Lemons taken for granted, we all have lemon trees in our garden, it’s one of those common fruit trees in most people’s backyards. I love them. I would have disappointed my parents by not planting a lemon tree, and what is a farm without lemon trees?
The 3 varieties we planted are:
- Eureka – produces beautiful fruit in two or even three flushes of fruit a year.
- Lisbon – produces one major flush of fruit, generally in winter.
- Meyer – a cross between a lemon and an orange. It’s less acidic and is always popular because of its small, round juicy fruit.
The health benefits of lemons are attributed to its high level of Vitamin C. It helps improve skin health, encourages weight loss, and act as a breath freshener. Lemons also help with throat infections, high blood pressure and the common cold. My mum’s Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup) was her answer to a sore throat, high body temperature, headaches, feeling unwell in any possible way. Bless you mum – really miss your delicious chicken lemon soup.
From a cooks perspective, Greeks own lemons the way Italians say they own tomatoes. Lemons are without doubt one of the defining flavours of Greek/Middle Eastern cuisine.
Lemon harvest year by year was so plentiful and I will always recall the way mum would show me how to use this amazing fruit. We will make batches of lemon curd, cakes, liqueurs, lemonade and still have plenty of wonderful fruit to offer to friends. My mum used to keep a couple of juiced lemons by the sink and she would rub her hands with them. Her hands were soft and white. We take lemons for granted, our pantry always had a steady supply. So now it’s my turn to explore and share with you our creations.
- We have created a fresh, fragrant Lemon Syrup Cordial – no preservatives, no gums. Used at 1:6 dilution, or alternatively can be diluted further, depending on taste. I like it at 1:7.
- Lemon Pickle – is a great way to use leftover peels after making Lemon Cordial. With the assistance of a dear friend who is Indian, she has encouraged me to make this spicy, delicious pickle. It’s in the development stage, waiting for the flavours to mellow and develop. We are hoping to have products for sale in the next few months.
- Lemon Marmalade – again we are exploring ways to use the leftover peels. People who enjoy the taste of citrus marmalade/jam. Keep a lookout. We are in the development stage.