Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Salt Ghost aka When Life Gives you Lemons... buy your own lemonade

Reading this lovely blog here (link) I was reminded that I've been meaning to write a post about my Salt Ghost...
At the charity shop I work at, we had a donation last week of a set of salt and pepper shakers. I've seen these around before (I think designed by Alberto Manteilla...can anyone tell me?) really cute pairs of shakers that are in the form of little figures that fit together in a sweet 'hug'. The set we had donated featured a white figure and a purple one, but sadly the purple one was too chipped to sell. I noticed that the white one, separate from his partner, looked like a curious ghost.

I like the quirkiness of it (sort of creepy but cute), so I bought the shaker and he stands on top of my little set of drawers in my kitchen. Perhaps next time I have a guest over, and they ask for the salt, I will tell them it is inside the ghost... :)

Here in the second picture you'll notice 4 lemons sitting on my lemon squeezer. In the unusual heat of last week, I got it into my head that I was going to try and make my own traditional lemonade (that is, the still kind, not the fizzy sort) I very earnestly took photos of the freshly-washed lemons before I started and then I used a recipe found on the internet.
It took me ages to zest the lemons, as I don't have a proper zester...I tried using a cheese grater (no luck) then a vegetable peeler (even less luck than no luck!) and then finally resorted to peeling the skin off by hand. I do NOT recommend this, especially if you have sensitive skin and a paper cut (I'm really prone to both) Ouch! I even managed to get a bit of lemon rind down under my thumbnail, which then pressed back the sensitive 'quick' behind the nail and...well, I've heard there's a type of torture not unlike this, and I can well believe it...VERY painful!

After over an hour of peeling the lemons, then carefully removing as much of the pith as possible, steeping the lemon peel in hot water for an hour and then juicing the lemons and preparing the sugary lemon water, then straining it all to get rid of the peel and 'bits', I put my jug into the fridge content in the knowledge that it would all have been worth the effort.

A while later, a glass of cool iced lemonade in my hand, I took my first eager sip...and oh, how I regretted it! Sour as can be, and not sweet at all (despite 100g of caster sugar having gone into the 750ml of water), the lemonade was as painful to drink as it had been to make, making my gums and lips sting. I added some more sugar, and watered it down repeatedly until it was drinkable...having spent so much time on it and not wishing to waste the lemons and sugar I'd used, I forced myself to drink it over the next two days.
The moral of the story, I think, is don't use any old recipe you find on the internet. Usually, I'm lucky and find a good recipe...but sometimes, not so much.
In future, I think I'll cross reference a few recipes to compare ingredients, and use trusted sources wherever possible - such as dear Nigella, who has a brilliant recipe for chocolate banana cake on her website that came out totally delicious when I tried it (did I remember photos that time? Nope...I ate it too fast...oink)
Or perhaps one of my dear readers knows of a less painful recipe for traditional lemonade?

1 comment:

  1. I have seen those shakers around but I don't know the makers. I also enjoy his ghostly appearance. Sorry your lemonade wasn't so good! Thanks for sharing a kitchen goodie =)