$2.99 lemonade and other summer drinks

When I was 9 or 10, spending weeks of the summer with family in upstate New York, my aunt made us homemade lemonade by mixing Crystal Light lemonade according to the package instructions and then adding fresh orange slices on top. I still distinctly remember the way that lemonade tasted - the refreshing sour of the oranges and the super strong sweetness of the Crystal Light. That's the taste of summer to me!

She also made "sun tea iced tea" by putting tea bags and cold water into a cleaned-out mayonnaise jar and sitting it in a sunny spot on the back porch to brew. I don't know how the brewing method alone could leave a signature taste in the tea, but I sware you could taste the "sun" in that sun tea. My family called it "sun tea iced tea" to differentiate it from iced tea made with the store-bought Nestea powder. Like the Eskimos who have multiple names for snow because they have so much of it, our family created multiple names for iced tea since we drank so much of it.

All last weekend I had the perfect glass of lemonade and iced tea on my mind. I had some lemons left over from the tuna nicoise I made the weekend before, but I never took the time to juice the lemons and make a lemonade. CQ and R* aren't huge fans of iced tea, so I didn't try that either -- but maybe I can woo them with "sun tea iced tea" made on my fire escape, once the summer really heats up.

Yesterday, I had a lunch time doctor's appointment in Chelsea. This gave me the chance to pick up lunch at the Dirty Bird To Go. They've received so much buzz so I had to see what's up. I got the fried chicken, the dirty rice and a lemonade. I almost canceled the lemonade when I saw they charged a Starbucks-like gouging $2.99 for the lemonade, but their menu promised "homemade" so, though I don't think my aunt would of approved of the purchase and she would have been even less happy with how long I had to wait to get my food, I decided I would hold out. The chicken and rice were okay, way too much pepper for me, but the lemonade is the real story for me: the best lemonade I ever tasted. Strong fresh lemon flavor and sweetness that could somehow be luxuriously syrupy without being sicky sweet. How do they do it and, well, must they really charge $2.99 for it?

I think they used either turbinado sugar or brown sugar in their recipe. That must have been the source of the rich "down home" flavor in their lemonade. I wonder if they cooked the syrup or just blended the brown or turbinado sugar right into the water without heating it. Does anyone have their recipe or suggestions of other lemonade recipes to try?

Also, I've reached a small personal goal and I wanted to say thank you. The 1,000th visitor stopped by the Electric Stove today. So thanks for visiting the site and a big cheers (in the spirit of this post, we can use lemonade instead of champagne) to A Chicken in Every Granny Cart , Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen and Food Porn Watch for linking to me and introducing some new people to my Electric Stove.


Pennsylvania "Cookbook Empire"

You'd think that most best selling cookbooks would come from New York City, home of Food Network and all the publishing houses. Instead, as today's the cover of today's NY Times points out, Phyllis Pellman Good has started successful "Fix-It and Forget-It" series out of her home in Lancaster, PA -- which is not so far from where I grew up and very close to where one of my brothers now lives.

Congratulations to Phyllis for making the front page of the Times.

I love cabbage noodles and make them at home using my own recipe that I made up as a I went along: egg noodles, cabbage, onions, butter, salt and pepper and lots more butter. I wonder of she has a cabbage noodle recipe for me?

In the article Christopher Kimball from Cook's Illustrated dresses down the sizzling new world of food media:

"I think the food media has been responsible for creating this whole world of faux food, and this is a media largely consumed by people who eat out six times a week," he added. "We are not all served by thinking of food as a special-occasion product."

Christopher "Killjoy" Kimball is right that cooking every day is a certain kind of discipline and home cooking isn't all about stainless steel appliances and impressing your friends with your wine selections. Still, I don't see what he gains -- besides being quotes on the cover of the Times -- from being such a wet blanket.

The patchwork potholders and kountry kanisters featured on the covers of these cookbooks have been enough to scare me away from them in the past, but I do like the easy to cook with spiral binding. The title also confused me since Fix-It and Forget-It sounded like it was related to Ron Popeil's "Set It and Forget It Rotisserie."