Extracting cooking and recipe secrets from my grandmother Fotini sometimes feels like investigating a CIA spy. You really need to break it down to details in order to get the correct information.
Taking notes while Fotini give us instructions to make the lemonade.
She tends to hold the little details so she still makes the best whatever-she-is-cooking-thing. The idea of measurements is also missing, so when I explain her that we need to give clear instructions for the recipe so other people can make it too, she will come back to me with funny descriptions that work only as na inside-family code.
For example when I asked her what temperature the sugar syrup should have before adding the lemon juice, she naturally answered : “The same as when you add the yeast to make yogurt”.
Fotini's homemade lemonade
Summer came scorching in Athens and it’s time for some Granny’s homemade lemonade. We had Fotini my super-grandmother visiting us in Athens this weekend and we decided to pick her brain and little hidden secrets for a fresh homemade lemonade. This is an easy to make lemonade syrup that you may keep in the fridge for days. You can dissolve with water each time you want and enjoy fabulous lemonade. You can also use in cocktails.
- 2 glasses and a tablespoon white sugar
- 2 glasses fresh lemon juice (no pulp)
- 2 and 1/3 glasses water
- a lemon cup (discard the pulp)
Tip: Always use the same glass or cup or any other mean of measurement.
And now what?
Add the sugar, water and the lemon cup in a pot, bring to boil and shimmer for 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved and the lemon cup is bringing out smells and flavours. Put aside to cool down to a temperature that your finger can hold inside the liquid for 10 seconds (this is a practice they used the old times in Greece to check the right temperature to add the yeast in the yogurt), this is approximately the body temperature so if you actually have a thermometer you can measure it precisely. We prefer the old trick! Then you add the fresh lemon juice and stir to blend. At this stage you can taste and add more sugar or lemon juice depending on your preferences. Put in bottles and refrigerate.
Put ice, fresh lemonade concentrate and water in a glass and enjoy. I usually dissolve 1 to 1 part. I sometimes decorate with fresh mint leaves and a slice of lime.
Fotini emptying the lemon cup from the pulp
The lemon cup ready to boil with the syrup
Fotini giving instruction to Georgia
Boiling the sugar syrup with the lemon cup.
Mixing the fresh lemon juice with the sugar syrup, after discarding the lemon cup.