With our orange tree still drooping with fruit and about a dozen lemons remaining on the dining room table, I moved on to perhaps the most obvious answer to the phrase, "When life gives you lemons." I made lemonade.
My friend Crystal spent two years living in Honduras and learned to make limeade from the Honduran women who chopped up whole limes and blended them with simple syrup and water. For my version, I chopped up about four oranges and two lemons and blended them with about 1 cup of simple syrup and a handful of the fresh spearmint I have growing in my window box. I strained the mixture to make about 1 1/4 cups of juice which I cut with sparkling water to make about four small servings. Blending the whole fruit releases oils from the thick citrus skin yielding a more complex, almost bitter taste. If I were not enormously pregnant right now, I would have made margaritas with the juice. I'm trying not to imagine how amazingly delicious it would have been. But seriously, try it.
This afternoon we visited Queen Creek Olive Mill, which is located about 45 minutes southeast of Phoenix. They grow, harvest and mill olives from about 2,000 trees. They also serve dinner from food grown onsite and from farms nearby. We sat under a grove of olive trees while listening to a live jazz band. For dinner, I enjoyed fresh mixed greens with white balsamic vinaigrette and lemon chicken with capers and cheese layered between fresh pasta. If not for an overtired little boy, the evening would have been perfect.