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Friday Favorite: Pucker Up for Free Lemons

February 4th, 2011

I’m a big fan of all things lemon, always have been. When I was a little girl I ate lemons like other kids ate apples. My taste for the lemon hasn’t changed, I find myself adding lemon zest or lemon juice to anything that will take it. I also love grapefruit, must be something about that tartness that I love. Several years ago, when I started becoming more of a local eater I quit buying as many lemons (which was very sad). Then I discovered the joy of supporting small farms around the country for things I can’t buy locally like olive oil, grapefruit, oranges and of course lemons.

Last year I found the Lemon Ladies Orchard and was thrilled with the box of Meyer Lemons I received. They’re not like regular lemons, they’re sweeter, since they’re a cross between a lemon and a mandarine orange. The Lemon Ladies orchard was started in 2004 by Karen. She decided to name each tree after a lady who had inspired her and helped her achieve her dreams. She grows her trees with organic fertilizer, lots of sunshine and fresh water and they flourish under her care.

I received my box of lemons in the mail last Thursday and have been enjoying sliced lemon in my tea every day. Tonight I plan on making berry cobbler with lemon juice and lemon zest. I’ll make another batch of preserved lemons for sure and meyer lemon marmalade to keep the flavor of these all year long. I might even make a lemon cake with lemon icing, if I do I’ll share with a friend of mine who also has a love for all things lemon.

Earlier this week, Karen, contacted me to thank me for mentioning The Lemon Ladies on my blog and she offered to give a Meyer Gift Bag to one of my lucky readers as a Valentine’s Day Giveaway. So PUCKER UP and comment below, you could win a dozen lovely freshly picked Meyer Lemons from a small orchard in California.

What’s your favorite kind of fruit?

Making Preserved Lemons

November 18th, 2009

I’m a huge fan of all things lemon. If I have a choice I’ll take lemon anything: cookies, cakes, scones, etc. Sadly lemons don’t grow in NE Ohio (unless you can manage an indoor tree) so finding a local source is not going to happen. The next best thing to local, is finding a small orchard to buy them from. I searched on-line and found a small orchard in California called Lemon Ladies Orchard. I ordered a 10-lb box of Meyer lemons and they arrived several days later.
meyer_lemons
I have so many recipes for these lemons I probably will run out of lemons long before I complete them all. First on my list was making a batch of preserved lemons for the pantry.
Lemons_on_cutting_board
I picked out 15 nice lemons, coarse sea salt and grabbed a nice sized jar from the pantry. While I sterilized the jar, I washed and quartered 10 of the lemons (cut the stem end off and quarter lemons lengthwise). Next I added the lemon quarters to my jar adding a scant tablespoon of salt after each row. Pack the lemons tightly but don’t crush them. You can also add spices if you’d like, cinnamon, cloves, etc.
preserving_lemons
Keep adding lemons and salt until you’re up to the top of the jar (I used a quart jar, you can use 2 pints if you’d like).
Salted_lemons
When you reach the top, take the remaining 5 lemons and roll on the counter to soften (makes them juice better). Juice the lemons into the jar, add enough juice to cover the lemons, use more lemons if needed. Remove any air bubbles and top off with the remaining salt (you want to use about a half cup total for this recipe).
juicing_lemon
Allow lemons to ferment on the counter for 2 weeks (3-4 weeks if you used regular lemons and not Meyer). Shake the jar occasionally (every couple days) to redistribute salt. Store in the fridge and enjoy in recipes, they’ll keep for about 6 months. When you want to use them you can rinse the lemons if you don’t want to add so much salt to your recipe or you can leave them salty. They may acquire some white crystals, this is OK. Here’s a recipe for Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash & Preserved Lemons.
squeezed_lemons
Not wanting to waste any part of these lovely lemons, I decided to candy the rinds of the lemons I used for juice.
candied_lemon_rinds
These little jewels are so tasty! I also used the syrup left from the candied lemons and made some lemon ginger hard candy. *recipe for candied lemon peel

What’s your favorite flavor?

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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