Saturday, July 24, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade and Politics

This lemonade will ruin you for all other kinds of lemonade. From here on out, other lemonades will be lacking...they'll be too tart. They won't have that oomph. They will never....measure....up. Ever. You have been warned.

Another warning: have this recipe at the ready each time you serve this to a group. Because you will be asked to share it. Probably at least five times per gathering. I kid you not. It's probably become my most requested recipe. Yet it's not mine - not really. I mean that I did not come up with it, but I have tweaked it a few times. I've even come up with a sugar free version, which you can find below. For years I've made it with orange slices and it's delicious - I mean truly delicious - as in, people have always asked me for that recipe. But this summer I was privy to a conversation in which someone noted that the recipe can be made with strawberries INSTEAD. Oh! I thought. What brilliance! I must try it. And I've made it that way all summer long. For friends, for a campaign brunch, for a bridal shower. It's stunning and colorful - and if a lemonade could be called charming, well, I want you to know it's downright charming. 

It is the perfect special thing to serve in the sweltering southern summertime, when all you want to do is lie in a hammock by the pool, a breeze stirred up by the fanning of oversized palm fronds. Oh, alright. You caught me. I don't have a pool. Or a hammock (except a cheap one that's seen its day and is no longer allowed to see the daylight). Or anyone to fan me with palm fronds. But it doesn't keep me from daydreaming about such an experience. Most often, I just flee back to the air-conditioning. It's quite lovely as well. Especially when you've just gotten a new dose of freon because your holey unit leaked out the rest. (Isn't homeownership just a real blast?) 

If any of you have known me for years, you know that I haven't been so much into politics. I'm more into cooking, as evidenced by the above paragraphs. (As if making lemonade is understand, though.) I have big problems with our big-picture political system as it stands now. I believe in term limits and all that jazz - I do not believe in career politicians because I believe it's entirely too easy for a cushy job to push one extremely out of touch with the general public. All of that being said, I always vote. Always. It's a right that I would not ever want to give up. And I vote for the people that I think would make a difference and not just want a high-profile job in the spotlight. Our county is lucky this time in that we have several good options for mayor. 

And I am lucky that I got to help cater a campaign brunch for one of these fantastic mayoral candidates. I worked with Patricia Jones when I was the director of the Chamber of Commerce here. She's been on the Chamber board for years and she is a tireless worker for the good of our county. I've seen it time and time again. Her motivation is her passion for this place we call home. When I first heard that she had decided to run for county mayor, I knew it would be a perfect fit. 

I could foresee her visions of economic development, a huge buzzword in the Chamber world. A phrase that I didn't really understand until I had worked for the Chamber for a while. It's a complicated phrase with many variables, so I'll try to break it down a bit. Economic development is integral to the success of a city or town or county. If mayors and officials and the Chamber and businesses aren't working together to increase our standard of living - by supporting established businesses, opening new businesses, and hiring employees - things can move backward. There is no new revenue or perhaps, a reduced revenue. And less money comes in, tax-wise. Which means that when a city or county needs more money for fixing roads or buying a new garbage truck or implementing a new program in the schools...well, sometimes then it must come from increased taxes (wheel tax or what-have-you) directly from its citizens. The best way for a city or county to avoid extra taxes on its citizens is to implement a full-out campaign for encouraging economic development in their area. It works. And Patricia Jones knows about it. She's been a part of the economic development scene for years, partly from running their family business, Jones Lumber - but also partly because of taking an active interest (by attending conferences, seminars, meetings, etc.) in what the Chamber, city, and county can do to promote our area.

(I completely meant to - and then forgot - to add this important note. We've been very blessed to have had some excellent mayors already, both in the city and the county. Current Henderson City Mayor Bobby King is doing a great job with keeping his eye on economic development. End of important note.)

As I mentioned before, Patricia recently invited some ladies to a campaign brunch at the Hardeman House and our ladies group - the FHU Associates - catered. We served cream scones with blueberry butter, sausage cream cheese bites, savory cucumber sandwiches, fresh fruit, coffee...and strawberry lemonade. Oh, yum. 

I think it's safe to say that everyone enjoyed it. =) I got lots of 
recipe requests for the strawberry lemonade.

Even those of us in the kitchen...

Photo courtesy of Bramblett Group
After eating brunch, Patricia took the time to really talk - and listen - to these ladies who attended...area business owners, female county commissioners or commissioners' wives, and the mayors wives were invited. They talked for a loooong time, which I was pleased to see. It meant that everyone there cares as much as Patricia does about the future of our county.

Photo courtesy of Bramblett Group

Go find her on Facebook - go to her website. The Bramblett Group is doing a smashing job with her PR for the campaign. I love it! And put one of her signs up in your yard...I did.

And contact Patricia herself with any questions. She wants to hear from you.

Early voting lasts until Saturday, July 31st. Go do it. And make yourself some strawberry lemonade to celebrate!

Strawberry (or Orange) Lemonade

For 1 gallon:
6 scoops of yellow Country Time lemonade mix (amount for 3 quarts)
2 scoops of pink Country Time lemonade mix (amount for 1 quart)
1 c. sugar
Water to make 1 gallon
1/2 lb. - 1 lb. sliced strawberries - OR - 1 or 2 oranges, sliced

Mix together and add orange slices or strawberry slices. It's best if you let it sit overnight. It's pretty to add some of the fruit to each glass when serving.

Strawberry (or Orange) Lemonade - Sugar Free Version

For one gallon:
2 tubs Crystal Light yellow lemonade mix
1 tub Crystal Light pink lemonade mix
water to make one gallon
1/2 lb. - 1 lb. sliced strawberries - OR - 1 or 2 oranges, sliced

Mix together and add orange slices or strawberry slices. It's best if you let it sit overnight. It's pretty to add some of the fruit to each glass when serving.


  1. FINALLY, I have the recipe!!! Thank you so much! It is my favorite!

  2. I totally made your blog. Except i'm gorging myself with cucumber sandwiches. ha! love the blog!


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