Since part of our yard looks like this…

 And the very welcoming…

I wanted to spruce things up elsewhere.  The construction rubble had migrated into the pergola and onto the deck. 
Not pleaseant.
At least my grapes had gotten trimmed 🙂

We had some furniture out but it was hardly an oasis.  We’re still looking for the outdoor version of a sectional sofa at a price point that doesn’t make us cringe but that doesn’t mean that we can have a version of a lounge under the gazebo.

I took my old steamer chairs out of the garage and spruced them with some new pillows (can’t get enough of that damask).  Added a funky steel chair from inside and a few pillows.  A step stool that a neighbour was getting rid of (love the yellow) and a pink wicker couch for the baby. 

Under the pergola went our existing patio furniture, cover the airconditioner (waiting to be installed when the other side of the house is built) with a nice cloth, matching cloth for the table, a lantern, my pretty window and…it’ll do until we get our build done. 
Not using this space this summer would be too much like buying a dress two sizes too small and thinking that someday you’ll lose lots of weight.
And now for something to drink while we lounge 🙂
I was reading “A Beach Cottage” and saw a picture of something wonderous.  The start of homemade limoncello.  She’s going to post a recipe in the next little while but I just couldn’t wait.  Make sure you check-out Sarah’s, I’m a novice at this and she’s had actually success.
I was transported back to my teenage years and being invited to a friend’s house for dinner.  They were/are a large Italian family and as such the food was exquisite for start to end.  We had home cured prosciutto, homemade pasta and to finish everything creamy, gelatto with limoncello over the top.  It was one of those evenings where you sit in the back yard and life is revealed to be VERY, VERY good.
I’ve had this dessert since but only enjoyed it as much once and that was when I was in Italy and the lemons came off of the tree in the front yard.  The trick has got to be having both fantastic company and the limoncello being homemade.
I asked around at work and a colleague very graciously gave me her Nona’s recipe.  In two months, limoncello will be mine (insert maniacal laughter here).
Take 7 lemons that have been scrubbed and cut off just the rind (don’t get the pith-it’ll be bitter).  Stick it into a jar (I just reused my vodka bottle) and top with 750 ml. of vodka.  Let sit in a dark place.  I used a glass marker to write down the date on the bottle as I have no hope EVER of remembering when I did this.
Ding! 

The two month timer goes off and now you need to make a sugar syrup.  2 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water.  Boil until thickened slightly.  Cool completely.  Add to the vodka and let sit another month.  Strain off the liqueur and store in the freezer ready for gellato or really good vanilla icecream OR straight (but only for medicinal purposes).

But what about all those lemons?

I just couldn’t bear the thought of throwing out all of that lemony goodness so I decided to make a quick lemon and ginger syrup (the ginger was an idea that I read off a link from Beach cottage-I’m so sorry but I can’t find the link now but I didn’t want you to think that I had come up with this on my own).

Take equal parts sugar (I used 3 cups) and water.  Add in 7 lemons (from the recipe above) that have been halved and a piece of ginger about 2 inches X 2 inches.  Bring to a boil and let bubble away until a lemon coloured syrup is formed and you can smell the ginger (about 5 minutes).

Strain into a jar when cool.  Let this cool for two reasons 1) you will badly burn yourself with syrup if you don’t-you just will and 2) more lemon flavour goes into the syrup if you let it steep (like a cup of tea).

For your glass of lemonade: Mix 1/4 cup of the syrup to 3/4 cups of water (I like bubbly water with this).  Serve with a porcetta sandwich and you are good to garden for hours.  Wear a hat. 🙂

Ahh…
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