Tag Archives: lemonade stand

The Amazing Lemon Squeezer and A Great Lemonade Recipe (makes little or lots!)

Have you ever gotten a gift from someone and you think, “gosh, I would never have bought that!” Well this was the Christmas present I received from a woman who I thought would never have bought something like this either? She does not strike me as the “gimmicky” type, however when she gave me this contraption she made sure to justify her reason for buying it.

This is The Amazing Lemon Squeezer!

This is The Amazing Lemon Squeezer!

This woman I speak of is my brother’s Mother-in-law and since his whole family was invited for Christmas, of course Susan, who flew all the way from Texas to be with them, was most certainly welcome too: the more the merrier is the motto I live by when it comes to a grand feast! (read about it HERE)

Side View

Side View

Anyway, I had to open it on the spot as she wanted to assure me that as odd as this thing might look, she had it from a couple of good sources that it worked like a charm and that it could be that kitchen gadget I may not be able to live without once I squeezed my first lemon!

Stick the lemon in like so (the lemon looks bald because i first grated the zest!)

Stick the lemon in like so (the lemon looks bald because I first grated the zest!)

Well that was 5 months ago and other than me moving it out of my way to find something in that draw we all have, you know the one? The drawer that is a tangle of dangerous items like kitchen scissors, pizza cutters, metal kebab skewers and various specialty knives all bound together in a mysterious solid mass. There it languished, unused and ignored, that is until the weekend before last when my daughter wanted to set up a Lemonade Stand (Read about that HERE!). I was faced with the task of squeezing mounds of lemons and suddenly remembered Susan’s gadget-y gift!

And squeeze the handles together to press out the juice

And squeeze the handles together to press out the juice

Squeezing about 30 lemons was a true test for this highly touted tool, and it passed the rigors of my relentless compressions! As I squeezed lemon after lemon I kept remarking how great a job it was doing and felt a little guilty about my contempt upon first seeing it.

Another garden update: I planted this little flower in my cat planter but it seems this cat cannot be pleased!

Another garden update: I planted this little flower in my cat planter but it seems this cat cannot be pleased!

It has now been promoted to a nicer spot in my kitchen and the next time I see Susan I must properly thank her for this juicing gem!


You will need (for 24 8oz cups):

juice from 20 lemons (have 2 or 3 more on hand just in case it needs adjusting)

3 1/2 cups fine granulated sugar

24 cups water (more if necessary)

Ice cubes


1 – Mix 4 cups of water with the sugar in a pot and place on medium heat. Heat (stirring occasionally) until sugar completely dissolves. Turn off heat and set aside.

make simple syrup

Make simple syrup

2 – Before cutting the lemons roll back and forth on your work top using a little pressure as you do so. This will soften the lemon and release more juice. Cut the lemons and squeeze juice into a large bowl.

Cut lots of lemons in half

Cut lots of lemons in half

3 – add about 18 cups of cold water followed by the simple syrup mixture (it’s fine if it is still hot or warm). Mix everything together and taste. Add more water if it is too strong or more lemon juice if you want more tang.

*I also make extra simple syrup in case I need it and it also keeps well in a closed container in your fridge for use in the next batch!*

hey presto; lemonade!

Hey presto; lemonade!

Serve over lots of ice in tall pretty glasses!

Pollo al Limone e Spaghetti (Lemon Chicken with Equally Lemon-y Spaghetti !) serves 6

This recipe came about because of the excess of lemons in our house due to my daughter’s Lemonade Stand this past Memorial Day (Read all about it HERE). I was in no way flummoxed as to what to do with bunches of lemons, as the lowly lemon can be thrown into so many dishes. With so many however I decided that the lemon flavor would be the star of this dinner.

A great use of lemons!

This dinner makes great use of lemons!

You may know that you can make a quick emulsion if you whip lemon and butter together. I have tasted many pasta dishes with a lemon zing, which is usually achieved by using this basic premise.

the zest of a lemon adds punch to any dish

The zest of a lemon adds punch to any dish

I had chicken, I had spaghetti, I had butter, and I had lemons: this dish is the result. What can I say; it will be a staple from now on!

a cool glass of good lemonade

A cool glass of good lemonade (I’m sure adding a shot of vodka or gin to this would make a great Summer cocktail!)



You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup water

sea-salt (for seasoning meat and to taste)

2 lbs chicken thigh cutlets (no skin, no bones)

1 medium red or sweet onion, diced

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

zest and juice of 3 lemons

8 tbs unsalted butter

sea salt & black pepper for seasoning

1 lb spaghetti pasta (I use Barilla brand)


Preheat oven 400*

* Cook the pasta while the chicken is resting. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining and reserve (you may need it at the end). Do not rinse the pasta. Add directly to the lemon sauce after draining*

1 – Scatter onions in bottom of big saute or roasting pan. Add zest from 1 lemon to pan, the water and 1/2 tsp of pepper flakes. 

scatter onion, lemon zest and pepper flakes into pan

scatter onion, lemon zest and pepper flakes into pan

2 –  Lay chicken on top (it is good if it’s snug). Season lightly with medium to coarse sea-salt, and the rest of the pepper flakes. Drizzle with the oil and place in the oven for

place chicken on top and season

Place chicken on top and season

3 – Remove chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil.

remove chicken to a plate

Remove chicken to a plate

4 – Put the pan on medium/high heat and add the lemon juice and remainder of the zest. Bring to a boil and let it bubble for 1 minutes. Take off heat.

add lemon juice and boil

Add lemon juice and boil

5 – Add butter and swirl into sauce until melted.Taste sauce for addition of salt and pepper and adjust according to your liking.

add butter

Add butter

6 – Add the pasta immediately and toss everything together.

add pasta

Add pasta

Serve as it is with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and more cayenne pepper flakes…

It is great without the chicken also!

Amazingly robust yet light pasta dish 

or you can also add chicken

I also cooked some brest meat for 1 person in ur house who cowers at the mention of dark meat

I also cooked some breast meat for 1 person in our house who cowers at the mention of dark meat

The Girl With The “Real” Lemonade

I did something so quintessentially “American” this past Memorial Day (yesterday) I had to write about it. This Holiday began after the Civil War to honor those who had died (around 750,000 soldiers) and has evolved over the years to commemorate all Americans who have died in Military Service. It is a National Holiday filled with parades, picnics and barbeques. From what I could gather yesterday, it also seems to be a day that is perfect for a “yard sale” as households were out in droves on their front lawns doing the last of their Spring cleaning.

did you know that to make lemonade you use real lemons!

Did you know that to make lemonade you use real lemons!

Since I too was in that cleaning mode we decided that it was a good time to pile our junk outside and put a bargain price on it or just give it away. All I knew for sure is that when it was carted outside onto my front lawn right on main street, it was never coming back into the house again!

What we did yesterday

What we did yesterday

My daughter was very happy about the prospect of selling stuff and asked if she could man the shop. The reply was “yes” of course because there was no way I was sitting outside amidst a bunch of trash in the hot sun for the afternoon. I was very satisfied to peek out the door every now and then and feed anyone who yelled for food. Off she went upstairs to change into her “work” outfit and five minutes later she told me she would also like to run a Lemonade Stand at the same time?

a cool glass of good lemonade

a cool glass of good lemonade (Will post this recipe later this week!)

Wow – a Lemonade Stand; an image of Mary Ellen from The Waltons setting up her stand to try to make a little extra money popped into my head ! To me, everything about a lemonade stand screams America. It is what every child in this country does, either on TV or in real life, to make a little extra pocket-money to buy that bike or baseball glove they have always wanted. At least that used to be the premise.

get your lemonade!

Get your lemonade!

The New York Times in the 1880’s reported “scores” of Lemonade Stands being set up by enterprising kids all over the country, going head to head with the bars who also sold lemonade. They could easily undercut the bar price and so became the go-to place for a refreshing cold beverage in the days when there was little respite from the heat by way of air conditioners and electric fans. And so the Lemonade Stand was born and was the turf of any American kid who wanted a summer job where they could keep their own hours and be financially independent.

Made with real lemons!

Made with real lemons!

Well, if my child wanted to have a Lemonade Stand  she was going to have to put the work in and have a stand where her lemonade screamed of LEMONS and not the tepid saccharine-ridden powdered stuff I had been served oh so often in a thimble-like cup that left my poor thirst unsatiated. I would have to teach her (while learning myself!) how to make really good, thirst quenching lemonade; you know, “Waltons’ Style”!

The first sale1

The first sale!

We bought bags of lemons, sugar, big plastic glasses and lots of ice and made a fabulous lemonade. It was adjusted and readjusted, (after being tasted by some experts), until it was perfect. The deal is, if you have a good product, you will have customers.

The cash register

The cash register

After she learned what a “float” of money was she was on her way. All she had to do was make a sign, and with a little help, got her table set up and was ready to make some sales. She spent the next 5 hours, waving down cars, selling icy lemonade, enlisting help from her cousins to wave down cars, while even managing to sell a broken-down lawnmower with the words “free” on it for $2!

Something to do when hanging out at The Stand (the "cup song")

Something to do when hanging out at The Stand (the “cup song”)

 The idea that the Lemonade Stand stood for a child’s first entrepreneurial experience was a concept that I could believe in again. She took her tin of cash inside at the end of the day, reimbursed us the float and the lemonade expenses and is ready to do it again some weekend very soon. Who knows, maybe she will manage to sell our other broken-down lawnmower.

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!