Last night I made hot lemonade to soothe Mark’s sore throat. Although I felt fine, I drank a cup because it brings back good memories. Mom made gallons of hot lemonade, when we were growing up, to treat our irritated throats and stuffy noses during winter months.
Years ago, when colds and coughs made their appearances at my own home, I telephoned Mom for hot lemonade instructions. “How much sugar and lemon juice do I mix with the water?” I asked, pen in hand to note the measurements. “Oh, to taste,” she replied.
I tasted the mixture while it heated on the stove. Not sweet enough, I determined, and added more sugar, and then more water, and, finally, a little extra juice. Another sip revealed that it still lacked something . . . maybe more sugar? The concoction wasn’t as good as Mom’s, so I checked with her for specifics before I made another batch. “Well, I make it just like my mother,” she stated, “to taste.”
I tasted my way through quite a few batches, never quite balancing the ratio of sour to sweet, until I ran across a recipe for “Old-Fashioned Lemonade” in a Southern Living cookbook. Although the recipe called for ice water, I heated the mixture instead. The first taste told me that with the help of a recipe, I had duplicated Mom’s lemony brew!
Andrew called for a brief visit this morning from “location” in East Texas. As he hung up, he remarked that a cup of hot lemonade would sure help his cough. I regret that I couldn’t deliver a thermos of comforting, hot lemonade to him on this windy, winter day.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Rind of 2 lemons cut in strips
1 cup lemon juice (about five lemons)
4 cups water (original recipe calls for ice water)
Combine sugar, water, and lemon rind in a saucepan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove rind. Add lemon juice and water. Heat until almost boiling or pour over ice cubes. Yield: 6 servings.