Friday 23 September 2011

Lemon Guilt

Lemons are wonderful things, I’ve tried to grow my own but haven’t the patience, the sun or enough indoor space to do them justice.  

So lemons will always appear on my shopping list but I still feel incredibly guilty about the fact that they are far from local. To make up for this air-mile-guilt I try hard to use every last bit of them.

I prefer to buy unwaxed lemons but if there is no choice I soak them in a bowl of warm water with about 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar then scrub to remove the wax. 
If I’m in a hurry I zap them in the microwave on medium heat for about 10-30 seconds to soften the wax & then scrub. (I know that you can also scrub with detergent but that seems sort of wrong as I’m going to be eating it later)

Next I remove the rind, either with a vegetable peeler, zinger or grater. I freeze this in a twist of cling film so that I always have access to ready prepared lemon rind which I use straight from the freezer. I tend to do this with limes and oranges too as recipes rarely seem to use both the rind & juice.  

Then I extract the juice which should be plentiful having been warmed by either the water or microwave. If the lemon is cold I either roll it around in my hands to soften it or zap it in the microwave. The juice can also be frozen, ice cube trays are great for this (I have 4 trays, one for lemon juice, one for egg whites, one for dregs of wine & one for ice cubes!)

If I’m left with half a lemon & the ice cube tray is full, I’ll just slice the lemon & freeze the slices for use in drinks. (To avoid the slices freezing stuck together in one lump, I freeze them flat on a tray & then transfer to a bag)

Finally I’m left with the pithy hulled halves which I tear up & wipe over the sink & taps for an instant descale (we live in a hard water area so seem to spend our lives descaling everything...) I often leave the lemon hulls on for a bit to do their work whilst I do something else then return later to rinse off. 

washing up from lemon cake...

They’re also good if you sprinkle salt over them & use as a scouring pad for really dirty copper or brass (always test a small area first if unsure)

One of my friends always rubs her nails with the hulls as she says that it helps to whiten her nails...

My lemon guilt is still deep so I’d love to know if there are any other uses for the leftover pith?


Thrifty Household said...

Thank you Sue (fellow lemon freezer) My elbows are ok at the moment but I'm now wondering about the heels of my feet...Mr TH is still laughing at the image of me with lemon halves on my elbows

Suse said...

The empty halves are perfect for seeds and seedlings. When the seedling is big enough, pop the whole thing in the ground and voila, no plant shock.

Here, like this.

silverpebble said...

Top tips. I definitely need to use lemony leftovers to descale my kettle and I love Suse's suggestion of eco seedling pots!

Mrs. Micawber said...

Great tips all! Thanks so much.

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