The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Moving On With Lemonade June 12, 2010

Filed under: Food & Cooking,Life in General — michellehuegel @ 9:49 am
Tags: , , , , ,

After 12 years in Michigan (well, including a short stint in Mishawaka), we are moving on. Upward, remains to be seen. Downward certainly, at least geographically. Around in circles, sometimes. But I think just “on” is the best description. Life goes on, even when it seems like there’s no possible way to go, somehow it marches on.  Josh has no job in San Antonio yet, we have no house there, and we are still stuck trying to sell our mobile home in Michigan – still we believe God is leading us to San Antonio. For many reasons, and maybe one day I’ll try to think through and list them all for you, but today I’m just focused on the leaving, not the whys.

I don’t want this to be a depressing, morbid post, and as I look back through my first paragraph it certainly seems to be drifting that way. To quickly reroute and avoid water damage on my laptop, I’ll tell you about the Great Lemonade Experiment at my going-away party, thrown by (who else?!) Erin and Ashley. Erin craved homemade lemonade for some reason, so she stopped at the grocery store on her way to Joel and Ashley’s (party central) to pick up the ingredients.

Step 1: Peel and Slice

I craved chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (I have an excuse, remember) so she got me some of that too :). None of us actually knew/remembered how to make real lemonade, though, so we prevailed upon Joel to Google us a recipe. He obligingly found one, but it required about 4 hours of prep time (!!!), mostly involved with making simple syrup and letting it cool (the author was obviously not familiar with refrigerators as a quick-cooling method). Since none of us had that kind of patience, even all put together, we decided to modify the recipe. Surely if we had lemons, a juicer, water, and sugar, we could dump-and-pour and come up with something drinkable, right?

Wait, scratch the sugar part. Ashley and Joel, as you might be aware from reading Ashley’s blog posts, are living on an “eat nothing invented in the past 100 years” diet and therefore had no normal sugar in the house. She had some sort of sugar replacement (maybe she can comment on this and tell us what it is?). Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to act or taste quite like sugar in lemonade. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First they (meaning everyone but me, who was enjoying the “i’m pregnant” excuse to relax and put my feet up :)) had to peel and juice the lemons.

Step 2: Shove through juicer

This created a most amazing scent wafting through the house – way better than a citrus-scented candle. If only it didn’t take so much time and effort, I would use freshly-peeled and juiced lemons as an air freshener every day. As the “supervisor,” I reminded them to slice some lemons for garnish, too. We had plenty – Erin went a bit overboard and bought about two dozen.

After the peeling, juicing, and slicing, Erin started concocting. I’m sure we all got an ample dose of Erin-cooties from all the sampling/testing. 🙂

Step 3: Measure the ingredients

Step 4: Ignore the recipe's measurements. Dump and pour, tasting after each addition.

Like I said before, the “sugar” wasn’t quite up to normal sugariness, and (in my opinion) left the lemonade a bit lacking. But certainly not for lack of effort! And we drank and enjoyed it anyway. In terms of memories and good times, I don’t think I’ve ever had a sweeter, tarter glass of lemonade. A good analogy for how I feel leaving Niles, I suppose. Leaving my home of 12 years and many, many friends (not to mention Josh’s family!), along with all the uncertainty that’s surrounded this move, leaves a biting tartness in my heart. But the possibilities and excitement of a cross-country move, a new place to explore, new friends to meet, and better job prospects for Josh bring sweetness into the mix (the real kind of sugary sweetness, not that weird all-natural fake stuff). I don’t think my life-lemonade mix is quite right yet – our lives are still in too much turmoil, with too much tart uncertainty hanging over our heads. But I’m sure soon, as we trust God and move on each day in faith, He will bring more sweetness into our lives. And eventually, I trust we will find the perfect balance of missing our friends and our old home, and enjoying making new friends in a new home.

Step 5: Enjoy with friends!


5 Responses to “Moving On With Lemonade”

  1. Erin Joy Says:

    Love what you did with my photos! 😉

    Just a few clarifications:
    – Ashley tested the lemonade, too, so we got her cooties as well!
    – I bought 2 BAGS of lemons, numbering only about 18, not two dozen. 😛
    – Had I known they didn’t have real sugar, I’d have bought a pound of that too! Haha.
    – I totally agree with you about the sweet & tart of you moving away from Michigan!

  2. Hey, you guys be nice to my all-natural fake sugar.

    Michelle, it probably would have been sweeter if Erin and I put in more than a tablespoon … for the whole pitcher. You should have said something! I would have sweetened it more for you! I noticed my husband putting generous portions of sweetener in his own glass. I’m pretty sure Erin went back for more too 🙂

    But the tart and sweet does describe your leaving. Sigh. I miss you already. Which is dumb because I just saw you a few days ago and when I knew you were here, we would go for weeks between visits. I guess now I know I can’t just visit you at the drop of a hat.

    I could still unexpectedly drop in, on you and your family but it would be much longer than the twenty-minute drive I’m used too! 🙂

    • Erin Joy Says:

      Totally ended up with nearly 1/4 between mine and Joel’s glasses. Probably a little more. 😉

      I told Michelle that maybe someday we’d have to meet her in St Louis. Wouldn’t that be fun? Maybe next summer or something. 🙂

  3. Erin Joy Says:

    OH! And one more clarification: I do not have impulsive cravings like a pregnant woman! I’ve just been wanting to try and make homemade lemonade for a long time, and I knew that these guys would be up for it! 🙂

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