Sunday, June 5, 2011

It Won't Last Strawberry Lemonade

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2011)

(2011 Cardamom Kitchen LLC All Rights Reserved)

This recipe was inspired by a drink I had at Holy Trinity High School in Wicker Park. I stopped by the school in April to see how Chef John Boundas and his staff are innovating Chicago's school lunch program, one meal at a time. At the end of the visit, a woman handed me a glass of the strawberry lemonade they stir up with frozen berries from the commodities program. The blush-colored drink had a fruitiness, a tang, and a touch of sweetness that would outshine any processed beverage. It is proof that John and his staff really do perform miracles in the kitchen.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2011)

Tip: Two years ago, I visited my Aunt Regina who lives just outside of San Francisco. At the time, her lemon trees were heavy with fruit. She taught me to pour extra lemon juice into an ice cube tray to store it for later use. Use this tip if you end up with more lemon juice that you need for the strawberry lemonade.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts


3 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped strawberries
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)


Combine 3/4 cup water and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

Using a blender, puree the strawberries with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Push the juice through a sieve to filter out the seeds.

In a pitcher, combine the sugar syrup, strawberry juice, the rest of the water, and lemon juice. Stir.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2011)

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