When God gives you buckets of lemons, there's a lot more you can do than just make lemonade. If you're wondering where the heck I was yesterday, well now you know! I'm doing the final push on the last harvest of our 2011-12 season of Meyer lemons because the darn tree's in blossom already so I had to get a move on and get the job done.
What you're looking at is the second of two buckets (2.5 gallon buckets, overflowing I might add) of fruit and that's not counting the countless citrusy orbs already taken off the tree and put to good use since ripening around Christmas.
Not to really rub it in - ya who are we kidding, but it wasn't one of the better harvest years from our tree either. The numbers were down considerably due to extreme cold and frost bite last year around this time. In fact, as I remember last year about now I was trying to thaw the pipes in the master bath.
While I was picking the crop, I noticed there's something darned fishy about this year's harvest. You see according to Wiki, "The Meyer lemon fruit is yellow and rounder than a true lemon. The skin is fragrant and thin, colored a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe. Meyer lemon fruits have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka grocery store lemon varieties." This is certainly true of some of the lemons on our tree, like the front one in the picture but not all of them. As you can see the fruit really varies in size with several of the beauties measuring 4.5 inches in length (bigger than most of this year's grapefruit, I might add), but their shapes are different too.
Some have the round shape and golden orange colored smooth peel they're supposed to and others look more like Eureka's in shape with a rougher skin and a much more tart flavor. Hard to believe they're all from the same tree, isn't it?
Anyway, enough ruminating - I bet you're wondering what the heck we're going to do with all the lemons. After cleaning up all my scratches and fishing thorn slivers out of my hands and arms, I set about to whipping up several batches of Shaker Lemon Pie filling to store in the freezer. Just thinly sliced lemons, seeds removed and mascerated for 24 hours in sugar and a touch of salt before freezing in zip bags. With the filling recipe marked on the bag, I can whip up a pie or some fabulous tart/sweet lemon bars at the drop of a hat.
Some of the lemons are ear marked for another couple of batches of marmalade like the one I made earlier, and of course some will go into curd, cakes, muffins, puddings and tarts. Of course there's always limoncello too and if I get desperate and can't think of anything else, I'll make some lemonade too.
Oh one more thing - I whipped up a quick lemon chicken piccata last night for dinner - yup, actually cooked dinner for myself. After a day in lemonville, I figured I deserved something that didn't look like a peanut butter sandwich. It was marvellous...simply marvellous!
Hey, I gotta run! My great white hunter's home today and I've still got hours of ironing to do... talk about lemons!