in a Glass

We made lemonade today. I am not talking about mixing up some Country Time, though I know that can be yummy, too. I am talking about the sweet tart liquid sunshine that comes from a home-squeezed lemonade syrup. The process is simple. I confess, though, that it makes me feel like I should be carrying jars of the pleasing stuff in a picnic basket across the field to my husband who is sweating behind a horse and plow. Sarah, Plain and Tall anyone? The truth is, like many other long-lost practices, squeezing our own citrus when there are so many choices on our grocers shelves just doesn't suit our modern lifestyles anymore. The other truth, and those who know me best will agree, is that I crave that earlier simplicity and I often struggle to find the right balance between Sarah Witting's life and mine. Don't get me wrong, I have done three loads of laundry today in a manner Sarah would find wildly easy and I am thrilled for it! However, I just love to spend as many days as possible in the quiet simplicity and peace that working and serving in and about my home with my family around affords me. Titus 2 encourages women to be busy at home. I love that. I long for that. When I get to do that, I find I am blessed beyond measure.

Sip summer with us, won't you? Bask in the simple joy of a glass of sunshine on a porch with your kids all around. Talk with them. Marvel with them at the wonderful glimpse of God we get by quietly drinking in, literally and figuratively, His lovely creation.

Juice 16 - 20 lemons, straining out seeds, to equal 3 cups of lemon juice.

I find that if you roll the lemons firmly on the counter first, they juice much better. This is a good job for small people ;0)

Then make a simple syrup by dissolving four cups of sugar in one cup of boiling water.

Finally, add the lemon juice to the cooled syrup and store in jars. This recipe makes about three pints of syrup. We made one quart for our refrigerator and one pint to give away. To serve, mix about 1/3 cup syrup in a glass with ice and water. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June Bug

You've heard of the "travel bug" which bites people with his venom of adventure, leaving the bitten with side-effects of a taste for exotic food, longing for sandy toes or snowy eyelashes, a penchant for living out of a suitcase and viewing glorious vistas out of hotel windows or tent-flaps. Perhaps you've been bitten by the "baby bug" which causes its victims to swoon for the scent of talcum powder, the softness of receiving blankets, and the gentle gurgle of a tiny, bubbly smile.

Around our parts these days, we've been stung by a gentler beast, one who lazily waited out the long, sometimes hot sometimes chilly, months of a Michigan spring. She laid in wait through chilly April evenings and misty May mornings. This bug slowly nibbled our ears until all we could hear was the distant call of water birds and jet-boats. She tugged our toes until they would not be satisfied in socks and shoes and craved water, sand, or bright foam flip-flops instead. Once bitten, we were giddy with gooseflesh when faced with the anticipation of taking a plunge off a wood plank dock into refreshing cool-warm water, creating more little pleasure bumps on our limbs! We now salivate like Pavlovs dog when we smell a campfire and we race to the basket holding the treasured chocolate, grahams, and spongy soft marshmallows. Our cravings are satisfied only with long days of sun and water and sand and iced tea or lemonade. We have been bitten by a powerful creature and there seems to be only one remedy: true, uninhibited frolic. So, rather than seeking an antidote (even though one tried to sneak into the house in the form of a - gasp - Back to School catalog, which we promptly tossed! The nerve!!!), we revel in our infection. We rejoice in our affliction. We've been bitten by the June Bug and we are loving every minute of it!