Thursday, March 15, 2012

when life gives you lemons...

make lemonade!

or lemon butter, lemon cordial, lemon marmalade, limoncello or easiest of all - preserved lemons!

Preserved Lemons (ronnie style)

thoroughly scrub whole lemons
cut into segments (quartered if small, 6th's if larger)
mix in bowl with course salt (approx ratio 250g salt for every 10 whole lemons)
juice the same number of lemons and set juice aside
sterilise wide mouthed jars (I sterilise my preserving jars by first giving them a hot soapy wash and rinse - then set them in a medium oven (180C) for 20 mins....)
when jars are cool add to each - salted lemon segments, one bay leaf, 3-4 whole cloves, small piece of cinnamon stick

sprinkle extra salt, add lemon juice to cover segments
seal and set aside for at least one month.

ps - don't panic if you see a white mould appearing on the lemons - all is ok!

mmm in a couple of months your preserved lemons will be soft (including the peel) and ready to use in all manner of dishes - I make a lemon baked chicken by stuffing the cavity of a whole chicken (free range & organic of course) with preserved lemon segments and pour a little of the lemony juice over the chicken skin and sprinkle with herbs/ spices of choice (this is a big hit with all the meat eaters in the family)


the mighty lemon rules beyond the plate

Over the last couple of months I've been experimenting with making my own lemon-based cleaning products including lemon vinegar and citrus enzyme cleaner

lemon vinegar cleaner

mix together lemon slices, lemon juice, white vinegar, water (you can vary the percentages of vinegar to water.... I've been trialling 3-2 vinegar to water)... add a couple of squeezed lemons per litre.  Leave the mix for at least one month before using as an all purpose surface cleaner ....
the lemon leaves a nice scent and the lemon/vinegar combo has a mild bleaching effect which I found great on bathroom tiles and grout..... and left the shower smelling like a lemon explosion! ps sprinkle bi-carb onto the lemony vinegar for extra cleaning oompf)


citrus enzyme cleaner
(a weird little beastie!)

take some of your left over lemon/orange/alternate citrus peels
chop and add these to a 2L container and fill to about 4/5ths with water add 100gms brown sugar

now - leave this for at least 3 months before use... in the first couple of weeks make sure you release the gases that will be building (mmmmmm fermentation!) by leaving the top a little bit loose and checking the mix every few days... never tighten the top and leave (or you'll come back to an exploded bottle)

by accounts citrus enzyme cleaners can be diluted then used as -

a floor/surface cleaner
add to clothes wash or as a pre-soaker
a windows and mirrors
cleaning vegies as you peel them (? I haven't tried this... but I suspect the left over enzyme wash water would be fab in the compost!)
inside the fridge (leaving a nice citrus aroma - I'm waiting to see how well it inhibits the return of mould...)


aren't lemons wonderful!



  1. I made preserved lemons once and yes I did panic when I saw white mould on the lemons and threw the whole lot out!
    Love the cleaning recipes - must try them.

  2. Great recipes Ronnie - we have an overload of limes, so will try them as alternatives....

  3. Wonderful post Ronnie, thanks for the recipes.


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx