Warm August days and there’s really no better place to be than Britain. I did wonder a few weeks ago, whether I would regret our decision not to go abroad this summer. Right now, having looked after a friend’s glorious garden just down the road in Clifton (with cabin – see the amazing pic’s below) for a couple of weeks, and with a little sortie to see my sis’ in Devon planned, I’m very happy.
Fresh lemonade is always a winner and a really simple thing for children to knock up. This picture of Imi and fabulous friend Alpha (who also appears in the Cool Kids Cook book) was taken by John Holdship for the Borough Market Magazine (you can find the original honey and rosemary lemonade on the market site here). Today I’ll give you the simplest of recipes.
Iced Lemonade Serves 6-8
The most thirst quenching drink imaginable, as long as it’s not too sweet.
6 large, juicy lemons (ideally unwaxed)
5 tbsp sugar
Plenty of ice and cold water to top up.
Peel the zest from 2 lemons (avoiding too much bitter white pith) and place in a small saucepan with the sugar and water. (If your lemons are waxy and shiny it’s worth dropping them into boiling water for a couple of minutes and then wiping away as much of the sticky wax as possible with some paper towel before zesting)
Heat up the pan to boiling point and then leave it to steep whilst you squeeze the lemons. People talk about microwaving lemons to make the juicing easier, I just roll the whole lemons around on the work surface , pressing and squashing as I go, to loosen up the flesh.
Pour the fresh juice into a jug and, once it is cool, add the steeped syrup from the pan, along with a few pieces of the pared zest. Top up to taste with plenty of ice (don’t forget that this will dilute the lemonade as it melts) and some cool water.
Lemons vary in size and acidity so I’d have a couple of extras standing by, in case you need to sharpen this up a little.
& Hot Green Peas
The fact is, when it is really, really hot in the UK, we just aren’t prepared for it. Last month I went to Westminster for a parliamentary event to mark The U.N. International Year of Pulses. It just happened to be the hottest day of the year, sweltering in fact. The aim of this gathering of M.P’s, Peers, farmers, traders and campaigners was to raise British pulse awareness. You can take a look here if you don’t know why we’re all shouting about legumes this year; if you’ve been reading my blog over the last few months then you’ll have all this info’ down pat so feel free to move on.
The extraordinarily British element of this day was that, despite the excruciating heat of Westminster’s Jubilee Room, two particularly dedicated members of The British Edible Pulse Association still slipped into their lycra pea outfits (talk about boil in a bag).
And…………. on the subject of peas, if you feel like making a wonderfully simple and very, very good pea soup then try this Pea, Lime and Lemongrass Soup from the fabulous Diana Henry.