Thursday, May 19, 2011

If Life Gives You Lemons.

The suggestion that ‘If life gives you lemons - make lemonade’ is, of course, about Life, not Lemons. It is not a bad philosophy of Life to live by, I guess. It is not a bad idea for a surfeit of lemons either.

I don’t know who first said it, and I don’t know why I was pondering on it recently (in its ‘Life’ meaning), but I do know that it got me thinking that I have not done a post on it (in its ‘surfeit of Lemons’ meaning.)

Lemonade is “a drink made of lemon-juice and water, sweetened with sugar. In England now very commonly applied to ‘aerated lemonade’, which consists of water impregnated with carbonic acid with the addition of lemon-juice and sugar”, and the first usage quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary is in 1663.

I am not too sure that the ‘addition of lemon juice’ is at all accurate in relation to modern, commercially prepared lemonade, are you? Lemon-flavouring, perhaps? Bottled lemonade is decidedly un-lemony, and overwhelmingly sugary, and decidedly unpleasant, to my taste. How much lovelier do the following versions of lemonade - from The Lady’s Assistant for Regulating and Supplying the Table, by Charlotte Mason (1787) – sound? I guess they should be more properly called citrus-ade: note the added flavourings (rosemary!) and the interesting milky version. May I make a plea for the return of genuine lemonade?

Pare two oranges and fix lemons very thin, steep the parings in two quarts of water, four hours; put the juice of twelve lemons and fix oranges upon twelve ounces of fine sugar; when the sugar is melted put the water to it; add more sugar, if necessary, a little orange-flower water: pass it through a bag till fine.

Another Way.
Half a pint of lemon-juice, the juice of two oranges; pare the rind of the lemons, as thin as possible, into one quart of spring-water; let them stand all night, strain it, sweeten it; boil the peels in another quart of water; mix the lemon juice with a pint of milk, put to it the water that is sweetened; add the other while it is hot; when cold pass it through a bag, into which put a sprig of rosemary.

Quotation for the Day

If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. However - if life gives you a pickle, you might as well give up, because pickle-ade is disgusting.
Clifton J. Gray.


Wolfen aka "Ravenwolf31" said...

My favorite saying is a variation of that one. "When the world hands you lemons, make beef stew. Then sit back and watch as the world wonders how the hell you got beef stew out of lemons."

Otherwise good article!

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Wolfen! My favourite is " ... ask for tequila and salt" (and I dont even like tequila)

Les said...

I disagree on pickle aid, pickle juice is awfully good.

Lara said...

I say, "when life hands you lemons, don't waste your time on making lemonade. Throw them back and get yourself some chocolate"

Anonymous said...

" . . . squirt the bad guy in the eye with it and run like hell." --Peter Parker, the Incredible Spider-Man

Jenny Islander

Wiewelt said...

won't the milk coagulate when mixed with citrus?

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Wiewlt - yes, I am sure it would, but a lot of old recipes use this combination. I guess the curds must have been desirable back then!

CFM said...

Either they liked curd back then or there's a damn good reason a lot of recipes for similar things I've seen specifies straining the mess you've just made.