Make Lemonade - University of Valley Forge

Make Lemonade

Make Lemonade

Life has given you a lemon. It’s sour. Really, it’s not much of a gift at all. Probably the worst gift ever, actually. Aside from those who enjoy adding a fun twist to water or tea, to most of the population, a lemon is a mouth-twisting torture citrus and thus completely useless. Leave it to rot! Demand tiny oranges – the easy-peel kind! The problem? Life doesn’t take demands. Life doesn’t check your registry or read your Christmas list. Lemons are pretty much all you can expect. And there’s no gift receipt either. That leaves you with three options: Burn it, give it away, or make lemonade.

Burning it is a waste, and you really don’t want to offend Life like that. Giving it away is fine, but other people already have their own lemons. The best option is to make lemonade. You knew that already, though; I mean, there’s a saying about it and everything. Sour truth time: it takes more than lemons to make lemonade, and life isn’t buying you sugar. Let’s take this one step at a time.

1 cup of sugar
5 cups of water
6-8 lemons

You already have the lemons (thanks, Life), so now you have to find sugar. Obviously, this ingredient is meant to sweeten the sour gifts of life. If you’re catching my analogy, you know that that could be friends and family to encourage you, belief in yourself, or even just the right attitude about what’s ahead of you. There are countless things that make life sweet; really it depends on the lemon.

Combine the sugar with one cup of water over low heat and let it simmer until all of the sugar is dissolved, then remove it from the heat to cool.
It takes time and preparation before you’re even ready to touch a lemon. Oftentimes, there’s a lot that needs to be done before you can use the lemon you’ve been given. Get everything in order, let it simmer, let it melt, let it cool. Follow the process with patience.

First, roll the lemons to release the juice, then cut them in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. When you get a full cup, you’re golden.
This step lets you know that not every part of the lemon is useful. You can use the rind as a garnish if you want, but you’re probably going to end up putting the pulp and the seeds down the garbage disposal. But first, squeeze out every bit of juice you can.

Combine the dissolved and cooled sugar to the lemon juice, add the remaining water, and adjust to taste by adding more of any ingredient.
Congratulations, you’ve made lemonade! But here’s the main takeaway from step three: make your lemonade to your taste. If it’s not sweet enough, don’t be afraid to add more sugar. If you like it a little tart, squeeze in some more juice. This is your lemonade; you’re meant to enjoy it.

Now thank Life (cough cough, God, cough) for the gift and take a long, refreshing drink of that lemonade. You earned it.


Written by Olivia Gordon