Wednesday, July 28, 2010

watermelon lemonade

this is a modification of THIS recipe which i'm sure is good as is, but - i didn't have all their ingredients, i only had fresh stuff.  so, i made up my own version.

this is how i made mine.

* 1 small watermelon from dad's garden - it was super ripe and very sweet - i cut it in half and put all the middle part that didn't have seeds in it in one bowl, and the part that had seeds in it in another bowl ( i didn't intend to "deseed" it by hand...).  and, this one was sweet right out to the rind. also, i should mention that holly and i ate a lot of it as i cut it up, so i HARDLY used the whole thing in this.  i'd say i probably had about 4 cups of melon pieces (without seeds).  they weren't cut pretty, i was just scooping with a spoon.  (another idea would be to use a seedless melon - then you wouldn't have to worry with seeds!)

* i juiced 5 large lemons with my hand-held juice thingy (you know the thing you twist and it catches the seeds).  i probably had about 1/2 to 1 cup of juice from those 5 lemons.  they were really big.  i didn't measure it.

* i pre-made and cooled some simple syrup but i didn't use all of it. i put 2 cups of water and 1 cup of cane sugar in a pot over med-high heat, stirred, and got it to a boil and then i let it cool.  it was brownish since it was cane, but it didn't matter when i used it in the lemonade. we don't have any regular (refined) sugar in our house anymore. 

so, i used mom's food mill to mash the juice out of the seeded part of the watermelon.  that way i got the juice but left the seeds (and pulp) to that part of the watermelon. that was quick to do and didn't take 2 minutes. i love her food mill and i probably use it twice a week.  i need to buy one for myself and give hers back to her. but, eh, while i got it, i'll keep using it!  this is the perfect use for it too.  (i use it a lot to seed things like cherries and grapes and puree cucumber soup and things like that too... i have such texture issues and having a food mill has opened up my world to smooth soups!!!)

ok, so next i put the watermelon (without seed part) in the blender with the juice from the food mill and turned it on low.  that didn't take but a few moments to puree also.

it all went into my pampered chef mixing pitcher that melissa gave me years ago (i see that it is discontinued now, what a bummer) along with the lemon juice and then i added the simple syrup to taste.  i ended up adding about 1/2 to 2/3 of  what i had made.  how much simple syrup you add would be based on how sweet your watermelon was, and mine was pretty sweet.  if yours isn't really sweet/ripe then you'd need all of it.

you can also dilute your lemonade with water to stretch it out but i liked mine full strength. the original recipe recommended adding up to 6 cups of water but i just can't do that.  i DO think it'd be good split about 50/50 with seltzer water or ginger ale.  OR, mixed with gin or vodka.  it is good on ice even as the ice melts.  it'd probably make a good margarita base if you added more sugar (and lime rather than lemons).  last night i ground some mint leaves with some raw sugar in my mortal and pestle and added it to a glass - sorta like a watermelon lemonade mojito without the alcohol.  that was yummy too.

my kids love it too! the bright pink of this reminds me of koolaid. you know, my kids have never had koolaid?  they've had OJ, applejuice - and lots of fresh made juices.  never anything made from a powder (as far as i know, anyway).  so, this is just one more fresh-made juice to add to their palate!  even kendal drank some of it.  he isn't a watermelon fan.  holly is, and because of that, i suppose i'm lucky that any of it made it into the blender.  it was a race against her mouth to get this lemonade made!  she smelled the melon as soon as it was cut... and came running!

so, if you try it, tell me what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious. Any recs for something to use instead of a food mill?



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