Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Beat the Heat

I had a long Monday yesterday. I arrived at the office to a loud (constant) beeping coming from one of our servers. After arranging an emergency IT visit and (thankfully) getting the beeping turned off, our air conditioning broke. Really pleasant in this heat. Needless to say, I arrived home last night hot and exhausted.

Still feeling full of red meat and beer from the camping trip, I resisted the temptation to cool down with a Corona and instead mustered up the energy to make watermelon lemonade, inspired by Smitten Kitchen's recipe. It was refreshing, tasty, and oh so welcome after a long and hot day.

To make it, start with the simple syrup: one part water, one part sugar (I used 1/2 cup of each) into a saucepan and heated on the stove until the sugar dissolves. Set aside so it will cool by the time your fruit is ready.

Then, squeeze your lemons. This is a lovely activity to do in front of the TV with the air conditioner (one that works) blasting directly onto you. I used 9 lemons. Stick the lemon juice (just juice right into the pitcher) into the fridge to cool while you attack your watermelons. I used about 6 large slices of watermelons (I compared per pound prices at the store: while cheapest to purchase a whole watermelon, it wasn't that much more expensive to buy the pre-sliced, but it was even more expensive to buy the pre-cut chunks - I went with the middle ground). Just cut into chunks and throw into your blender or food processor. Put the juice through a mesh sieve/sifter as you pour it into the pitcher with the lemon juice (there will be a fair amount of pulp/seed residue).

Then, stir together the juices and add some ice cubes. Add as much simple syrup as you like, depending on how sweet you want the lemonade (I used about 1/2 the amount I made). Add cold water to thin it out a little bit and stick in the fridge. Or, if you're me, pour directly into a glass and drink as you collapse onto the floor from your exhausting Monday. Enjoy!

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