1-1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice, or combination of fresh and bottled juice
7 cups cold water
3/4 cup granulated sugar or sugar substitute
2 lemons for slicing
In a large pitcher, stir lemon juice, water, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon slices and pour over ice to serve.
Hint: This is great with Peanut Butter Chocolate Bumblebees below!
PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BUMBLEBEES
Here’s a sweet treat to make and eat! Ask an adult to help and share the fun. This makes about two dozen bees.
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs,
or a bit more if needed to shape mixture
1 square semi-sweet baking chocolate, or 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Toast sliced almonds by stirring in a small skillet over medium-low heat for about three minutes, until they turn a little bit golden-brown and make you want to eat them. Remove to a plate and let them cool.
In a large bowl, beat butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add cracker crumbs and mix well. Shape a tablespoon of butter mixture into a 1-inch oval to resemble a bumblebee body. Repeat with remaining butter mixture for more bees. Spread your bees on a large sheet of wax paper, on a plate or tray.
Melt chocolate carefully in the microwave, checking often so it doesn’t burn or become too runny. With the tip of a toothpick, drizzle lines across the back halves of bees to resemble bees’ stripes. Don’t worry if your lines are a little messy. Remember, bumblebees are fuzzy. If you’re in a hurry to taste the bees, just paint the back half of each bee with solid chocolate, and don’t forget to drop bits of chocolate to make two big eyes at the top front of each bee. Insert two almonds into each side of every bee for wings. After the chocolate gets firm, your bees can be removed to a serving plate, the top of a cake, or any fun place you decide (that your dog cannot reach). Store in the refrigerator up to three days.
FOR THE BIRDS
Here’s a sweet treat for all your feathered friends. Before making it, get inspired by watching Julie Andrews sing “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins. It’s on YouTube, and it will have you singing while you work! The birds may answer you….
If you need help, ask an adult to join you. You’ll need:
One prepared sugar cookie roll in your grocery store cooler section
Birdseed (black oiled sunflower seeds appeal to many backyard birds and are included
in wild bird seed mixes)
Strong thread or narrow string
Slice and bake the sugar cookies according to package directions. Poke a hole near the top of each cookie while still warm. Be careful not to make the hole too close to the rim of the cookie so that the cookie will not break when you pull the thread through it for hanging.
When cool, spread peanut butter over each cookie, and sprinkle with birdseed, pressing lightly if necessary to help it stick. Pull thread through the hole and tie at top to make a loop for hanging.
Find a leafy shrub and hang your treats near branches where birds can land to eat the seeds. Then, go inside and watch! Birds love to eat, and they spend most of their lives shopping for food.
Note: It’s important to provide water for the birds, also. When they have all the things they need, more birds will visit your yard and make nests for their babies. You’ll have whole families of them, and funny surprises every day. Birds are happy, sad, nervous, busy, tired, fussy, and beautiful – just like people.