Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This Means War!

I love summer. I love staying outside until almost 9:00 when the last of the sun disappears, I love hot, sweaty days at the beach, and I love a glass of ice cold lemonade after spending time in the July heat. When I was a kid, my brother and and I would set up a lemonade stand in front of our house and charge a dime per cup. Back then, that was a lot of money and we would use our profits to buy a new Nintendo game. (No, not a Nintendo Wii--the original Nintendo. Yes, I'm that old.) We didn't tell anyone that it wasn't really lemonade, but Crystal Light. It was much easier not to deal with all that sugar and lemon-squeezing business. Plus, that's what my mom kept in the pantry. Ahh, childhood...

Now that you know how big of a lemonade (or lemon-flavored Crystal Light) fan I am, it will come as no surprise that I picked up The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies.
The two main characters, Evan and Jessie, are brother and sister, each with a problem. Evan is going into fourth grade and can't think of anything worse than having his baby sister in the same class next year (Jessie skipped a grade). Jessie, who loves math and numbers, doesn't even realize Evan is upset, until he starts a lemonade stand with his friend and doesn't include her. To show him up, Jessie gets Megan Moriarity (Evan's crush) to help her build a lemonade stand, with a fancy sign and free snacks. Before long, the two of them realize that they are lemonade competitors and declare war. The first sibling to earn $100 is the winner (or whoever earns the most money by Sunday), and the loser has to hand over whatever earnings he/she made to the winner.

Jessie and Evan will do anything it takes to win the war, including giving away freebies, lowering prices, franchising (opening up more businesses), and sabotaging each others' stands. The results are pretty funny and will have you rooting for either Jessie or Evan to win the war.

The book also includes Ten Tips for Turning Lemons into Loot written by Jessie and Evan and gives the definition for lots of business terms, such as joint venture, underselling, negotiation, and total loss. ***DO NOT have a lemonade stand this summer without reading this book! It could be the difference between making enough money to buy a game for your Wii or making enough money to buy a Wii!

Recipe to Read By: Zesty Lemon Squares
You don't have to squeeze any lemons for this recipe, although if you really like juicing lemons go right ahead. (Just be careful not to squeeze any lemon juice in your eye--that burns like a banshee and will ruin the whole baking experience.)

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest (I looove zesting lemons. They look so funny when you're done, like they're naked. Hehe.)
2 tablespoons sugar
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the confectioners' sugar.
Mix the flour and the salt together in another bowl, then add this to the butter mixture.
Add in the vanilla and the lemon zest and mix well.
Gather up the dough into a ball and wrap it in wax paper. Put the wrapped ball in the refrigerator for four hours. (Or one hour, if you're really impatient like me.)
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit while the oven is preheating. (Turn the oven on to 325° F.)
Press the dough into an 8-inch-square pan. Sprinkle it with the sugar.
Bake about 20 minutes, just until the edges of the dough start to turn a light brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool.
Cut into 2 x 2-inch squares.
Serve with lemon-flavored Crystal Light to balance all of that sugar.
*Recipe courtesy of http://www.lemonadewar.com/


  1. I'm Australian, and summer lemonade stands are not part of our culture. But I've read enough American fiction to understand the concept! I'm going to add this to my son's "must read" list because it sounds like so much fun. The zesty lemon squares sound yummy too!

  2. Sorry about the crystal lite in the pantry. "Next time" we'll go for the real thing!!! :)mom

  3. I liked how moose got to get an ID and be a real person and didn't have to hide.