Lemony Goodness

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We have a huge lemon tree in our backyard and this year, my husband decided it would be a good idea to harvest the entire tree at once so he could go ahead and prune the tree. This was a good idea in theory, however, I was left with an overwhelming amount of lemons in my kitchen that I knew I had to process before they would spoil. Granted, lemons will keep for quite a while, but when you're dealing with this many lemons, it's pretty daunting. Even Woody was amazed at the amount there were.

Many weekends, I sat at the kitchen table and peeled the rinds off of the lemons, then juiced them so we could save every lovely bit of lemony goodness.

Dear husband made several loaves of lemon bread and I did my share of making a lemon cake or two, but the real reason I go to this much trouble is to make limoncello. I love limoncello and don't really drink it too often, but when I do, it's just so yummy! However, now that I have my own lemon tree, I am finding it quite easy to make this lemony goodness and also different levels of sweetness. The worst thing about limoncello is the fact that once you have all of your peels and add them to your alcohol, you have to wait about 2 months for a really good product. You place your peels in a large container and add your alcohol, then stick it in a cool dark place and just wait. And wait, and wait.

When your lemon peels have finally given up the last of their loveliness and have turned a very pale yellow to almost white, you know it's time to add the simple syrup. Last year I made a very sweet limoncello and it was quite tasty, however, this year I'm doing a much less sweet drink and discovering that it is a great mixer for some yummy cocktails. I added less sugar to this batch and immediately bottled half of it while letting the 2nd half sit and marinate with the sugar a while longer. As long as I have these beauties in my freezer, I am a happy girl.

Mixed with some pomegranate juice, it makes for a wonderful cocktail. So, here's to you all. Go harvest the last of your lemons and make your own lemony goodness!


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