Thursday, July 12, 2012


Is that even a word?  Nonetheless, that's the norm around my house these days. We're now in week five of construction and  I'm doing my damndest to roll with the punches.  It changes on a daily basis.

First, the cable line got inadvertently cut, leaving us with no internet or TV.  Then it was the same thing with the sprinkler system, so I now soak myself  every evening as I try to save what's left of our yard with oscillating sprinklers.  Since we no  longer have a backyard (it's a construction site), we have to leash the dogs and take them out to a small, confined area in the front.  Saber  (our rescue dog) is terrified of the construction noises, so he refuses to "go" out there.  Instead, he finds ways to sneak down to our newly re-carpeted basement to do his business.

Our new back yard

And do you even want to know about the port-a-potty smell at the top of our driveway when they forgot to empty the thing for two weeks???????

I keep trying to make it normal.  I need to quit wasting my time.  It's anything but.

Sometimes, though, I just have to laugh at the absurdity of it all.  Our new dining room is the front porch in 100+ degree temps, unless we want to sit in the construction zone that used to be our dining room.  Diva that I am, I insisted they give me a garbage disposal in the temporary kitchen  (located in our entrance foyer).  The plumber looked at me like I was crazy (don't comment) and drawled, "well ma'am, that ain't gonna be easy."  The solution was to run a line to the basement which dumps out in Andy's toilet. Yep, you guessed it - every time I use the disposal, I have to run downstairs and flush!

Our lovely dining room

You can't make this stuff up.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what to do when life gives you lemons.  DRINK, I say!  That's why I whipped up a batch of what I call Liz's Limoncello.  I'm counting on it to get me through the next few months.....

LIZ'S LIMONCELLO  (adapted from The New York Times)

12 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons
4 cups granulated sugar
4 cups filtered or spring water
1 quart (4 cups) vodka

Sterilize 2 glass quart jars with rings and lids by immersing them in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Using tongs, remove to a clean towel to drain.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind from 6 of the lemons.  Make sure that you do not remove any of the white pith, as it is bitter.  Divide the rind between the two sterilized jars.

Juice the lemons to yield about 1 1/2 cups of liquid.  Strain to remove pulp and seeds.  You should end up with about 1 cup of juice.

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil.  Stir in the reserved lemon juice, then bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring frequently.  Divide the mixture between the jars.  Let cool completely.

When jars have cooled, pour 2 cups of vodka into each one.  Cover and shake the jars well, then place them into a cool, dark space (I stored mine in a living room cabinet, since there are no cabinets left in my kitchen).  Leave them alone for a month, then strain the liquid.  Pour the liqueur into bottles with caps or corks.  It will be ready to drink, but it will be even better if you let it steep for another month.

Yield:  1 1/2 quarts

*  I used Meyer lemons for this, but you could use anything you can think of.  Oranges would also be lovely or you could even pulverize and strain blueberries, strawberries or anything else that floats your boat.

*  I happen to love the combination of lemon and blueberries, so I am likely to pour a little of this over some fresh blueberries and enjoy it for dessert.  That is, unless I drink it all in the next couple of days.