As a child, did you ever make lemonade? Not the fizzy commercial kind, real, fresh lemonade made with lemon zest and juice and way too much sugar. I remember mother would peel the lemons for us. You had to be very careful to only get the peel and not the pith. The pith will ruin it. We would squeeze the lemons on the juicer, we called it the squeezer. With the juice and zest in the jug, mother would add the boiling water and the wait would begin. Lemonade should be left overnight to infuse; when you are 8 years old overnight is a very long time. Once cooled you add the sugar and it’s ready to drink.
Sadly, in 1939 the war began, and sugar rationing put paid to our lemonade making. You do not want to drink it without sugar! I didn’t get to make lemonade again until the late 50s when I made it with my children, by then it was my turn to peel the lemons.
We spend a lot of time at Marham House taking part in activities that evoke precious memories, sometimes they are planned reminiscence sessions other times it just happens organically.
This week the weather has been glorious, and we took full advantage by spending time in the garden. Sitting in the sun is thirsty work and to quench our thirst the team brought us a selection of fruity drinks. Imagine how delighted I was to be offered fresh lemonade.
One sip and I was back in the 30s, in my mother’s kitchen and I wasn’t alone. We all got very excited, swapping stories of picnics in the park and days out at the seaside with bottes of fresh lemonade. Simple times before war broke out and everything changed.
Living with people my own age is wonderful, we have a shared experience that others can’t begin to comprehend. We talk endlessly about the past; we compare stories and discover many common interests.
We’ve spent some wonderful afternoons in the gardens of Marham House this week; beautiful surroundings, glorious sunshine, interesting conversation and delicious, fresh lemonade, just like mother used to make.