Weekend Project Updates
Favorite Lemonade Recipe for Summer
I had my finished weekend project post on the docket for today, but it isn’t quite done yet. Instead, I’ll update you all on my progress and give you a little summer bonus – the best lemonade recipe ever! I might even throw in some of my favorite gardening hacks!
I’ve been meaning to build some raised flower beds in my backyard for a while now. I actually planned to do it last weekend with the help of my mom, but the weather was supposed to be bad so I pushed it back. I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to just jump in and do it this past weekend. We have a pergola in the corner of our yard, and it isn’t situated evenly, so we have awkward portions of grass that are annoying to mow. Since we moved in a few years ago, I’ve been meaning to turn those weird grass areas into a flower bed. After finding out our dogs have no respect for flowers of any kind, we knew it would have to be raised so they wouldn’t trample through it.
After finally mustering up enough motivation to start the project, I spray painted an outline, measured everything, and went off to buy enough wood. With help from my wonderful fiancé, we managed to get all the wood loaded and unloaded relatively easily, though my arms are sore as heck. I think it’s safe to say I can skip arm day at the gym for a while!
My fiancé had to work later that afternoon, which left me to build everything myself once we unloaded the wood. Thankfully it wasn’t very difficult, but squatting down to screw everything in got old really fast. I managed to finish the first tier of wood, minus a few spots that I needed a saw to cut pieces for by the end of the day.
With everything being framed out, it was much easier to imagine how everything would look when it was finally done. I turned our awkward pergola area into a nice triangle flower bed, with mulch going down under the pergola itself (again, for easy mowing). Later that night, I posted on Nextdoor – a “social” media site for neighborhoods so people can connect with their neighbors better – asking to borrow someone’s saw.
Thankfully I had quite a few responses, and I was able to pick up a circular saw from a kind woman right around the block the following morning. I managed to cut the pieces I needed without cutting any fingers off! I worked on the second tier of wood, which my fiancé later helped with when he got back home for the afternoon.
After finishing that, putting down landscape fabric where the mulched areas would be under the pergola, and laying down newspaper in the beds themselves, we decided to head to the pool to relax a bit and cool off.
Dirt and mulch are being delivered later today, so the goal is to have everything planted by the end of the day. Fingers crossed I get it done. I can’t wait to share the finished product with you all in my post Wednesday!
Now about that lemonade recipe…
I mentioned in my Adulting Part 3 : Cooking Basics post that Alton Brown is hands-down my favorite chef to get recipes from. My fiancé and I own all of his cook books and kitchen gear book, and his recipes are the first we check when we’re looking at trying a new dish. But can you believe he doesn’t have a lemonade recipe? We went to Food Network’s website instead, and came across this one. It’s super simple, delicious, and with summertime now upon us (at least down here in Louisiana), there’s nothing like a nice, cold glass of refreshing lemonade.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- white sugar
Step 1: Zest Lemons
With a peeler or zester, make wide strips of rind, being careful not to remove the white part (pith). Do this to 2 lemons. Put aside.
Step 2: Make Simple Syrup
Combine equal parts hot water and white sugar and stir to dissolve. For this recipe, you’ll need 2 cups of simple syrup – so use 2 cups of each. When combining and while still warm, add zest from Step 1.
Step 3: Juice Lemons
While your simple syrup is cooling, juice lemons to get 2 cups of lemon juice.
Step 4: Combine & Enjoy!
Combine ingredients from previous steps in a pitcher with ice and add water to taste. Serve in a tall glass with ice and a thin slice of lemon.
I actually used this recipe as the base for the homemade strawberry lemonade I made at the last get-together. I used the simple syrup/lemon zest combo to blend with fresh strawberries before adding everything together in our mason jar dispenser. You can also combine with any other fruit and/or mint if you want. You may have to adjust the water needed when you combine everything together if you use anything with a high water content (such as watermelon).
Do you have any big plans for the summer? Do you garden at home? What is your favorite kind of lemonade? I’d love to hear about it!
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!