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This month we’re moving across the river and into a lovely garden flat I found a few months ago in East Dulwich. It has a good sized kitchen, space for entertaining and I’ve been really excited about it since the afternoon the agent showed to to me by accident (there was a 72 hour window where we might be homeless if our current landlords did not let us extend by another month to secure it!) and I’ve been making plans to spend the final half of the summer sitting outside sipping something cold, and to spend the autumn and winter getting some of the beds ready in the shared garden to grow my own veg next year. So, I thought in honour of our move I’d re-share this delicious cucumber lemonade adapted from The Lemonade Cookbook(I always find American lemonade recipes far too sweet!) perfect for outdoors drinking, that I first made way back in 2014 from the glut of cucumbers my parents were growing in their then industrial sized greenhouse at the end of my childhood garden.
When I lived in Los Angeles, part of my Thursday afternoon routine when I’d finished classes for the week to visit Westwood Farmers Market around the corner from my apartment on the way home to load up on California strawberries, cherries, stone fruit, lemons, and sometimes minced beef from the ranchers son who was sometimes there to sell it out of coolers resting in the back of his pick up truck. Then, as soon as I’d got home I’d make homemade lemonade, sometimes infused with leftover herbs from the fridge and stash it in the fridge door to cool before heading back out to the Trader Joe’s across the street to do the rest of my shop. I kept up my lemonade making for the rest of the summer when I moved back to England, but by the time September rolled around and I’d moved into my tiniest kitchen / flat share combo yet the habit had fallen away. Recently I’ve started making homemade syrups again to mix with sparkling water, and I want to start making my own lemonade again too. Meal prep will never be for me as a cook, but this is something I can do to make my afternoons better.
I’ve adapted this delicious, bright green Cucumber & Mint Lemonade from The Lemonade Cookbookto make it fresher and lighter.
1 Hothouse Cucumber, roughly chopped
1 Bunch Fresh Mint, roughly chopped
50g (1/4 cup) White Caster (Granulated) Sugar
Juice of 5 Lemons
375ml (1 1/2 cups) Cold Water (I used the water out of my BRITA filter for this)
Add the cucumber, mint, lemon juice and sugar to a blender and blitz until very smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you might have to add the cucumber in two batches to fit, I had to! Also, don’t worry about leaving the skin on the cucumber; it does not affect the flavour and helps enhance the lovely green colour of the lemonade.
Press the lemonade mix through a very fine mesh sieve over a large jug. You should get a lovely clear green liquid.
Add the water in through the sieve, it will make sure not much good flavour is left behind in the pulp, rather than your lemonade. Chill before serving, and serve over ice.
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