lemonade with roasted fennel seeds, honey and fresh mint leaves – a taste of yellow and a tribute…

I didn’t know Barbara very well but we share more than one thing – the love and passion for food, shown on our blogs. And there is the other one – an eval fu**cking enemy, the cancer.

Back in 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Me, the lucky one with the tiny little boobs – it wasn’t what I had expected – I wanted to start my own little business. Life has changed completely from one second to the other. Nothing stayed the same and the first time of my life I‘ve been really afraid – afraid of dying.

To hold on something, I pressed the LIVEstrong yellow ribbon inside my hands during the surgery. After that my beloved hubby and me had to go through months of chemotherapy. It wasn‘t a fancy thing so to say and I do not mean loosing my hair. This hasn‘t been a big deal. I was looking like the female version of Telly Savalas without the cigar and yes, I had some moments feeling sexy with my bowling ball.

I started sewing and produced a remarkable selection of hats because wearing a toupee, rug, wig – what is the right word – wasn‘t an option.

But I had my weak and painful moments when everything looked dark-  the fear came to me and wanted to possess me. During these moments I dreamed of france, cooking the best french cuisine with lots of tartes and all the things I am so in love with.

And during my good moments I went into the kitchen to prepare my favorite dishes for hubby and me to feel comfortable and to have a bit of a „normal“ life.

After chemotherapy and radiation I had time to recover and to start a new way of life. Yes, even if this sounds like a cliché – we (me and my hubby too ) changed some important things. One of the reasons I started my blog was the experience that life is so precious and it is too short to waste time with doing things that aren‘t good for me. I am grateful every day for every day.

Now, 4 years later,  I have my weak moments too, when I have to fight against my biggest enemy – the fear – the fear not to have enough time. I am often impatient, cannot wait and want to make the second step before the first one was taken. I have to learn to be serene – this is my motto.

Sometimes I want to shout out loud – „I want my old life back, for god‘s sake“. The imaginary-trolls want to paralyze me and then I have to fight – and I do it better when I‘m in my kitchen. And so I started to join the „Jour du Macaron“ movement in 2010, an event, originally hosted by Pierre Hermé.

The donations I receive go to a public charity for children suffering from cancer.

Barbara hosted the „Taste of Yellow“ event to help raise awareness of cancer. When I heard that as a tribute to her and to the memory of her the Monthly Mingle (this awesome virtual potluck), organized by Meeta and this month hosted at Cooksister by Jeanne, I decided to submit a yellow recipe.

Do you know the phrase „When life gives you lemons, make lemonade“? I am sure you do! I don‘t think you can compare making lemonade with cancer but we are responsible for this one precious life and so we have to do everything to live our best life.

And yes, there isn‘t so much sun during summer 2012 but don‘t care too much about it when you can shine from your inside.

Drink a glass of this lemonade and you‘ll have a yellow taste of summer.

This lemonade, made of the juiciest lemons I could get, combines some of my favorite flavors – roasted fennel seeds, honey from the garrigue and a few leaves of fresh mint.

Take care of you and hug the ones you love and let’s celebrate our life. Cheers!

lemonade with roasted fennel seeds, honey and fresh mint leaves
makes about 1 liter
juice of 8 lemons
4-6  tblsp. honey
50 g fennel seeds
250 ml water for the syrup plus more for the lemonade
fresh mint leaves
1. In a pan roast the fennel seeds until lightly brown. Working with a mortar and pestle grind the seeds into powder. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine honey and 250 ml water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve honey. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate the syrup until chilled.
3. Remove seeds and pulp from lemon juice. In a pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice, the fennel powder and some mint leaves. Add as much water as you like.
4. Serve with ice cubes if you want.
Zitronenlimonade mit gerösteten Fenchelsamen, Honig und Minzblättchen
ergibt ca. 1 Liter
Saft von 8 Zitronen
4-6 EL Honig
50 g Fenchelsamen
250 ml Wasser für den Sirup plus extra Wasser für die Limonade
frische Minzblättchen
1. In einer Pfanne die Fenchelsamen rösten bis sie leicht braun sind. In einem Mörser mit dem Stößel die Samen zu Puder mahlen. Beiseite stellen.
2. In einer Kasserolle den Honig mit 250 ml Wasser aufkochen, dabei umrühren, dass sich der Honig auflöst. Danach auf Zimmertemperatur abkühlen lassen und abgedeckt im Kühlschrank runter kühlen.
3. Die Zitronenkerne und das Fruchtfleisch entfernen. In einem Krug den abgekühlten Sirup, den Zitronensaft, das Fenchelpuder und die Minzblättchen zusammen rühren. Mit Wasser nach Geschmack aufgießen.
4. Mit Eiswürfeln servieren.

Comments (13)

  1. Divine! I love the flavors used.



  2. Danke für die schönen und bewegenden Worte.
    …, gerade die einschneidenen Erlebnisse, wie Krebs zeigen, dass wir jeden Tag genießen sollten und den Tag mit Dingen füllen, die einen gut tun. Jeder Tag ist einzigartig und lebenswert;-)!

  3. Bewegender Artikel, hat mir sehr gefallen.
    LG Corinna

  4. What a touching story Sandy. I had no idea … in my eyes you are a incredibly stong and pretty awesome lady. Thnak for joing the Monthly Mingle. Cheers to you!

  5. Danke für diese sehr persönliche Geschichte. Und auf dass ich noch ganz viele BlogPosts von dir lesen werde, in denen du dann von eurem geplanten Leben in Südfrankreich schreiben wirst und auch berichtest, welche Macarons in 20, 30, 40, 50… Jahren die beliebtesten sind.
    Herzliche Grüße!

  6. Ich habe Deinen Blog gerade erst entdeckt und dann gleich eine so bewegende Geschichte … Wow … Sehr beeindruckend und Hut ab!

    Und vielen Dank für das Limonaden-Rezept. Das werde ich unbedingt ausprobieren. Deine Zitronen-Bilder sind zum Verlieben.

    Viele Grüße

  7. Vielen Dank euch allen für eure lieben Kommentare! Mir ist bewusst, dass es nicht so leicht ist, zu einem solchen Post einen Kommentar zu schreiben. Umso mehr freue ich mich über eure Worte. Das gibt mir Kraft und zeigt mir, dass es gut ist, auch die weniger schönen Seiten offen zu zeigen. Liebe Grüße an euch alle, Sandy

  8. hello sandy,
    habe das leider in der familie auch schon “miterlebt”.. kraft! und viele schöne projekte! und super schöne fotos machst du! lg aus wien, bianca

  9. This is one of the most touching and inspiring posts of all the monthly mingle posts this month. I cannot imagine how having a disease like cancer must shift the entire axis of your life and consciousness – as you say, even those who have beaten the disease live forever with the fear. And yes, we are often so complacent and complain when we have absolutely perfect lives; or waste our time on meaningless things as if we have unlimited time ahead. Thank you for reminding us otherwise – and for this glorious, sunny recipe. Sending you huge hugs.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story with us and this refreshing lemonade recipe. I love it!

  11. What an amazing post! Thank you for sharing your story, and a great recipe 🙂

  12. this is a fantastic recipe. the addition of the roasted fennel is such a clever touch.

    i can’t believe how brave you are to go through that fear and come out the other side so strong.

    i am really glad i found your blog through this mingle.

  13. […] DISH: Lemonade with roasted fennel seeds, honey and mint leaves NAME: Sandy Neumann LOCATION: Jena, Germany BLOG: Confiture de Vivre […]

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