‘Olde Time Fun’ For Everyone ... With Lemonade!

Reporter in Residence
Monroe Mouse

I never saw so many people in the Mansion concerned about the weather during the first week in June. Then I realized the level of concern was because Saturday, June 5, was “Olde Time Fun in the Park.”

Of course they should be concerned. Rain would force all the activities inside. I scurried about trying to help volunteers get things organized to take to the park. This year was going to be extra special because we were sponsoring an Alex’s Lemonade Stand, the donations from which would go to pediatric cancer research.

Saturday began with overcast skies, but just as we finished setting up the activity stations the sun came out. I must say the volunteers had as much fun as the children. Just watching the youngsters make pinwheels, plant seeds, work a spinning wheel, and participate in all of the other activities was total entertainment for everyone.

One little boy assured me that he was going to do every activity -- and he did! Another child said in awe, “How did you do that?” when our Math Magic volunteer correctly guessed the date of his birthday.

The three teenagers who manned Alex’s Lemonade Stand are definitely future entrepreneurs. They welcomed visitors, invited them to have a cup of lemonade and to make a donation. All the proceeds went directly to Alex’s Foundation at no expense to MCHA because of the generous donation of all supplies by Keyco Warehouse of Stroudsburg.

We all commented that it is delightful seeing families spending quality time together away from the TV and video games. It was an enjoyable day for all and we look forward to a bigger and better event next year.

All the lemonade got me thinking about lemons in general. Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds from Europe on his 1493 voyage. The British Navy knew that citrus fruit would combat scurvy and every sailor received a ration of citrus fruit on long voyages.

Lemons were very desirable in Colonial America; however, they were only found on rare occasions in the homes of the wealthy. Lemon desserts were a treat on special occasions.

That made me think of finding a lemon dessert recipe in a Colonial cookbook. I am sure if I left the page open to it, Sarah Spider or someone here at the Mansion would be enticed to try it and would definitely leave a few morsels for me!

Sarah Spider makes Thomas Jefferson’s Lemon Curd Pudding

Thomas Jefferson had three lemon pudding recipes in his collection – aptly named No. 1, No. 2. and No. 3. Lemon pudding No. 2 appears to have come from Philadelphia and is the most tart of the three.

Cream 1 cup butter with 1 cup sugar.
Beat 6 egg yolks until light.
Add juice and grated rind of 2 lemons.
Combine the mixtures and beat together until very light.
Add a pinch of salt.
Pour into a baking dish lined with puff paste (pastry).
Bake ¾ of an hour in a moderate oven.

If butter and sugar are melted together and the eggs added while warm, it will make a transparent pudding (Kimball 92).

Kimball, Marie. Thomas Jefferson’s Cook Book. Richmond, Va.: Garrett & Massie, 1938.