With a just a bit of summer left I juiced enough lemons to make about 3 gallons of homemade lemonade.
Our hand juicer was inherited from Julia's grandmother. While using it to juice several pounds of lemons I thought about how well made the juicer is. It's very simple but it needs to withstand quite a bit of pressure. I thought about how many gallons of juice this press must have squeezed out. Then I noticed the raised lettering on the front of the press which were almost completely worn off from the friction of pressers palms riding the top piece down in order to steady it at each pressing: "Juice-O-Matic." There is nothing automatic about this press as the name would suggest. It's all manual. The only way it could be more manual is with a reamer or if you simply squeezed the fruit with your hand.
It took some time, but it was the kind of repetitive task that allowed my mind to wander. II felt connected in some way with Julia's grandmother and imagined her making lemonade at the end of some other late-summer's day with the same press, her hand imperceptibly rubbing away the incongruous label embossed beneath it.
My recipe is 1 part honey, 2 parts lemon juice, roughly 16 parts water. This makes a fairly mild, not too sweet lemonade which is how I like it on a hot day. Julia likes hers with a little more bite but so she would probably up the lemon juice to about 2 1/2 parts. One tip is to save some lemon juice for the end in case you need to make it more tart and to mix the honey into the room temperature lemon juice - it's a bear to get it to dissolve if the water or juice is cold.