Welcome to leymoun!
This first recipe comes with an adventure, a story, and a legacy. And I think it’s incredibly fitting that the first post on leymoun should be about lemons! But let me begin.
I spent the first half of my summer traveling to Switzerland, Italy, France, and Lebanon. It was five wonderful weeks of much-needed reprieve from studying, but more than that; it was an adventure packed with family, food, and laughter. And let’s not forget the stories. My dad’s side of the family tree gets a bit confusing, even to those of us who are on it, so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say that the family is big, and so are the stories. Some are a little far-fetched, but all of them have a grain of truth – and I found myself fascinated. Especially by the ones about ancestors that died before I was born, like my grandmother and grandfather.
The first morning of our month-long stay in Lebanon, we were exploring the family house where my dad grew up when my uncle pointed out the gorgeous lemon tree in the backyard. It was big and beautiful and full of massive, juicy lemons, and I fell in love with it. Then the reminiscing began between my dad and uncles, and I found out that this beautiful lemon tree had been planted by my grandmother many years before. From that point forward, although I never knew her, I thought of my grandmother every time I picked a lemon; every time I drizzled freshly squeezed lemon juice over a salad or lahm b’ajine. And finally, at the end of the trip, I made this lemon mint juice as I thought of her.
Lemon Mint Juice
Juice of 4 juicy lemons
1/2 cup sugar
1 handful of mint leaves (two or three medium stalks’ worth)
Mix lemon juice and sugar in blender and blend on medium speed. Add mint leaves and blend for about a minute more. Finally, add enough water to make 2 quarts total and blend for a few seconds. Serve immediately over ice.