Cool off with the sweet, tart taste of lemons

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Photo illustration by Mary Kathryn Carpenter

Photo illustration by Mary Kathryn Carpenter

Ah, the Southern summer. It’s just beginning to settle upon us, you know. A solid two months remain, at the least.

But this heat is nothing new in these parts, and we all know how to cool off and have fun doing it. One group of local girls has been aiding in the cool-down cause while raising funds for a better cause for the better part of their young lives now.

On July 24, Mae Holyoak, daughter of Ginna and John Holyoak, and her friends will host their annual lemonade stand to support the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

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Mae said the whole idea started when she decided to have a fundraiser for one simple donation to the shelter.

“My family are big animal lovers,” Mae said. “First, we just wanted to help the humane society get a Kuranda (dog) bed, and we got more money than we needed.”

Since then, the stand and its proceeds have continued to grow. Mae and Friends has collectively donated approximately $32,000 to the humane society.

The stand collected approximately $13,600 last year, and Mae and her mom hope to exceed that amount this year.

“Every year we try to do more than the last,” Ginna said. “We would love to do over $14,000 this year.”

Mae and Friends will be at their stand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., July 24 selling lemonade and baked goods for $1 and T-shirts for $15.

Those unable to stop by are encouraged to send a donation to the Holyoaks at 96 Dunbar Road, Natchez, MS, 39120. All checks need to be made out to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society with Mae and Friends on the memo line.

And while you wait on the tasty treats the girls will serve up, try your hand at a few recipes of your own.


Classic homemade lemonade:

2 cups of sugar

3 cups of fresh, cold water

2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice


Start by squeezing and straining the lemons.

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and let simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.

Let sugar mixture cool, then combine with lemon juice.

Refrigerate until chilled.

Serve over ice.

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Blueberry lemonade

1/2 cup Imperial Sugar extra fine granulated sugar

1 cup blueberries

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice.

6 cups water


To make the blueberry simple syrup, combine sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Stir in blueberries and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until blueberries break down (about 3-4 minutes).

Strain blueberry mixture through a cheesecloth or fine sieve; let cool.

In a large pitcher, whisk together blueberry simple syrup, lemon juice and 5 cups of water.

Refrigerate until chilled.

Serve over ice and blueberries, if desired.

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Lavender lemonade

1 cup honey

2 tablespoons fresh lavender buds

4 1/2 cup hot water

4 1 cup fresh lemon juice

4 1/2 gallon cold water

4 fresh lavender sprigs


Add honey and lavender buds to a pitch.

Pour hot water over and stir to combine well.

Add lemon juice and cold water.

To serve, pour over ice and serve with a fresh sprig of lavender.

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Arnold Palmer

2 cans (12 ounces each) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

3 quarts ice tea

Fresh mint sprigs, if desired


Make lemonade as directed on can, using bunch bowl or large container.

Stir in tea.

Serve over ice.

Garnish with mint.

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