Saturday, July 3, 2010

Simple Pleasures

It's hard to beat simple pleasures. Even as a little girl on an Illinois farm, I enjoyed the simple things in life.  Of course, we didn't know they were simple things then. It's just the way we and all our neighbors lived. One of my fondest memories is summer days spent on our screened porch with the summer edition of My Weekly Reader. What bliss to stretch out on the quilt-covered sofa and devour the little periodical from front to back between sips of real lemonade, made from fresh lemons and simple syrup; not that powdered junk in a can that everyone calls lemonade these days.  

Here's a recipe for made-from-scratch lemonade from the Simple Recipes website that's pretty close to my mom's:

Perfect Lemonade

1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
1 cup lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Serve with ice, sliced lemons.
Serves 6.

In the category of simple pleasures, a Thursday drive to Pinewood with the intent to photograph poppies did not disappoint.  Not only did Dennis and I get some outstanding shots, but we also made a new friend named Joyce. She came by with her two dogs while we were snapping photos of poppies along the edge of her property. "Hi," she said, "you're welcome to go in back of my house to take photographs. There are some beautiful poppies there."  We said "yes" to her gracious offer faster than you can say "poppy pics" and discovered a treasure of natural beauty.  I asked Joyce if I could photograph her and the pups for my blog and she agreed.  She's a beautiful person.

The first chapter of my book can now be viewed on my blog. See the new page with the book title "Breakfast at the Aurora Borealis". Currently I'm working on Chapter Seven.

Have a great Fourth of July and remember to thank God for your freedom, and all those who served in the armed forces to protect it. -- NR

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