Orangade - Back to Basics 39
When I was wee I used to go with my sister to stay with our Nanna Betty in Anglesea on the coast in Victoria. My beloved Nanna died when I was in Grade Four, so I would have been about nine, but I still remember those long summers, the row of fat, ripe tomatoes growing in the veggie patch, the rope swing Nicole and I would play on, hung from an enormous gum tree, the tennis court over the road where we spent an awful lot of time chasing, but not actually managing to hit, the ball. The paddle boats, the trips down the street for bags of mixed lollies, the shoebox of old photos, the tiny musk lollies she loved so much. Wonderful days and wonderful memories of a great lady who passed too soon.
This is her, Marjorie Elizabeth Page, nee Collett, wasn’t she beautiful?
My own daughter Emma is very like her, as is my Mum, and as I look like my Mum, I guess the Collett line has run true.
As far as cooking goes, my Nanna was famous for three things, Stuck-In-Cheese, which was grilled kraft cheddar slices toasted on buttered white bread (toasted on the bottom only!), sausage, mashed potato and tinned tomatoes, and homemade lemonade, which she would make for us in a big, brown jug. I have used oranges here, but the recipe remains the same, regardless of which citrus you use. I have made this with lemons, with mandarins, with grapefruit, and with mixed citrus. You can call it a citrus cup if you prefer, but my Nanna called it lemonade, so I will stick with the -ade.
3 oranges and 1 lemon (Or four lemons, six mandarins, two grapefruit - you get the gist)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cups soda water (Nanna used flat, but I prefer the sparkles)
Zest the citrus and put the zest into a small pot with the cup of water, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for ten minutes, add the sugar, stir until that has dissolved, turn up heat, bring to boil, turn off, set aside for ten minutes to cool. Juice your oranges, and slice your lemon into rounds. Pop the lemon into the jug you are going to use, this one I use is a 1.2 litre jug, it is a little small, but I top the glass up with a bit of soda to dilute it a bit. Pour the syrup in with your juice and then strain that into another jug and then add that to your lemon slice jug. Tip in a heap of ice and then fill the bottle all the way to the top with sofa water, give it a stir with chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon and serve in tall glasses with yet more ice. Mmmm. Just like Nanna used to make.