When was the last time you had a strawberry lemonade? Not the store-bought kind in a plastic bottle with a zillion preservatives and artificial flavors, but a real, old-fashioned refresher, with homemade strawberry syrup giving a sweet balance to the tantalizing tart jolt of freshly-squeezed lemon juice?
I had a strawberry lemonade just yesterday. It was the drink that accompanied my take-out lunch from the Mockingbird Cafe in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. I’ve stopped here at Gumbo Cove on the way back from the trek to Miami to deposit our Musical Millennial at U of Miami for grad school. (You may have read about this yesterday; if not, click here.)
The strawberry lemonade from Mockingbird Cafe is a drink that instantly transports you back to childhood summers, all reminiscent of church picnics, sunburns and innocence. It’s a treasure.
Mockingbird Cafe has become a favorite for us here in Bay St. Louis, with its sandwiches named after To Kill a Mockingbird characters and whimsical decor. I always have the Scout sandwich, which is “oven-roasted turkey topped with swiss, lettuce, red onion, tomato, avocado & ancho chili aioli on toasted 9-grain wheat bread”. Sometimes I’m wicked and add bacon, and I’m not sorry.
Mockingbird Cafe is take-out only these COVID-19 days, of course, so we can’t enjoy dining and hanging out in what they have dubbed “Bay St. Louis’ living room,” but that’s ok. Even in take-out mode, the sandwiches and strawberry lemonade are a reminder of the little things in life that bring pleasure. Like Bay St. Louis, Mockingbird Cafe is that perfect blend of quirky and wholesome, and there’s abundant hopefulness in the air there. Its vibe is “sunshine all the way, baby!” We need more of that these days.
My friend Ray of the Storyteller blog says, “enjoy every sandwich,” an acknowledgement that life is uncertain and we should seize the beauty and meaning in every moment. I like that mantra; it resonates with my commitment to trying to be more mindful, appreciating the small things in life, finding joy in them.
If you’re ever in Bay St. Louis, stop by the Mockingbird Cafe and be sure to have a strawberry lemonade with your sandwich. You’ll be transported back to the simple summers of your own childhood, and you’ll thank me for it. Or, you can make it yourself using this recipe from Epicurious, pictured in the cover photo: Strawberry Lemonade.
Stay safe, my friends, and enjoy every lemonade.
© 2020, Glover Gardens