Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lemonade Fever

My big kids read a book for school called Chocolate Fever, and today Ben told me cheerfully that he has "lemonade fever."  He was mixing up a half-gallon of lemonade for his lemonade stand, which he has been doing every hot afternoon after his chores are done for two weeks now.  

He's finally hit on a scheme for making money that works!  He has a product to be proud of (recipe below), he's learning about supplies and inventory (he buys his own and makes his own), and he's learning customer service.  At first, Ben would yell "would you like some lemonade?" at every pedestrian, but I patiently convinced him that people don't always want to answer questions or make eye contact. He's learned to yell "lemonade!" "fifty cents a cup!" "fresh squeezed lemonade!"  

I also tried to convince him to make a bigger, brighter sign, but he's convinced that his yell is the ticket to success.

Recently, I was returning from an errand on foot when I saw a sweet young couple dawdling at the historic church, and he had one of Ben's lemonade cups dangling from his hand.  So I told Ben that I had seen some of his customers, and his face lit up because they were memorable:  "they gave me five dollars for two cups of lemonade!"  With some probing, I found out that young Ben said upon receipt of aforesaid five dollars:  "do you want change?"  Oh Ben.  Dear Ben.  We sat right down and had a lesson on giving change and how that change is given, as a right, back to the customer, and how any tip is handled as a surprise and a bonus with a huge thank you. 

 But the little old ladies are not helping this lesson to stick, because as often as not, they simply hand Ben some money as they wander by, declining a cup of lemonade.  

Ben is making very good money, actually.  My heart is warmed by all the people who want to encourage a kid.. . the neighbor who insisted that Ben take two dollars because fifty cents is not enough for a cup. . . the big sister who buys lemonade. . . the repeat neighbor customers. . .the contractor who came on business and bought a cup from Ben and told Ben personally that the lemonade was delicious and then later in an email to me that the lemonade was really good. . ..  It really is.  Try it yourself!

Ben's Lemonade (will not make you feverish, does not involve simple syrup or waiting, does not need adult help if you can handle a knife)

Makes a half gallon

Thinly slice three scrubbed lemons.  Pick out the seeds as best you can.

Put lemons in sturdy half-gallon pitcher.  Add 3/4 cup sugar.
Pound and mash with a wooden spoon (Ben says this is his favorite part).
Fill up pitcher with cold water and ice cubes.  Stir. Taste, and adjust flavor with bottled lemon juice if needed (this is my favorite part, to see my son tasting with panache and confidence; sometimes he asks me to taste it also, and then we discuss seriously, as cooking peers do).

In the event that you want to store this lemonade for more than a few hours, fish out the floating lemon slices and keep them separately or discard.  They will turn the lemonade bitter if they sit in there too long, and they're mostly for pretty anyway.


Hazel said...

Well done Ben! My children sell flapjack (the oat/butter/syrup-y cake, I think flapjack is a pancake in the US??) to make some pocket money. We have a tiny village market they sell it at- we have no passers by in our little cul-de-sac.
I think one of them will try his lemonade recipe at the weekend- fingers crossed for sunshine...

Jennifer Jo said...

This is wonderful---go, Ben! (The whole exchange about the tip money sounds like something that would happen at our house.)

Tammy said...

That's great about the $5...totally made me laugh. :D

My daughter did a lemonade stand last summer, at a joint yard sale. We don't live on a street that would support a lemonade stand (much to her disappointment! She would totally be outside every day with a lemonade stand!).

Way to go, Ben!

sillygirl said...

This IS my favorite lemonade recipe, too. It tastes far fresher than any cooked-syrup recipe. Ben knows his tastes!

e said...

Go Ben! You might mention to him that 'made with REAL LEMONS' is a selling point. I think some young entrepreneurs use powdered mix. His is the real deal! Marketing~!

Becky said...

Real lemons are the way to go!

Melanie said...

Go Ben! Our young neighbors set out their lemonade stand from time to time, and we always pop over even if we weren't planningto go outside. I love their spirits!

AmyK said...

This is great! Cities are the best place to live if you want to have a successful lemonade stand, in my opinion. We had a lemonade stand one day last week, and the kids did well overall. They also experienced the generosity of older adults who loved the fact that they were outside in the heat trying to earn some money. I have to still say "we" because I need to help them with making the lemonade, and I sat on our porch with a book while they did the selling, and was there if needed. I like your recipe - it looks like a good one to introduce to my kids so that they could make it on their own sooner rather than later.