I’m a lemon fanatic. I used it to make salad dressings, always use it on seafood, often use it on chicken. I love a good lemonade and I squeeze a lemon around the edge of the glass for one of my favorite drinks, bourbon with diet ginger ale.

If you make the mistake of nipping off tomato suckers with your fingernails, as I did, you might never get them clean until you try soaking them in lemon juice.

Lemons are also great for cleaning. I have perpetually green hands and fingernails from gardening, and a quick soak in lemon juice cleans them right up in a few minutes.

I grow lemons, right here in central Virginia; I have a nicely potted 3 year old Meyer lemon tree that I take back into my glass porch in the winter. (OK, so I only got 2 lemons last year and am hoping for 8 this year). I buy lemons in bulk and always keep them in the house in anticipation of the day my little tree can well supply my needs. And that probably won’t happen til I move Mr. Meyer to our retirement home on an island…

Here are some of my favorite recipes

Perfect Lemonade with Rosemary

♦ Fresh lemons to make 1 cup of juice (about 4-5 large lemons)
♦ 3/4 cup of sugar (more or less, to taste)
♦ Fresh rosemary leaves (optional)

Squeeze lemons and strain to remove pulp & seeds. Bring lemon juice to boil and add sugar to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir til all sugar is dissolved. When cooled, pour into pitcher. Add 4 cups cold water – and rosemary if desired –  and chill in fridge for about 45 minutes. Pour over ice and serve.

*I’m diabetic and don’t eat much sugar; I used sugar in this because my husband won’t touch anything with fake sugar in it. Because I no longer crave very sweet things, I found the sweetness perfect but you may want more sugar. You can quite easily use a sugar substitute. I believe that next time I’ll try brewing it up with some of the stevia I have in the garden – to me this counts as herbal fake sugar.

Brined lemons and chive blossom vinegar

Brined Lemons
In virtually any dish where you would add both lemon and salt – such as fish or chicken – it’s great to have brined lemons on hand. This is a super simple process, and you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them.

You’ll need:
Quart Jar
5 lemons
1/4 cup salt
*juice from extra lemons may be needed

Put 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of the jar.

Quarter the lemons, cutting from the top ALMOST to the bottom. Gently spread them out and sprinkle salt on the exposed flesh, then reshape the lemon. Pack in the lemons and push them down; this releases some of the juice from the fruit. Add more salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice, if needed, to cover each layer of lemons inserted.  Don’t COMPLETELY fill the jar – leave some air space at the top (above the fully submerged lemons) before sealing.

No need to process the jar of lemons! Simply leave them in a warm place for 30 days before using. Shake the jar now and then to redistribute the salt and juice.

When ready to use, remove lemons and rinse under water. DO NOT PUT YOUR FINGERS IN THE JAR, as this can contaminate the solution. You can use the pulp for marinades, and cook with the peels.

You can refrigerate your brined lemons if you want, but so long as you’re careful not to stick your fingers in the jar then you can keep them on the counter for up to a year. As you’re making other dishes that use fresh lemons, you can add leftover lemon wedges to the jar.

Lemon Syrup
This is great on pancakes or drizzled over muffins. It’s so easy you can whip it up in a flash.

3 lemons, juiced
10 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water

Heat the sugar and let it carmelize in the pan. Add the lemon juice and water. Cook for 10-15 minutes.

Fabulous Fake-It Lemon Chiffon Angel Food Cake

I saw this lavish cake recipe on Pinterest that took 4 days to make. I thought I could cut that time down a bit, and got it down to about a 10 minute ordeal.

(In a brief stint where I had a job instead of being self-employed, my boss brought me a project that had a fast deadline approaching. She said “if you want to get a job done quick, ask the lazy person to do it”.) I think that was her way of saying that if I could design a newspaper ad in an hour and it took her 3 days, I must be quicker because I was lazy. Anyway, here’s the whole grueling recipe.

I actively look for angel food cake recipes because they’re supposed to be better for us diabetics than regular cake. I also used sugar-free pudding to further reduce my guilt.

 

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