By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
We’ve got another holiday coming up in the U.S. this week. Oh, excuse me, another family holiday. You know, when generations get together to pass along traditions, share celebrations, take group photos that will later appear on family holiday cards. You know, those days that can totally suck for those of us who feel so horribly left out because we don’t have kids to delight with fireworks, treat with home-churned ice cream, or refuel with lemonade made from scratch.
Which makes me think about the old adage: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Or as I like to say: When life hits you upside the head then kicks you when you’re down, make limoncello.
I’m not an advocate of drowning my sorrows in booze, but I do think there are healing benefits to stepping away from my challenging routine, finding someplace quiet to sit, taking a few deep breaths, calming my heart, and sipping something lovely.
If you’d like to stock up for the long, hot limoncello days to come, here’s a simple recipe from Giada De Laurentiis (find the full recipe, reviews, and tips here on foodnetwork.com):
1 (750 ml) bottle of vodka
3-1/2 cups water
2-1/2 cups sugar
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith.
- Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.
- Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
- Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
- Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods also likes to occasionally drown her sorrows in dark chocolate.