Monday afternoon in the kitchen. The sunlight is slanty and warm, the way it should be in October. Listening to White Ladder: at one time overplayed; a decade later, a near forgotten gem.
Pulled from a dark shelf in the basement is a large jar full of vodka-drunk lemon peels and the frozen juice of the 18 lemons they once housed. My hands cramp at the memory of the peeling and the squeezing, 36 lemons in all.
Sugar is dissolved in water. Three liquids strained into the largest bowl I can find, mixing and mingling and becoming one. The bowl is near to overflowing, and I begin to wonder if there are going to be enough jars, or even enough shelf space in the cool dark of the basement.
Ladling the liquid into the largest jar, I can't help but note that it looks a bit like chicken broth sitting in the bowl, but that it warms the body in a wholly different way. Remembering an early morning somewhere between Rome and Naples, visiting a ceramic studio and sampling the homemade limoncello. Remembering giggling at the knowledge even then that we would always remember that morning in Italy we had limoncello for breakfast, drunk more from the travel and the adventure than the early morning booze. Snapping back from my daydream just in time to prevent the discarded lemon peels from going into the compost, lest there be drunk squirrels running around the yard.
Jars filled and sealed, and returned to the shelf in the basement to spend the next six weeks becoming mellow. A retreat, a sort of spa for cocktails. A new way to view an otherwise dark and dingy space underneath the house.
Tomorrow, more juice to thaw, more sugar to dissolve, and more jars to fill. There were thirty six lemons in all. I think I'm gonna need a bigger jar.