Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The days are getting warmer and all of us are spending a lot more time outside. Regardless if you're enjoying an outdoor concert or toiling in the vegetable garden--it's high time for some good old fashioned refreshments.

I'm a big fan of fresh, natural, lemonade and brewed ice tea. But since I'm usually the only one drinking it, it's silly to make a giant pitcher for one. I found a way to make my own single-serving sized version in portable containers. Which is great when you're running into town and want a cold drink for the road, or have been outside raking and need something instantly cold and sweet to boost up your blood sugar. Enter Masonades:

Masonades are soda-can sized servings of hand-squeezed lemonade or iced tea. You can make enough for a whole weekend in about five minutes, which makes me wonder how powdered mix ever even made it in the public market?

Box of pint mason jars (with lids)
Fresh organic lemons
Ice cubes
Natural sugar
Natural lemon juice
Organic black tea bags
Fresh mint or lemon verbena from the garden

Take your jars and fill them up halfway with cold water. Cut half a lemon and squeeze its juice into the jar, and then plop the whole half into the jar as well, making the water tart and filled with little bits of pulp and flavor. If you really want to kick the tartness up - add some fresh lemon juice (about a teaspoon) to the mix. Then add as much sugar as you feel appropriate (depending on mood and heat it could be as little as a teaspoon or as much as 2 tablespoons) and then top it off with ice till it's nearly overflowing. Seal the lid and shake the hell out of it untill it's one big, frothy, delight. There you have it. Farm fresh, all natural, and ready for travel.

I make a few of these and stash them in the fridge for later. Instead of grabbing a can of soda, I grab a cold jar of real lemonade in a reusable container. Which not only tastes amazing, but feels a little more authentic than most beverages. Masonades can also be made into iced tea - which is a healthier alternative. I just pour hot water from a kettle into room-temperature jars with an organic black tea-bag and let it cool on the kitchen counter. Then I add in a little lemon slice and a pinch of sugar, some ice, and a sprig of lemon verbena or mint and let it sit in the fridge alongside the jars of lemonade. When it's cold enough to condense water off the sides, it's manna from the still.

I posted this last summer, but felt it deserved the spotlight again.


Blogger Lorri said...

I saw it last summer and have wanted to try them, but forgot where the post was - so thank you for re-posting them!

And the bonus, now my daughter can get fresh lemonade :) She will be delighted!

March 31, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Anonymous R said...

What a great ideal. This should have been in your book.

March 31, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better put it in the next book!

March 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Mama Pea said...

I'm a cold drink freak, even in the winter time. I started making your Masonades last summer when you first posted this and my refrigerator has not been without a jar of lemonade or iced tea since that time. I think of you every time I grab a pint jar of the stuff. A big thank you!

March 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger BlueGate said...

Thanks for another great post!

In addition to the vegetable and herbs that we take to farmers market, we also make a fresh lemonade that has become very popular.

The 'secret' to our Blue Gate Farm Lemonade is to make an herb infused simple syrup that is added to the fresh lemon juice and water, instead of sugar. You can make a large quantity of syrup and store in the fridge for later us, which makes your lemonade comes together even faster. The syrup is also nice added to iced tea, if you are a sweet tea fan.

Syrup can be flavored with your favorite garden herbs or fresh fruits for variety.

March 31, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous AmyKortuem said...

Hi! I just got done reading your book and am now hooked on your blog. I'm a city girl with dreams of raising some chickens and sheep, farming a huge vegetable garden, and having a big porch on which to sit and to play my harp (the kind with strings). Your book and blog are so inspiring and so real, and I love them!

I'd love to try the Masonades...as soon as this latest snow storm leaves Minnesota and the weather warms up.

March 31, 2009 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Darx said...

I was so happy when my sweetie switched to this method from buying soda in plastic bottles a few years ago. He's also turned others on to the idea because of taking them to work. Save money, save resources, get better beverages: what's not to love? Me, I just drink H20.

March 31, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

I can't get enough iced tea and lemonade lately!

I too saw this last summer and loved the idea.

March 31, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger mamaraby said...

What a great idea!

March 31, 2009 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thank you for posting this. It will make great treats for my little ones this summer!

March 31, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anne said...

Great idea. We gave up cokes last year and will definitely use this this coming summer. It gets over 100 much of the summer and a cold sweet drink is just what we need.

March 31, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger s said...

i'm so glad you posted this again - i LOVE this.

oh! and was going to try to call you today, but couldn't because i was at a string fest allllll day. expect a call from me tomorrow!

March 31, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous tammy said...

LOL. I took a masonade to work today in a pint jar! It was great, and an oppertunity to talk canning with the residents at the nursing home, many of whom were old-time farmers.

March 31, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Laura from beautiful West Michigan said...

I've reached the current date in your blog after reading it from the beginning. I feel like I can smile when you say "If you get this, you've been reading my blog too long!" I will be a reader as long as you are bloggin'! Welcome to spring from cold and grey beautiful West Michigan! Garden is in my mind and soon will be in the yard! I'm also trying to find out the rules about having chickens in a subdivision backyard. Wish me luck! PS - Can't wait to read your next book!

April 1, 2009 at 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the summer I make sun tea in mason jars - water, lemon balm, mint. Let sit in sun until tasty, then refrigerate.

April 1, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa Zahn said...

Great idea! I'm gonna remember this...can you post it again when summer actually gets to Minnesota? Or at least something even close to summer, as opposed to the 12 inches of snow we got yesterday...

April 1, 2009 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Sonya --Dime Store Thrift said...

PERFECT! I love this idea!

April 2, 2009 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love this idea! I had read an article once where they suggested freezing lemonade in mason jars (leave room at the top for expansion) and you take them on a picnic and let them slowly thaw. Later they are ice cold. However, silly me did not take the idea and consider it for every day use and just refrigerate it. (I do use mason jars for lots of things. Glad to have one more idea.) Thanks for sharing!

April 2, 2009 at 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that looks great! I am trying to find something to replace my crack ... er diet root beer ... habit. This looks like just the ticket.


April 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having cold antler withdrawls... Where's Jenna?

April 5, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Anonymous heart2heartdesigns said...

Great idea!

April 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I do this too!

I just read your article in MEN. Great story.

I added you to my blog roll and ordered your book.

Keep up the good work!


April 8, 2009 at 5:14 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Wow. So simple! I was just thinking the other day that I really miss fresh lemonade. I'll have to try this.

April 11, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger monkeyberry said...

I would make sun tea instead, so much less work!

April 13, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just recently found you book and site have enjoyed them a great deal. I have already found things in the book to help me and my son. Even if I am in a very diffrent climate in oklahoma.

April 22, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Chris Clark said...

I do the same thing but just let the tea steep outside in the sun (half of the water added or less so it's really strong) and then add ice when it's ready to cool it off.
It's also good with crushed mint leaves as the only tea or, along with a teabag. :-)

May 1, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
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August 16, 2010 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I'm an iced tea addict as well, and just like you, I'm the only one in our family who love it. I have to admit yours is a bit different, and I'll definitely try this one out, thanks for sharing your recipe. By the way this my first visit to your blog, and 'be back to check more of your posts here.

~Jenny flowers tea

November 5, 2010 at 7:37 AM  

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