Strawberry Lemonade

Many times when I have things on my mind I hop into my car and go sightseeing,searching for pretty flower gardens or just places with nice views that offer peace and calmness in a sometimes too busy world. Most of the time I have my camera in the car so that I can capture the views and make them last longer than just a moment. Flower gardens,nurseries,and landscapes have always been what bring me the most pleasure,whether I am troubled or simply enjoying nature.  I remember one time a few years ago in particular when I was traveling just outside of London,I spotted an elderly man and woman,garden hoes in hand,tending their soil and pulling weeds.  The gentleman had on a long-sleeved shirt and bib overalls and the lady had topped her garden outfit with a large straw hat.  (My grandfather often wore long-sleeved shirts in the summertime,now that I remember, and I was always puzzled by that.)  There was an old red barn directly across the road with a gravel drive,so I turned my car around,drove into the driveway and sat and watched the couple.I suppose one could say that this was being nosey.However,I knew that I was enjoying life in the making and witnessing some pretty special moments. I sat in my quiet car observing the sweet couple for quite some time as they hoed,stopped occasionally to talk,and wipe the sweat from their faces with their shirttails.  I was in awe of the straight rows of vegetables and the bright yellow and orange colors of the marigolds planted at the gardens edge. (I have read somewhere that the pungent smell of  marigolds ward off various pests of the garden.) As I watched the two gardeners,I thought that they had probably lived here most of their lives,raised their  family,and offered a haven to return to for children,the grandchildren and friends.
And then I got a real treat.
The elderly woman laid down her hoe and slowly walked toward the house.After several minutes I figured she was taking a break or calling it quits for the day when I saw her reappear stepping off the porch with two tall glasses of something cold to drink.  I watched for a few more minutes and then drove away,quite content,with a lasting impression of a small part of country living and a great big dose of wonderful serenity.
With the additions of small rural stories and a touch of gardening hints, along with pictures of places that catch my eye,I will dig through my recipe boxes and share with you some of my tried and true recipes that have become some of my favorites.  I hope they will become some of your as well.
I can only guess that the couple’s drink that day was a summertime favorite of refreshing iced tea or iced-cold lemonade, so I have included the following recipe from my files of a strawberry lemonade that is quite good and you might like to give it a try.
Strawberry Lemonade
4 cups of fresh strawberries
3 cups of cold water
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ to 1 cup sugar (however sweet you like)
2 cups club soda
Garnish with fresh mint leaves(optional)
In blender puree the strawberries. In pitcher comebine the strawberries,water,lemon juice and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add the club soda and stir again. Serve over ice and garnish with the mint.
( 4 servings)
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