Monday, January 17, 2011

When life gives you lemons

Not too long ago,while visiting a friend, I admired her blossoming lemon tree. "We never use those lemons."


Of course, I offered to take them off her hands once they are ripe. Now they are.

What's a girl to do with all these fabulous, UNSPRAYED, lemons? Lemon everything, that's what!

Now that I have the fabulous LuLu in my life, I can dry lemons in my oven. My mom immediately thought we should Morocan Lemons, though neither of us Gringas really have any clue how to make them. After googling such, I saw that it was not complicated, but rather that I needed to find the authentic way to make them. Thankfully, my favorite library is always to the rescue.

You quite simply wash the lemons, cut them quarter-wise down the middle without slicing all the way through, cover them with salt, smash them into a Mason jar, cover with lemon juice or brine, close....and wait. Four to six weeks, that is.

Once the skins have softened, you take the lemons, scoop out the meat, rinse off the salt, and enjoy the PEELS in your mediteranean dishes (that will follow once my peels are done). Now you see why you want to use organic or unsprayed lemons, eh? Check some notes below.....

P.S. After I had to remove & restack the lemons several times, here are some notes from this gringa who now knows how to brine her lemons:

1. cut the hard ends off the lemons on both sides
2. If you have cuts on your hands because you are ever so clumsy with knives, shears, etc...let someone else salt and stuff the lemons for you. You guessed it...we could have dubbed this "Moroccan torture"...lemons & salt in cuts, just fabulous.
3. Sort you lemons by size, makes space stuffing procedure much more efficient.
4. The recipes say you need about 1tblsp of salt for every lemon, and about two extra lemons for juice. No way. I needed a bunch of extra lemons for juice. I had a butt load of them, so it did not matter. I made one glass with lemon juice, one with brine. The brine one will take longer. Will report back with four to six weeks, that is.

And as a completely unrelated tidbit, check out what I found at the thrift store today:

I am so giddy about that, as I plan on making lots of wine! But that, my beautifuls, is a whole 'nother post!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Simply" delicious bread in pinch!

I make my own bread, and I am spoiled. I hate running out of bread unprepared, as a trip to the bakery always ends with frustration at the high price & mediocre taste of the bread.

I discovered this great little recipe online, tweeked it a bit, and want to share. About 70 minutes from start to in your mouth (if you like it hot!! :)...).

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

2 cups of rolled oats (not quick oats, just natural cut oats)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of milk (I use kefir, because I have a lot :)..)
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tblsp honey
2 tblsp apple sauce (recipe calls for oil, I use apple sauce)

Preheat oven to 350. Grind oatmeal in mixer so it has a fine consistancy. Mix all ingredients, put in a greased rectangle bread loaf pan, bake for 1 hour.


Kids love it :). Tastes great with cream cheese, jam, honey....mmmm.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Let's paint the town red.....

It's a new year, and one of the highest ranking resolutions seems to be "Get Fit". I am right up there with them :).

Let me introduce you to my newest friend: Beet Kvass.

Beet Kvass has to be one of the most auspicious foods I know. Beautiful, red, yummy, super healthy. A staple in many countries, they know what is good for them.

It's easy to make, drink a cup in the morning & evening.

Cut up 2 large or 3 medium organic beets. Place into a 2 quart jar. Add 1/4 cup of whey, fill with water. Close tightly. Keep on counter for 2 days. Then transfer to the fridge, then sip a cup in the morning & evening.

When your jar is almost empty, refill with water and whey, and start over. Discard beets after the second soak.

Enjoy, and happy 2011!!