Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lemonade Stand

A few weeks ago The Boy and I were almost home from having lunch with The Captain when The Boy asked, yet again, if he could set up a lemonade stand. Thankfully this time he asked when I didn’t have to say no. Usually the question is posed when we have less than an hour between activities or when it’s 55 degrees and windy or I haven’t the ingredients on hand. However, that day it was lovely. It was a Saturday. I had the ingredients. I got to say YES!!! I love saying yes.

The Boy mugging for the camera. He's just so cute. No, I am not biased.
So The Boy clambered out of the car, pulled out the folding table, made a sign that read, “50¢ per cup”, and found the plastic cups stored in the garage. I made it to the kitchen and dug from the freezer the quart of my dad’s Meyer lemon juice that he squeezed by hand and began thawing it and making simple syrup. Next The Boy asked for a tablecloth, “But not one of your nice ones, Mom.” So I pulled a beloved yellow and blue plaid off a hanger where it lives in the hall closet (it was a wedding gift so I keep it out of posterity but it has been very well-used over the years. Thanks, Jeff and Glenna). The Boy took off with it. When I brought the first pitcher of lemonade out to him, I couldn’t help but smile at his practical, if not quite aesthetically pleasing, set up. The Boy had placed the cloth on the table but instead of centering it so that it hung evenly over all sides or, better yet, allowing it to drape to the ground in front and leaving it open in the back, he let it hang to the ground in back and had it perfectly even with the front of the table so that he could masking tape his sign directly onto the  table. He had carefully stored the extra cups under the table… for all his customers to see. Too funny. I was good and didn’t make suggestions to turn the table or the cloth. But.It.Was.Very.Hard.

We don’t live on a terribly busy street; which is not to say we don’t have traffic from vehicles that don’t live here. That said, we had more than several cars stop prompting me to consider a potential new Starbucks location. (Our town of approximately 75,000 inhabitants has seven or eight Starbucks. What’s one more?) And, unbeknownst to me, The Boy and his buddies also knocked on doors to drum up business. His school’s librarian lives down the street and she happily participated.

All in all, two hours, four pitchers of homemade lemonade, a little walking, a bit of sitting, some assistance from his mama, and a great attitude awarded The Boy $13 to add to the savings account he opened the day before.

So... The Captain has been chairing a garden plant project at The Boy’s school. Every child potted two vegetable plants last winter, which were subsequently taken to one of the local high school’s greenhouses to germinate. This last week marked the actual sale at The Boy’s school of these little babies, which, eventually, brings me back to a lemonade stand. The Boy, once again, wanted to sell lemonade. We told him that was a great idea as long as he was raising money either for his trip to Washington, DC next year with his school or to donate directly to school and not to plump up his personal account. He decided to help out Mom and Dad and raise money for his trip. Good choice. J This time I had to make the lemonade in advance instead of a pitcher at a time, so out came the big, round, orange cooler we use for camping water. Not elegant but it definitely served its purpose. This go ‘round he cleared $15. He had a great time and felt like a true participant in the plant sale, as well as giving himself a vested interest in his trip next year.

So proud. (little tear)

If I were a good mother I'd find a recipe using honey or other sweetener instead of refined sugar but... I'd also like to try adding mint, lavender, or thyme to the simple syrup; however, I think that would be for a grownup party and gin or vodka may be involved. If you've done this, let me know how it is.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 cups of cold water

To make the simple syrup, place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a sauce pan and heat over a medium flame stirring constantly just until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place the lemon juice in a pitcher and add the simple syrup. Give it a stir then add the cold water. Serve over ice.


  1. Since his Aunt Sharon paid him $10 for lemonade used at Dama's birthday party, he really did earn a fair amount of money.

    Noted: He did not call his grandparents to drive by his house for a drop of (purchased)lemonade and support the cause. A first....

    1. Yes, that is a first! Amazing. However, to his credit (sort of), he did want to but I wouldn't let him... :)