My plan was to offer you some tidbits of nutrition or easy breezy recipe to help alleviate the pain of packing school lunches and getting weekday dinners on the table to a sometimes cranky back-to-school crowd.
But life got messy.
Not 12 hours after arriving home from our summer vacation on Sunday I had to hightail it to a three-day photo shoot for the recipes in my cookbook. It was harried and surreal. A whole bunch of talented, creative people came together to fuss over and photograph my food, making everything look more gorgeous than I ever could on pretty plates, with vintage flatware, delicate linens, and colorful backdrops. My head was spinning as my body was dragging from jet lag and overwhelm.
Thrilling though it was to watch my cookbook come to life through photos, I was a little heartsick to abandon my kids this last week of summer. Today, I’m home again, facing the reality of another school year. I can’t find the list of school supplies, haven’t sent in their vaccinations records, and have woefully neglected the growing stack of mail that taunts me every time I pass by. If I owe you a check, a thank you note, or a phone call, please be patient.
But somehow now isn’t the time to get to all that. I just don’t have it in me. Not today. Not with just a few fleeting days of having my kids at home before they advance yet again to another grade. Darnit, why does that keep happening?
So instead of doing what I’m supposed to do, I made a big pitcher of limemade. It’s the limeade my cousin Amanda made when we got together a few weeks ago and life was messy for her. It’s refreshing, tangy, and wonderful. I dare say, even better than lemonade, perhaps only because it’s something new, at least for me. The kids will have it over crushed ice; we grown ups might do it the way Amanda did, with a splash of cachaca, that yummy sugar cane rum the Brazilians use in their national cocktail, the Caipirinha.
The house will go quiet next week with the kids in school and I’ll have time to restore some order.
For now, the mess can wait.
Rolling the limes firmly on your countertop before cutting them will help extract the juice more more easily. Using a hand-held juice press makes it a breeze. For a grown-ups-only version, add a splash of cachaca, tequila, or other lime-friendly spirit.
• ¾ cup fresh lime juice (5 to 8 fresh limes, juiciness varies widely)
• ¾ cup sugar
• 4 ½ cups water
• Crushed ice
Pour lime juice into a large pitcher. Add sugar and stir swiftly with a spoon until the sugar dissolves into the lime juice and no grittiness remains, about 1 minute. Add the water and stir again. Pour over crushed ice and garnish with slices of lime.
Makes about 6 cups of juice.