Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a nice visit with family and friends. Thank you Sue for the beautiful flowers.
Just before Thanksgiving we got a call from a family member that my husbands grandfathers desk was needing a home. It had been donated years ago to a church and they were buying a new desk for the pastor. We were asked if we wanted his desk and being that it once belonged to my husbands Grandfather we said yes, we would like to have it. Many many years past he was a sheriff of a small town in Mississippi. The desk came with much history.
It caused a shifting of furniture and chairs throughout the house. So we have made changes once again. Little by little we are putting the house back to more like the past and it feels right.
The cake plates and pie dishes,pots and pans are now put away from Thanksgiving..
It was time to decide what to do with the lemon harvest.
We needed to preserve and save all the good we could from our lemons. This is our first year to get a good harvest. The trees are still young so our future looks good.
So we sorted the lemons that were to be used for preserving and those that would be used for juicing.
Then I washed the lemons...
This was going to take awhile so I got to thinking...
I was thinking about how long ago people used all the parts they could. People did not waste as we do today. When they harvested their food or bought their food it was a precious commodity. They had to make it last, to stretch it throughout the seasons. There was a planting time and a harvesting time and it needed to last until the next harvest.
First we cut the lemons in half and juiced them by squeezing all the juice out of each lemon we were using for juice. We use an old federal glass juicer where you rub the lemon half over the tip and twist the juice out.
Then we filled 14 half pints and 2 pint jars of preserved lemons. I have a post how to do this and I will post the link at the end of this post.
Some of the halves we placed on a pan and put them in the freezer. When they were frozen we took them out and put them in freezer bags.
Some of them we used a peeler and peeled the rind off and froze the rind...
The rest of them I sat at the table and removed the white pith which is a very tiresome thing and finger cramping job but it gave me the most time to ponder about the past.
To get the white pith out I cut the empty halves in wedges and shave it off with a paring knife.
I remembered the summers of sitting on the porch shelling peas and butter beans and shucking corn. It is better to grow what we can even if that is just a small amount. If we live in an apartment we can grow herbs in pots.
I then put the wedges that had the pith removed in the dehydrator and ran it overnight at 95 degrees. It was done when it snaps crisp like a potato chip.
I air sealed it after it had been dehydrated so it will keep for a very long time. To use it I will grind it when needed for a recipe that calls for zest or use it to add a bit into some cookies to make lemon, vanilla cookies or most anything.
So what we ended up doing with the lemons is made lemon preserves which will be ready to start eating in a month, my husband is so happy to have more of these because he loves it sliced up over salads and rice. We have the dehydrated wedges for zest, we have the sliced frozen to put in tea or other things and we poured juice in ice trays, froze it then put the cubes into a plastic bag. seen above. I forgot to pull out the frozen halves. So we did not waste any of the lemons and not wasting is a very good thing.
This can be done with store bought lemons. Organic is the best if you can find it.
Here is the link to preserving lemons.