By Joseph Parish
I like to garbage garden as I call it. I will take sees that one would normally toss into the trash and plant them. The majority of the time I have a certain degree of success in growing these plants. One of them that I usually do very well with is lemons and oranges. Most citrus fruits are similar to what I am about to say.
After enjoying an orange or a lemon I will take the seeds and dry them out. Afterwards I place the seeds into a Dixie cup with some soil in it. Water it well but do not over soak the seed. Place the cup in a Ziploc baggy and sit it in a window area for some time. I generally continue to add to my Dixie cup as I eat the fruit. This provides a continuous supply of plantings.
Keep in mind that although these plants will grow fruit the fruit will be much less in abundance then if it were a tree outside. Of course you can place your trees outside in the summer time but never put them out in cold temperatures 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eatable landscape is one of life best pleasures and I for one do as much as I can to promote it. I have included a recipe or tow for preserving your lemons and oranges would be preserved similarly. So without any further ado let’s review the recipe.
Nothing beats the taste of lemon in teas, on chicken, lamb or as an addition to soups. Just about any type of lemon can be preserved although Meyer’s lemon is the fruit of choice. The most important item to keep in mind when preserving lemons is to make certain that they are completely covered with salted lemon juice. When using preserved lemons you should always rinse them off before use to remove any salty taste. You can cook with the thick peels and marinate from the pulp. If you will be using a lemon with a thick peel it can be soften by merely soaking it in lukewarm water for about three days. Change the water on a daily basis.
5 ripe lemons
1/4 cup of salt
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cut he lemons into quarters starting at the top and work down to within 1/2-inch of the bottom. Take and sprinkle the salt on the exposed flesh of the lemon and then try to reshape the fruit. Place 3 tablespoon of salt in a 1 pint Mason jar.
Pack the lemons into the jar and push them firmly to the bottom. Add additional salt and lemon Juice if needed. Keep pressing down the lemons in order to release their juices and make room for the additional lemons. In the event that the released juice is insufficient to cover the fruit you should add additional lemon juice. Leave ¼ inch of air space at the top of the jar prior to sealing it.
Now the time consuming part. Let the lemons ripen for at least 30 days in a warm location. Occasionally shake the jar to distribute the juice and salt. When it is time to use the lemons rinse them well under running water then remove any of the pulp.
An interesting note here is that you do not need to refrigerate them after opening as your persevered lemons will keep for at least a year. As an added treat I have included a fun type recipe that you can try. It is listed below.
Preserved Lemons with Bay Leaves and Cardamom
½ cup of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of cardamom pods
4 bay leaves
1 cup of lemon juice
Start by cutting the lemons into quarters lengthwise. You can leave the stem ends attached to them is you like. Rub the flesh of the lemons with a little of the salt. Place 2 tablespoon of salt in bottom of a quart glass jar. Next place the lemons carefully in the jar trying to alternate between the remaining salt, bay leaves and cardamom pods. Finally pour enough of the lemon juice into the jar to cover the lemons completely. Place lids on jars and let them stand for about three weeks being sure to shake the jar on a daily basis in order to distribute the salt.
These preserved lemons will keep for about 6 months in your refrigerator as long as you keep the lemon juice over them.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish