Josie and the neighborhood kids had a lemonade stand this past weekend, set like a scene from Our Town - white umbrella, handmade signs, fresh-squeezed lemonade and sugared yellow cookies.
The kids were honoring a sick friend, and wanted the money to go to leukemia research. One look at their signs – 50 cents, HELP OUT! – and the lemon peels, and Cleo’s happy tail – it could break your heart.
When buyers appeared again, they were out of lemonade. One boy ran inside and returned with a half-empty bottle of Gatorade.
“That Gatorade is kinda old,” said his sister, “there’s stuff in it.”
“Whatever,” he said, pouring.
They squeezed a lemon over the pitcher and tasted. “Disgusting,” Josie told him.
He threw the bottle under the table. “They will never know.”
A group of bicyclists rode by, and oh, they stopped fast – the signs, the pleas, the sunny pitcher and angel faces. They paid and they sipped, then twisted their lips and made polite sounds, wow, yeah oh boy, how about that, then crushed their Dixie cups and sped away.
The kids tasted again, and spit on the grass. “Just throw it out,” said Josie.
“Dump the Gator-emon-ade!” said the littlest one, “it’s mean to sell to dumb people.”
But they sold the last drops, and those poor unsuspecting few probably spent the evening praying to the porcelain god and cursing the angels who sold them the yellow death. Fifty dollars later, I asked them if it was right to pass off gross, fake lemonade.
1 cup sugar
6 cups cold water
Juice the lemons to make 1 cup of juice. Get the most juice by firmly rolling the lemons between your hand and counter, then cutting in half and juicing.
In a gallon pitcher combine 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and 6 cups cold water. Stir, and adjust water to taste. Chill and serve over ice.