Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lemony Delicious

First off, I would like to thank you all for your kind encouragement and suggestions about making bread. You guys provided some fantastic resources that I have been combing over. I plan to try again this weekend....I'll be sure you know how things turn and whether or not there was cursing involved.

Besides trying and failing at bread making, I've also been doing a bit of food preservation. Preservation of lemons to be exact. Because hey, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life gives you twenty pounds of lemons, you panic and start tearing through cookbooks and cooking websites to figure out what to do with all of them. Citrus does very well here in the valley. Though my own trees are young and tender, we have several friends with mature ones, and they have more fruit than they know what to do with. Because we are the people who "preserve and prepare" we are often the first to get others crop excesses since they figure with our drying/canning skills we are better equipped to handle such a surplus.

A kind assumption really, but not necessarily true. Yes. I can probably can it or dry it but that doesn't mean I know how to handle certain foods. And lemons, well, there's not a terrible lot you can do with them.  We made a huge pitcher of lemonade of course. Rolling and juicing lemons is a source of great entertainment in this house. We froze about four quarts of lemon juice to be used either while cooking or to make another yummy batch of homemade lemonade or lemon squares and the rest, we sliced and put in the trusty old dehydrator.

And what, you ask, can you do with a dehydrated lemon? Well...
  • You can put them in your tea or your ice water! Personally, I love a lemon slice in my water but never seem to have the fresh variety on hand when I get a hankering. Dried lemons=problem solved!
  • Break them up in little pieces and add them to muffin or cookie batters. I think poppy seed muffins would be especially delicious with dehydrated lemon pieces.
  • Use them for pretties. In our house, pretties are things that we look at but don't touch. Use dried lemon slices in you homemade potpourri concoctions or in your home decor projects, like perhaps, a wreath.
  • Stew them in sugar syrup and lay them over the top of a bundt or coffee cake. Yummo!
I really like the versatility of dried fruits. Next time your orchard runneth over, or you score a killer deal at the store, consider dehydrating. Simple and delicious!

1 comment:

  1. My eyes widened at that lemon tree picture...we live in Ontario, where we get apples, and sometimes grapes, pears, and plums. That's about it, although we have neighbours who grow peaches in a greenhouse. Lemon trees!! I'd love to pick a lemon. They're one of the only tropical fruits I but on a regular basis. Love them in my water! Also have a great muffin recipe I'll send in an email (remind me if I forget!)...