Thursday, January 27, 2011

Solo Uno

Last year we had BUSHELS of Meyer lemons.  It was grand (as Uncle Ken would say).  I made batches of lemon curd, lemonade, lemon vodka, and preserved lemons.

Then we had a long, HARD freeze.  When we planted the lemon tree, we put it in a protected corner of the house, and Anthony vowed not to treat it specially.  I half heartedly draped some sheets around it, but it got bit.  Many lemons froze and rotted.  I prayed.

In the spring, Anthony trimmed back the damaged tree.  In the summer, it made many sweet, frangrant blooms.  But I did not see any fruit set.  I decided it would be a recovery year.

In the fall, Anthony brought me two large "limes" that some neighborhood kids found and liberated from the tree. (I know Stephanie understands my pain) Apparently they were in the back, about at child eye level.  They were far too green to ripen, and were picked in a way they tore the peel, guaranteeing spoilage.  The stages of grief:  first I cried, then I got angry.  Of course, no one admitted to being the picker.  I called ALL the neighborhood kids over (they were playing kickball outside).  I told them, "If you see ANYTHING in my yard: peaches, limes, lemons, flowers, leaves --- DO NOT PICK THEM!  Come and ask us first!  When you pick things off our plants, it hurts them.  When you take things off our trees, you are stealing.  Don't pick anything!"

"Yes, ma'am!" they all earnestly said.  I put one green lemon on the counter, and one in the refrigerator crisper.  They both stayed green as they quickly rotted.

But then!  Around Christmas time, a lone Meyer lemon revealed itself with its yellow hue!  I left it to ripen unmolested, then picked it (properly) before the first baby freeze of our mild Texas winter.  It smells heavenly.

So, if you had ONE Meyer lemon, what would you do with it?  I am not a big fan of lemon bars, and its not enough to make lemon curd.  I want some peel to make a small batch of lemon vodka, and I can't waste the pulp and juice.  So many recipes called for just using that divinely scented peel (a great option last year), but those are out - I need at least half the peel for vodka, and I'm not wasting the insides on lemonade.

There it is in all its golden massive glory, next to a puny store bought lemon.

I hope we get more citrons next year.


Brandy said...

I would use rest of rind in sugar with a whole vanilla bean.

The juice would make the smallest and tastiest lemonade for my little selfish self. Or make the batch and freeze in ice cube tray and use in water to perk it up.

Or just eat it :)

Emily said...

I'm so sad for you! It is a beautiful lemon. Hard to believe after the bountiful harvest last year that there is only one.

I have no suggestions, but will take a sip of the lemon vodka if you can spare it. :-)

get2eric said...

We, too, planted a Meyer lemon tree 2 years ago and have not have one lemon. But we remain hopeful - someday maybe??? Love you, M & D

EdamameMommy said...

Fruit pinchers receive no retribution for the heinous crimes they commit. It is so unfair! I'd freeze the juice in cubes and use it to make lemon chicken about 3 times. Or a nice vinaigrette.

Consider expanding your orchard to lessen the pain, perhaps?

Krispy said...

your bounty last year (and the beloved shared curd) has put us in want of a lemon tree!

hard to decide what to do with just one.