Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Making the Most Of Your Lemons

Do you love lemons?  

I do.

I am fortunate that I live just a few minutes from my mother's residence and her large lemon tree.

My nephew, Oliver, helping with the lemon harvest.
 Now, I could grow own lemon tree in my back garden, but I really don't need to since my mother has more lemons then she knows what to do with.

Unfortunately, lemons don't grow year round and I am stuck getting mine at the grocery store for at least 6 months a year.

Have you seen how much a single lemon costs at the grocery store?
I can't remember the exact amount, I just know that it is a lot.

So, whether you have a ready supply of lemons fresh off the tree, or even if you have to buy yours at the grocery store - here are some tips to make the most of each lemon:

Let's say that you have a recipe that calls for the juice of half a lemon.  Well, after spending up to a $1 a lemon, the last thing you want to do is throw away the other half, so why don't you save the juice?

Whenever I get lemons from my mother's tree, I juice them and pour the juice into ice cube trays.  Then I freeze the ice cubes and then remove the frozen cubes of lemon juice and store in a plastic freezer storage bag in my freezer.  

Then whenever I need a bit of lemon for cooking, all I have to do is grab a frozen cube of lemon.

In addition to saving lemon juice, did you know that you can also save and freeze lemon zest?

Now this step should be done before you cut and juice your lemons.
I actually forgot this step until it was too late, but I was still able to zest a somewhat squishy juiced lemon, although I wouldn't recommend it.

Remove the outer yellow skin of your lemon using a micro-plane tool.  Take care not to remove the white of the peel, which is bitter.

Store your lemon zest in a plastic freezer bag and put in your freezer.  Whenever you need lemon zest, just grab a little.

So the next time you have lemons, make the most out of them :-)

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Thank you for taking the time to 'sample' some of my recipes. I would love to hear your comments!