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Posts Tagged ‘edibles’

If I can make it…

1 Lemon tree after harvestMy Meyer lemon tree produced a harvest this year that was truly more than I could deal with.  I have given away five (5!!) grocery store bags full of lemons, and it still has more fruit on it than I am prepared to use!  The photo above was taken after I harvested those 5 bags I gave away.  I am sorry I didn’t think to take a photo before, I was so overwhelmed with the insanity of it all. One of the friends I gave lemons to has a serious talent for cooking and making preserves, so I was glad to unload a bunch with her.  She’s made marmalade, curd, and preserved lemons (which I’d never heard of).  When I saw the preserved lemons last week, all gorgeous and perky in sexy tall jars, I was so envious!  Why haven’t I seen this before?  I learned this morning…. I was at Berkeley Bowl West for spices and I saw a jar, about 8 oz of preserved Meyer lemons for $13.  GAWD, that’s insane. 3 lemon harvestI asked her for her advice on making my own, and today I did it.  Here’s why that is noteworthy:  I dislike cooking.  I mean it, I honestly don’t enjoy it.  I’d rather eat a head of lettuce than make a salad.  It’s the same thing, but with less effort and fewer dishes.  I’ve joked for a long time that I eat ingredients or I nuke food, but I don’t make it.  However, stuffing lemons in a jar is something I can do, and it was nice to make something so pretty that I hope will help me fake having cooked real food someday.

4 clean perfect lemonsSo, following is what I did based on her advice and also review of other recipes online:

I washed the lemons with a little dish soap and the scrubby side of a sponge.  I started out using a veggie scrubber based on one blog’s advice, but it released so much lemon smell into the air, I figured I was releasing too many oils and damaging the peel so I switched to the gentler sponge.  Next, I separated out the beauties (above, aren’t they gorgeous!?) from the fuglies.  I preserved the beauts in the juice of the not-so-pretty ones.  They were beautiful on the inside, and that’s all that matters!

6 making preserved lemonsNext, I made a huge mess.  I took pint and a half size Ball jars, sterilized them with the lids (not the rings you screw on, just the lids with that sealant around the edge) in the oven on a cookie sheet at 220 degrees for 10 minutes.  I sliced the stems off the tops of the perfect lemons, flipped them over and quartered them but not cutting all the way through.

5 sliced lemons for preservingI put 1 tbsp kosher salt in each, and smashed them into jars as densely as I could with some lemon wedges to fill in extra space.  As I filled each jar, I added black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves in various amounts and combinations.  I juiced the ugly lemons and poured the juice over the top, taking care to add enough juice to cover all the fruit….. which started to float and made me mad, because I was told to cover the fruit with the juice, and they were bobbing up out of it …. then I added a skim of olive oil over the top, slapped on a lid and the screw-top ring thingy, and took pictures.

7 preserved lemonsMy friends’ preserved lemons didn’t have salt sitting on the bottom like I do, I don’t know how she managed that…. but whatever.

9 Preserved lemons and orangesOn the right there, you’ll see some preserved oranges.  That is an experiment and I’ll let you know how it goes.  I’ve been told I can crack one of these open in a month and dice the fruit into ice cream, over fish, roast it with chicken, into a salad (hahaha!!), pretty much anything I want.  A word of caution I will repeat from another site is not to add salt if you’re using salt preserved lemons in your cooking as they’ll bring enough with them.

Stay tuned to see if the danged things are edible in about a month!

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