When life gives you lemons…

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My grandma has a lemon tree and on New Year’s day, she gave me 14 lemons.  What on earth can I do with 14 lemons before they go bad?  I started researching and below were all of the options, so I did the ones in bold.  My mouth just got sour thinking about this.  Did yours? :

  1. my mom’s advice was to slice them up, freeze them, then defrost them to rub all over my face as bleach
  2. make lemonade
  3. make lemon preserves
  4. make lemon desserts (tart, curd, meringue…)
  5. make lemon sauces (with cream, with white wine etc.)
  6. make salad dressing

I can’t believe the only thing I didn’t make was lemonade.  I sort of regret it now, but I’ll just go visit my grandma again to get more and make that another exciting post!  Anyway, even after making all of the 5 items above, I had to give 6 lemons to my brother-in-law because there was just no way I could use them all.

I’m not going to post about the lemon curd I ended up making because I didn’t like the recipe.  It was not tart enough and too sweet.  Then, I can’t post the recipe for the lemon cream sauce I made because I just threw it together, but boy it was good.  I used cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and dill.  PERFECTION.

PUT LEMONS ON YOUR FACE

So let’s start with putting lemon on your face.  I have to be frank because I haven’t actually tried this yet.  My mom is the queen of finding skin concoctions within your groceries and if you’ve met her, you will know that she has the best skin.  We pretty much always get mistaken for sisters.  She puts cucumber slices that have been soaked in lemon juice on her face every other night for a minute or two.  She does it to brighten age spots, but as I was researching, it helps with acne as well.  The acidity of the juice starts breaking down dead skin cells that would eventually turn into blackheads and while doing that acts as an exfoliant. Applying lemon juice also increases the collagen in your skin, which helps with fine lines and wrinkles. I’m super excited to start trying it out.

However, before you start dumping your head in lemon juice everyday, make sure to test it out because the acidity might be too much for sensitive skin, so start small to see if you have any side effects.  Also, you’re essentially bleaching your skin, so make sure to wear sunscreen before going outside.

MAKE SALAD DRESSING

Below is the lemon vinaigrette dressing recipe that I LOVE.  It’s the perfect amount of tart and sweet and feels really healthy. I’m notorious for buying an absurd amount of lettuce, making salad dressing, then never actually making salad, but I’m feeling that 2020 will be different. 😉

1/4 cup lemon juice
1tsp whole grain dijon mustard
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup champagne vinegar
1 garlic clove grated
honey (optional)

 

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MAKE LEMON PRESERVES

Lastly, I made lemon preserves.  I honestly didn’t even know what these were until my brother-in-law suggested it.  Apparently putting lemon with a bunch of salt and its own lemon juice helps preserve the lemon, changes the taste of the rind so that it isn’t bitter and reduces the sourness of the juice. I made it and the results are quite tasty.  It’s lemon juice that is not too sour but has depth of salty goodness that I will definitely be using to enhance some of my sauces.  Below is the super easy recipe.

  1. Quarter 5 lemons but don’t cut all the way to the bottom.  Add a 1/2 tbsp of salt, then put each lemon in a quart mason jar.
  2. Muddle each lemon after dropping into the jar.
  3. Once all 5 lemons are in the jar, if the juice does not fill to the top, add lemon juice from a 6th lemon to fill the jar.
  4. Add 2 bay leaves then close
  5. Turn the jar upside down everyday for one week before opening the jar
  6. Once open you do not need to put it in the fridge (but I did); and you can use them for up to a year!

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