It seems as if the cost of everything is going through the roof lately. Gas prices are at an all time high and my weekly market bill seems to have doubled overnight. This trickle down effect appears to have hit on every level...including the neighborhood lemonade stands.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for a cute kid peddling his wares. All they have to do is flash a gap toothed grin in my direction, and I'll pull over and contribute to the lemonade stand. Last week was no exception.
And that's when I got robbed by a four-year old. The kid's wily marketing campaign was deceptively simple. Get the dumb lady to pull over, trap her in the evil clutches of his barefoot, smudged-face cuteness, and then shake her down for all the loose change in her pockets.
I should have known I was in trouble when I noticed his sign didn't have a price listed. I dutifully got out of my car, smiled, and told him I'd like a glass. He handed me a cup. Not a cup, mind you, but a cup the size they use in your dental office. It was a 3 ounce cup, not halfway filled, with a suspicious, and overly yellow liquid with dubious little green bits floating on the top that made me question it's origin.
Were those minced grass clippings? And why was it so, well, yellow? He charged me a dollar. Needless to say I was a bit surprised. Sensing he was about to loose my business, he went in for the kill, "It also comes with a 'tookie.'" A cute kid with an equally cute speech impediment is my fatal flaw. I dredged up the dollar and skulked back to my car, carting my cup of antifreeze, and my partially mangled Oreo, wondering just what a four-year-old would do with all the cash he seemed to be raking in on that corner.
I went home and fumed for a bit. I had gotten shaken down by a preschooler, conned by someone who probably couldn't even count the loose change I had given him. I realized that cup of lemonade in today's commodities market, would cost $32 a gallon. Suddenly, paying $4.25 a gallon at the pump didn't seem so bad. I further expanded upon this idea, just so I wouldn't feel so bad about gas prices. Then I ended up not feeling so bad about the lemonade. Consider the items below.
Items currently in my home:
2008 Bogle Merlot: $40.32/gallon
Coppertone Sport SPF 50: $127.84/gallon
Opti-Free Replenish Multi-purpose disinfecting solution $186.75/gallon
Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough: $246.08/gallon
McCormick Pure Vanilla extract: $741.12/gallon
Chanel No. 5: (at $260 for a one ounce bottle): $33,280/gallon (okay, I confess, not really in my home, but a girl can dream, can't she?)
The end result? If I'm feeling bad about the cost of lemonade, I'm better off making it myself. Perhaps I can devise a pyramid scheme and hire a bevy of preschoolers to sell the stuff for me.
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water (to make simple syrup)
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
Just mixing water, sugar and lemon juice together won't cut it, unless you like grainy lemonade. The key is to make simple syrup by heating 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a pot over low heat until the sugar is dissolved completely. I like my lemonade a bit on the tart side, so when I combine the remaining ingredients, I don't always use all the syrup.
Juice enough lemons to make one cup of fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons).
In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice and simple syrup. Add 4 cups of cold water (you can adjust to your tastes). Stir well. Refrigerate 45 minutes or serve on ice. This recipe is easy to adjust to your taste by adding more lemon juice and/or more simple syrup as you like. Serve in a frosty glass with ice and lemon wedges.