The days are long but the months (and years) are short for a parent. I imagine that's something many of you can relate to. And autumn, which only happens to be my favorite season, feels as though it is light years away. I have never been fond of summer even as a little girl. "What is so great about intensely hot weather that leaves you feeling bloated all the time, and all your friends are away on family vacations while you're stuck at home?", I would ask myself. But there are days now, when I inadvertently catch myself daydreaming of summer's bounty and all the refreshing foods that go along with it.
Really and truly, pregnancy has brought me to the conclusion that even autumn produce can't beat the ruby red appeal of succulent strawberries, or the tantalizing aroma that is slowly but surely settling in our backyard laden with guava trees as they're finally, finally starting to ripen, or even a simple meal made up of nothing but my favorite fruits in the world, watermelon and jack fruit. I am telling you out of the kindness of my heart, dear friends. You have not tried all of God's provisions until your lips have touched this fruit, the wondrous jack fruit. But that's for another post so I won't bore you with the details.
We just celebrated my father in law's 60th birthday and we've had the best time in Hermosa Beach as we ventured on a mini vacation. As a treat for their last day with us until little Tabitha comes, I decided to make this refreshing strawberry lemonade just one more time for them. I'm ecstatic to say that they all approved and hopefully you will too!
With a potful of the sweetest strawberries simmered in sugar and water, paired with freshly squeezed lemons and rubbed mint leaves to release the flavors, you can't help but embrace summer in all its sticky glory...even if it does induce love-hate emotions for some of us. This is perhaps one of the simplest recipes I've ever shared and definitely one of the few drinks I've featured on here since I'm not usually keen on anything but coffee, water, and tea. Let me know what you think if you give this lemonade a try! It is boldly reminiscent of the strawberry lemonade drinks from Lucille's and Red Robbin, and I'm sure you and your loved ones could easily enjoy this for a picnic.
Strawberry Mint Lemonade
Makes 6 large servings
Time: 15 minutes including squeezing lemons and simmering
Tools: strainer or mesh, medium pot
1/2 lb strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups water
10 fresh mint leaves
2 1/2 cups water
16 ice cubes***
Simmer strawberries with honey, sugar, and 1 1/4 cups water over low-medium heat for approximately 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and move on to squeezing lemons while the strawberry juice cools down a bit.
Place a strainer or mesh over the container that you're going to serve or store the lemonade in. This will reduce the amount of tools you use which means less dishes! Halve the lemons and hand squeeze them over the strainer into the receptacle, letting the pulp and seeds fall in the strainer.
Now that the strawberry juice is slightly cooled down, lightly rub the mint leaves together and throw them into the juice followed by the 2 1/2 cups of water. Transfer the mixture into the receptacle with lemon juice. It isn't necessary to take precautions like these but it is wise depending on the type of glass you're storing this in. ***If you are serving this immediately, add 16 ice cubes to the lemonade. But if you plan to refrigerate it then omit the ice cubes and simply add ice into the glass when the lemonade is ready to be served. Keeps fresh for up to 4 days.