Nana's Field Day Lemonade

December 16, 2023

Glen (KE7FD) writes to share an unexpected Field Day surprise:

The best judge of a favorite recipe is if it stands the test of time with family and friends. Grandma's have a special place in our hearts for just this very contribution, and my Nana was no exception. However, discovering that truth was not an easy lesson for me. Allow me to share a youthful Novice operators experience which I refer to simply as, Nana's Field Day Lemonade.

My grandparents had a small place along the Arizona Mogollon Rim which in earlier decades was a thriving horse ranch. But leading up to my teen years, their horses were all but gone and instead they boarded horses for other folks. Clients some times had to take care of their own horses (feeding and cleaning stalls) but others paid to have that done; there was always something that Pawpaw needed to get done every day. That's where I came in. I was able to spend one summer with them between my sophomore and senior year away from the rain in Seattle where my family lived at the time. And the ranch was an excellent place to hold Field Day!

The first couple weeks, I'd gotten pretty good at turning horses out to pasture, shoveling manure, stacking bales of alfalfa, all the usual stuff. Nana always made a Thermos of ice cold lemonade just when we needed it while doing chores. Her lemonade was special, not like the store bought stuff or other homemade lemonade. She added something to it which made it so much better than ordinary lemonade.

So on Saturday, the first day of Field Day after I, Pawpaw and a couple of local Elmer's had gotten set up under the hot Arizona sun, we were quite thirsty. Knowing that Nana had to run errands in Payson and couldn't bring the lemonade out to us, I decided to go fetch the "cold nectar" during a break in my operating and I hoofed it back to the house to grab it out of the fridge. I was so hot and sweaty when I opened the fridge door, that the blast of cold air felt so good when it hit my face. I didn't see the Thermos anywhere in the fridge, but instead saw it drying next to the sink. Scanning the fridge again, I found that she'd put the lemonade in a different container, probably because the Thermos hadn't been washed yet. She had been rushing about to get to town, and go to the store she said before leaving. To me it seemed like she'd made more lemonade than usual and I was so hot and thirsty, that without wasting any more time, I took a large tumbler from the drain board and poured myself a cold one. I put the glass to my mouth and began guzzling the sweet refreshment when after two large swallows, it hit me that something was very wrong. Instead of the sweet nectar of lemon refreshment I was expecting, I had drunk lemon marinade in which chicken parts were soaking (I later learned). It tasted terrible and I tried to cough it up, which after running to the head, managed to rid myself of most of the awful concoction. When I didn't show up back at our station, Pawpaw came looking for me. I was curled up on the bathroom floor and after he'd figured out what happened, he went back to the station and for me just to stay there until Nana got back.

That evening, Nana brought dinner out to us which we enjoyed home made rolls, green beans with bacon, rice pilaf and very tender chicken barbecue and lemonade. But I had water to drink instead.

Honey, locally sourced. The secret ingredient was honey instead of sugar.

Source: KE7FD  open_in_new

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