Found this the other day at Sears, in the automotive section. Seriously?
I made the decision to mostly give up dairy products over a period of years beginning around 2003. Milk wasn’t a big issue with me, as I’d never been fond of it growing up or at any time afterward. Eggs weren’t too difficult, either, as I tend to look at them as eating an abortion (sorry if that imagery is a bit disgusting), even though mainstream commercial eggs are unfertilized. There’s still all the amniotic fluid (aka egg whites) inside, and the thought of frying that up and eating it strikes me as more than a little disgusting. The real issue, then, with removing eggs and milk from my diet has been not the two ingredients themselves, but the fact that they (and their derivatives) are so heavily utilized in almost everything edible on the market that’s not a raw fruit or vegetable. To me, there’s a real point to be made regarding cow’s milk in that it contains elements necessary for a calf’s growth and development, not for a human’s. It isn’t, nor has it ever been, something intended for human consumption. As a child I had to load it down heavily with chocolate or strawberry flavoring to be able to drink it, and as I got older I gravitated farther and farther away from even that until I arrived at my present point, where I try not to consume it at all, in any form, save for the use of butter on toasted breads and on popcorn.
When it comes to desserts, there are alternative binders and leaveners that can be used in place of milk and eggs for many breads, cakes, and cookies. As for those particular foodstuffs for which those ingredients are integral to the taste or texture, they are simply not things I’m particularly interested in making. I’m not interested in using eggs at all, for any purpose, at any time. The whole point of cooking for oneself is to be able to make food exactly the way you want it.
In any case, that’s my stance on dairy. Back to work now
For my very first post, I’m going to go with one of the very first things I learned how to make, and something that is still a favorite. It’s a simple recipe, one that’s very easily scalable – doubled, tripled, halved, and so forth – and very easy to make. In other words, it’s great for that “getting one’s feet wet” kind of post. Lemonade is also one of those things that, it seems, a lot of people don’t really know how to make well. But it’s actually super easy to do, as it only requires three ingredients and a stove, pot, pitcher, and, optionally, a juicer.
I’m calling this Hannah’s lemonade because several months ago I sent my friend Hannah home after a visit with a large plastic pitcher full of freshly made lemonade, and it’s something of a tradition now that every time she comes over she brings the pitcher along and I fill it back up.
Start with fresh lemons. I find that about 6 or 7 large ripe lemons yield about 2 cups of lemon juice.
The basic formula is one part lemon juice, one part sugar, and one part water to begin with. Juicing the lemons first is recommended in order to avoid coming up short on the juice versus the sugar and water.
If, like me, you use a hand juicer, you may want to strain or spoon out any seeds that make their way to the bottom before continuing on to the next step.
The key to good lemonade is to dissolve the sugar into the water before adding the lemon juice. Combine one part sugar and one part water in a saucepan.
At first you will feel like you have a mountain of sugar, but some water and stirring will give you what you’re looking for, which is sugar syrup.
Add the water and stir over medium low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. This will take a few minutes.
When the mixture is translucent and no longer opaque, it’s ready. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a bit.
In the pitcher, mix the lemon juice with four parts cold water.
Add in the sugar syrup and mix well, then let cool.
That’s all there is to it. Chill and enjoy.
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup water + 4 cups (cold) water
1 cup sugar