Monday, April 11, 2011

Life Gave Me Lemons

80-lbs of lemons are out on our deck. Why? You'll have to ask the boy what he was thinking when he filled up a bag (previously containing 50-lbs of Chandler walnuts) with lemons. He says he wanted to make hard lemonade since we had success with our hard apple cider, but I'm not sure how he's going to do this since the nothing I've fermented has had such high citric acid level. Various web searches come up with different solutions, and many require things like yeast energizers and nutrients. This picking frenzy is especially baffling since he hates lemonade. He's on his own for this one.


However, I've managed to use up 30 lemon peels for an infused vodka. My original plan was to make limoncello, but the amount of sugar that goes into limoncello is a little sickening, so I may make only a tiny bit of it. BTW, buying 100-proof vodka before noon at the store is going to earn you sideways glances, especially when you think you've swiped your credit card, but have not, and you have to stumble around to dig out your card again, then you don't know the correct phone number for the boy's discount card. At least I wasn't in my pajamas. The cashier strongly suggested I get my own discount card, hopefully because it's a company policy for him to ask and not because he thinks I like to take shots of 100-proof vodka before noon. At least I wasn't still wearing my pajamas.

10 lemons are also destined to be preserved lemons (pic at top of post). That only leaves me with, um, ONE MILLION LEMONS. Give or take a few.

I thumbed through my old school books, and one suggestion is that lemons can go whole into the freezer. That sounds a lot better to me than juicing one million lemons and freezing the juice in ice cube trays. Upon defrosting, the rind will be soft, but the pulp will still yield juice. One sacrificial lemon is in the freezer now to test this out.

So, taking into account that I'm not a sugar fiend (eliminating a lot of baking ideas), what else can I do with all these lemons? Anyone have any suggestions?


  1. Not a clue, but that's a lot of lemons! I guess you can eat only so many lemon bars...

  2. lemon sorbet served in the hollowed-out lemons

  3. Indian lemon pickle. Two versions:

    And limoncello maybe?

  4. Solnichka, lemon sorbet is a great idea! The more juice I can use, the better.

    Meera, I've had lime pickles at Indian restaurants, but never lemon pickles. Thanks for the idea! The no oil version is made similar to kimchi, but without all the sun time. I wonder how it would turn if I didn't expose the jar to sun? And the oil version is interesting, too. I have enough lemons to try both version.

  5. According to the Lost Angelos Times, there's all kinds of stuff you can make.
    -lemon curd
    -infused olive oil
    -lemon confit
    -lemon gremolata
    -lighten your hair
    -stuff them inside roasting chickens or between layers of fish or pork
    -play catch with your dog (does wonders for their breath)
    -bake thin slices with green vegetables (such as zucchini and artichokes)
    -throw some slices in your bath
    -make lemon sugar or lemon honey
    -brighten your linens
    -make lemon marmalade

    When you've exhausted all of your options, you can send some to me ;)

  6. Megan, thank you! Infused olive oil, lemon confit, and lemon marmalade are all things I'd love to try. Now, to get the dogs and cats to play fetch with the lemons - they could use lemony fresh breath for sure!

  7. OOooo! I love lemon curd! I think I'd get ready for summer and make lemonade popcicles. At least you could freeze them and they'd last for months. The sorbet sounds wonderful, too. Make a hair rinse for all your blond friends. Lemon and olive oil salad dressing all bottles up and in storage for the year??? Lemon syrup for waffles maybe? Lemon juice takes the smell off your hands after you filet a fish or dump the juice out of a can of tuna, so keep a little around to clean up with.

  8. I dehydrate them and put them in glass. I make a warming drink with them in the winter.

    I boil lemons, ginger, red pepper flakes in water and a sweetner. I normally use either honey or agave. It really warms you when you have a cold, or its really cold outside. But once you dehydrate them, they store a bit better.

    The other thing I do when I have a ton of lemeons is I juice it and freeze it. Either in a container or in ice cube trays. Then when I have ice tea, I just throw in a lemon ice cube and away I go. :)

  9. Kathleen, lemon syrup sounds dreamy! We don't get maple trees around here, so lemon syrup would be such a wonderful staple to have on hand.

    Kandi, I have the boy slicing lemons right now to stick in the dehydrator. That's such a great idea. My dehydrator needed to come out of retirement. Your warming lemon drink sounds fantastic.

    Thank you all so much for these great ideas! Keep 'em coming!

  10. You could juice all the lemons and make homemade lemon juice, which is not as boring as it sounds. It's WAY better than the stuff at the store. It's very good on crepes with a little bit of sugar :)

    And lemon curd is DIVINE on toast.



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