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Thursday, March 15, 2012

What to do when life hands you lemons

On Tuesday, I got laid off. These things happen I know, but it was surprising nonetheless. I was given a fair and generous severance and I can, for the first time in my life, apply for EI, after having worked consistently since I was 13.

It's a funny thing being laid off. You kind of feel like you're present at your own funeral, and you find you don't like the eulogy. Everyone feels like crap. And speaking of crap, it's amazing the amount of shit you can accumulate in a desk over a relatively short period.

It has forced me to take stock and think about the things I want and need to do now, while remembering that I don't like whining or bitching or feeling sorry for myself, or staying in bed all day. Okay, I lied about that last part. Staying in bed rules. But I digress. Shit happens when you party naked. I've had my cry and I'm over it, for the most part. One of the things I admire about my grandmothers is that they didn't fuck around or moan or bitch about shit, they just got it done. And I'm going to try to do that now. Starting by making some damn tasty lemonade out of the lemons they gave me:

Traditional Lemonade

1 cup simple syrup
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
ice
water to taste

The key to well-blended lemonade is not to mix sugar in cold water, which makes it have a gritty texture, but to make a simple syrup by adding 3/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water and cooking over medium heat and stirring until sugar is dissolved. You can use 1 cup sugar if you are using regular lemons, but since I used Meyer lemons for this recipe, which are sweeter, I reduced it to 3/4 cup.

If you are not familiar with Meyer lemons, they are a trendyish food popping up around town and they look like a regular lemon except they are smaller, with smoother skin and a darker appearance:


Pretty.

Prepare your simple syrup and allow to cool. Squeeze lemons (about 5-6 regular or Meyer lemons will produce about 1 cup of juice) and add the juice to the syrup. Now you've made a concentrate, to which you can add as much or as little water as you like to make it just right for you. I recommend about 3-4 cups per half cup, but I don't like mine so sweet. I garnished mine with some Meyer lemon slices and ice, but you can mix in other fruit like lychees or star fruit slices, or a sprig of fresh mint.


Mmmmmmm. There was a chilly lemon-coloured sunset out today, but I was really thirsty for some reason, so this went down perfectly. I had some while Stella wolfed down her daily can of fancy feast, and all seemed right with the world.

Here's to my new life!

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