Monday, August 18, 2008


Its cold here at Sams Creek - spring seems a mighty long way away... not a time to be thinking of gardens or preserves you'd think... but it's THE time for lemons - so I've been bottling up lots and lots of lemons from my old faithful Eureka... Preserving lemons is incredibly satisfying and sooooooo simple.

1. prepare bottles (wide neck versions are best - easy to get the wedges in and out of the jar)... and by prepare I don't mean the usual 'sterilise until they drop' - just give the bottles a very thorough clean, I give them a rinse with boiling water and allow to air dry

2. choose lemons with unblemished skins then wash/scrub and cut lemons into wedges - quarters are a tad too large so a bit thinner thank you

3. add lemon wedges and rock salt to prepared bottle (notice how I haven't talked quantities... just a nice solid shake of salt - pack salt as you go - so it's lemons then slat, lemons, salt...)

4. at the same time a add bay leaf (or 2 or 3 or more) and whole cloves (a few) ... and other herbs/spices to suit. This year I'm experimenting with some chilli versions... I'll have to get back to you about the success or otherwise.

5. use some of the lemons with skins less than lovely by juicing them up! add the juice to each jar (I've discovered its best to cover the wedges in juice - so use a clean chopstick or like to poke wedges and herbs into the juice)

6. leave them on the pantry shelf for at least a month

7. the BEST part - open and ENJOY

the salting has a transformative affect on the lemons - make sure you use the whole lemon wedge, skin and all - DELICIOUS!


add to casseroles, stews, tangines - to give a tangy zest - I use them whole stuffed in baked chicken (easy lemon chicken!) - or cut up and added to a seasoning for the bird... great also used to stuff whole baked fish... fabo

don't worry if you notice a small bit of white mould on the skins of the lemons (I never have mind you...) I've read its harmless (from Stephanie Alexander's books)

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