Monday, November 23, 2009

80 Plates: A Burst of Sunshine

It has been raining in Virginia pretty much nonstop for about 15 years.  Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s definitely been some dreary weather.  My friend Emily of 80 Plates Ecuador fame emailed and asked if I was ready to learn some Mexican cuisine and mentioned beverages.  I hadn’t really considered finding out if different countries had a beverage, but I was intrigued at rounding out some of the cooking we’ve done using beverage recipes.

So the other night, I was upstairs pondering the map and talking things over with the General and we made a list of potential countries.  One of them was Panama.  I went online yesterday to find Panamanian cuisine and voila!  I found a site by a couple of returned Peace Corps volunteers who had a recipe for limonada (Lemonade).  According to them, during citrus season in Panama, there are so many lemons, you can’t give them away, much less sell them, so a popular thing to do is to make lemonade.

P1030400 I suggested it to Michael as something we try and he agreed!  I had 2/3 of the ingredients and decided to pick up some extra lemons today and we’d have limonada with our dinner, which incidentally was a repeat of Greece.  I wanted souvlaki, damnit!

Ok, so it’s pretty easy to make limonada.  All you do is boil up a cup of water and mix in something called raspadura, which is a type of sugar.  Unfortunately, my stores don’t carry raspadura, and yes, I checked several.  The recipe suggested that I substitute dark brown cane sugar or molasses if I couldn’t get hold of raspadura, so I used some Sugar In the Raw that I’ve had in my pantry for forever.

P1030401 My burner still appears purple.  If ever stoves are made with purple burners, I want full credit and also the first one to roll off the assembly line.  It looks awesome.

Anyway, once the water has boiled, you toss in either 1 cake of raspadura or a half cup of whatever sugar you are using as a substitute and then stir it around until it is dissolved.

P1030406Then let it cool!

In the meantime, I juiced a pile of lemons with my food processor, which I had out for juicing the lemons for the souvlaki.

 P1030403I just love my little daisy made out of lemons :-)  You will need a cup of fresh lemon juice.  Add that to 4 cups of water, and then toss in the raspadura/water syrup.

P1030407P1030408Then all you do is combine it real well and you’re ready to drink!

P1030409I guess because of the fact you are using a sugar that is not white, the limonada comes out a different color than if you are making a more traditional American lemonade.  It was almost a cross between lemonade and apple juice colorwise.

I decided to gussy up the glasses, since Leah was giving the General and I a hard time this evening.  I rimmed them in sugar and added a lemon slice.

P1030410And actually, I was pretty glad I did!  Despite the fact that the sugar water is pretty sweet, there is almost a bitterness about the drink.  The sugar made it a bit more palatable for me.  Michael didn’t much care either way.

P1030411We both enjoyed it very much indeed and it was a nice, quick treat and another country on the books!  When life hands you lemons, make limonada!     

0 pearl(s) of wisdom: