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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lemon Kind of Day - Updated

Well I am sad to see the last of the fresh lemons go....but they were so wonderful to cure a bit of the winter blues while they lasted!  We were able to make lots and lots of fresh lemonade, even raspberry lemonade one day with frozen raspberries.  I used fresh squeezed juice on chicken and in salad dressing, zest on veggies, lemon bread and lemon coconut bars and now I have just finished putting the lemon rinds in a large 2 quart jar filled with vinegar and I have checked on my preserved lemons everyday.

You would think that one might get a little sick of lemons...but we haven't, in fact we all laid around last night and lamented on  how we should call the sweet aunt and run down and get some more....you know...run down as in a state away.....doubly good, I little out of town jaunt and bring home fresh lemons....

But I guess we will have to make ourselves happy with the preserved lemons and that fresh lemony smell when we spray the cleaning vinegar on our cleaning surfaces after sitting and steeping for the next four weeks....and it looks so pretty on my counter that I started a bottle of orange peels soaking in vinegar!  Fresh smelling and natural cleaning supplies that won't joke us to death when you spray them. You can visit My Old Kentucky Homestead where I got the idea from.  Love the internet!!!

I also researched and studied how to preserve lemons since my hubs had been in Afghanistan and had enjoyed a recipe that called for preserved lemons and he wanted to make it at home or us. So off to the one and only Arabic store we could find in the big city....we learned quite a bit there....and enjoyed some melt in your mouth roasted lamb kabob...

mmm.....getting hungry....

we ended up not getting any of the preserved lemons at the time because 1) they were a little expensive and 2) I didn't know how to use them except or that one recipe. Now, I know not only how to use them, but to make them. It if you can cut a lemon, you can make preserved lemons, or limes if you prefer! 

I don't know why I hadn't heard of these before because when I researched it......preserving citrus fruit has been going on for centuries in practically every country that had access to citrus fruits, including the United States!  This just made me realize how much I don't know about the world, and my own little world!!  The US tended to pack them in Vinegar while the Middle Eastern and North African countries tend to pack them in salt, which is what I did. The preserved lemons can be used in sushi (which I have been experimenting with the last couple of months), fish and chicken, ceviche, ice cream and venison...Yes, venison!! Which will be good, as it is time to put in for our deer tags and we are all hoping to draw out to fill our freezer once again!

...and now....I can't find my pictures..that for once...I took...how maddening! FOUND them....thanks to my #3!

But I can tell you it was a success because all you do is lay kosher salt on the bottom of the glass jar after gently scrubbing the lemons.  Cut of the blossom end (and the little knubs if you are using Eureka lemons).

The cut length wise into the lemon making an x, but not cutting all the way through. You basically have a quarted lemon that you now put 1 tablespoon of kosher salt in, covering all over.

Layer in the glass jar, tamping down as you go to release the juices. Keep layering until about an inch from the top. At this point I was really pushed hard on the lemons to get the juice covering the lemons and to put more in there, as I was only going to do one jar to see how it went.

Cover with another tablespoon of salt, and add fresh squeezed lemon juice if there isn't enough.

Then cover and let sit at room temperature for a few days, after which you can store them in the fridge where the should last for a year or longer.  Leave them be for 3 - 4 weeks and then use to your hearts content! You could also water bath them or ten minutes if you would like them to sit in your pantry.

I can't wait to use them in this Moroccan Chicken with Lemons and Olives recipe. I drool every time I see this recipe!

You ca also visit this site or more ideas on preserving lemons.

Now if you'll excuse me...I am going to go enjoy a lemon coconut bar..

Lemon Coconut Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup cold butter or margarine
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan with coconut o
2. In a bowl, combine flour and confectioners’ sugar; cut in the butter until crumbly 
3. Press into the bottom of a lightly greased. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
4. Then, in a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and baking powder until well mixed. Pour over crust; sprinkle coconut evenly over the top.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars....if you can wait that long! 

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