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making lemonade

Our fridge broke this week. Since JR was out of town on business, it was up to me to get the fridge up and running and salvage what food we could. I called our usual repairman, but he couldn't come for 48 hours. I was sure our food would not last that long.

I like to think I am a trusting, optimistic person. But when faced with any kind of repair (especially when my husband is not with me) I always assume I am going to get ripped off, overcharged, or otherwise taken advantage of.

So I called my dad. (My parents fridge broke a few months ago and I knew he'd have some advice. He's also just a good guy to call whenever you have a problem.) His advice was simple: call Tony.

Tony said he would be at my house in two hours. He arrived exactly on time, and within an hour and 15 minutes had figured out what was wrong with the fridge, melted all the ice that had accumulated on the freezer coils, grabbed the part he needed from his truck, showed my son C all of his tools, told us a little about his life growing up, and yes, brought the fridge back to life.

I felt foolish for being so untrusting. I blame my ten years living in New York for my cynical attitude. But in one afternoon, Tony has restored my faith.

Later when I spoke to my husband on the phone he asked if the fridge was fixed. I told him about Tony, the brilliant refrigerator repairman. And then my husband said "Did you actually see him replace the part?" Oh honey, you may have it worse than I do.


These are the last of the lemons off our tree, which for some reason stops producing in the summer, right when you need lemons the most. The kids and I have been trying to make a really good lemonade, which is much easier with this tool... perhaps the best thing I've bought for my kitchen in years. We make a big batch of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled together until the sugar is completely dissolved) and keep the syrup in a mason jar in the fridge. Whenever the kids feel like gathering lemons, we can easily whip up a pitcher. Now we just need to find a lemon tree that will produce all year round.

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Reader Comments (20)

yay for people who save the day! our fridge just went out and getting a BIGGER fridge has been SO great!

07.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterrobin

haha. love this post.
oh, to have a lemon tree... bliss!

07.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I would love, love, love having a lemon tree in my backyard to make lemonade. What a fun thing to have on hand! Glad to hear your fridge is working again...

07.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Haha your husband's response is too funny!

07.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

good lookin' lemon squeezer. i love your picture! when in trouble, recommendations from those we respect are the best.=)

07.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenteramy

brooke: i am SO right there with you. we LOVE our hand juicer. we have the lemon and the lime one. they are handy, and i swear, we use them every.single.day. hooray for restored trust in the goodness of hardworking folks & handy kitchen tools. both essentials parts of our everyday lives. <3

07.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie alaine

I understand your hesitation in trusting. I always feel this way too, especially when taking my car into the shop. And sadly I have been ripped off before which makes me even more pessimistic. But my heating/air conditioning guy comes twice a year for a tune-up, I know about his family, his job and he has fixed a few things without charging. So there are some people out there trying to make an honest living and doing the right thing, they restore my faith.

07.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Pearson

so funny to read your post. Our refrigerator broke this week too, and it was a mad scramble to salvage the food into coolers and drive it over to my parents' (who fortunately live 5 minutes away). Luckily my husband is a super fix it man, and came home at lunch to get to it. Strangely, his online research told him to vacuum out the nooks and crannies (yes, I'm very technical) - and lo and behold, that did the trick.

That picture is making my mouth water.

07.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterElaina

Aw wow, so glad the fridge got repaired. Lemon trees are a funny thing, where I'm from in Spain the ground is too alkaline for the trees to grow.

07.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSammi

yay for working refrigerator! I wish we had lemon trees — how amazing that must be. I've had that lemon squeezer for years (per recommendation of a food editor who said it gets every last drop of juice) and it's the best!

07.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjen jafarzadeh

First, my DREAM was to work for MSLO and it never happened. I interviewed in 2005 but then found out I was expecting and couldn't do the commute from CT anyway. So I would LOVE to hear more about your time working there. I recognize your name from years of studying the mastheads!

Second, please write a book. Or lots and lots more blog posts. I hang onto your every new post and check in daily. You are such an inspiration. I'd also love to see how you've decorated your home.

Thanks so much - for having the lovwliest of blogs!

07.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterGenevieve

Oh my - I may have invented a word that is a cross between "loveliest" and "lowliest".... but I think you will know that I meant "loveliest" with all my heart...

07.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterGenevieve

the picture of the lemons is a work of art...lemons do it for me... i guess you can tell

07.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentercindi

I use that lemon squeezer too. It surpasses the glass hand squeezer for efficiency but isn't quite as much fun as the old fashioned kind. Glad you got the fridge fixed. The lemons look great.

07.26.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRae

isn't it crazy how things always seem to go awry when your husband is away? happens to me all the time. how I am longing for a tall glass of homemade lemondade. can you believe lemons don't grow in the dominican republic, in the heart of the caribbean?! so, we make limeade, which is yummy all the same, but I still miss that lemon-twang.

07.27.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkarin

I understand how it is hard to change from NYC to other areas of the world, and to trust people differently than you do there. I am in NYC in the summers, but during the year I attend university in Switzerland, where people seem obliged to be truthful, honest, and helpful at all times. Sometimes when people do nice "common courtesy" things for me here, I thank them in Italian, as I am so shocked!

07.28.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

beautiful site you have here -- a breath of fresh air.

07.28.2009 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade "


07.29.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmoureuse Frank

Ordered my lemon juicer today! I've been contemplating the one Ina Garten uses (electric), but didn't want another appliance. This will be perfect. Your blog is lovely.

why do fridges always breakdown in summer? never in winter. all that hard hot work they do I guess.

and we have a tree full of limes, so for us we make limeonade!

08.14.2009 | Unregistered Commentertiel

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