Topic: Education and Values
Lemons- Part 2
So, now that I have zest peelings incubating with vodka and lemon oil extracted from others, I can work the juice extracted from about 50 lemons, yielding this half gallon of juice and pulp. Because I used a juicer on seeded, peeled lemons, I have some residue pulp and stuff which can easily be skimmed off or run through a strainer.
Then I have wonderful, healthy, truly organic and fresh lemon juice.
Must try a classic lemonade first. In fact, I have been craving a glass of lemonade since I woke up this morning. And you know the kitchen wisdom that says —if your body craves a particular food, it must need one of its components.
This tall glass of lemonade is made from 2 ozs. Fresh lemon juice, and 8 ozs. of pure and chemical free-water. Add your choice of natural sweetener (pure cane sugar, honey, Stevia extract, agave nectar, etc)
Proportions again are 1 part lemon juice to 4 parts water. Add in sweetener to taste.
Remember drinking my glass of lemonade above is equivalent to eating 1&1/2 lemons. I must have needed the natural vitamin C, citrus bioflavinoids, potassium and calcium that lemons have or, maybe just hydration--
Of course, last night I needed to make a Classic Lemon Meringue Pie.
I used the Fannie Farmer Cookbook recipe since I was feeling very “retro” having just worked with all that zest. But, mind you, I hadn't made anything meringue in maybe 2 -plus decades. So, I consulted the book, put the meringue on the pie and placed it under the broiler as directed. I turned the broiler on “high” and, following the directions, intended to wait for 3 minutes.
I peeked at one minute and, thank God! My meringue had just ignited and was a flaming marshmallow surface
I quickly put out the fire—only a few moments' worth of blaring smoke alarms and no witnesses.
Then, I peeled off the black skin (just like when you ignite marshmallows on a stick over a fire). I still had sufficient meringue to send the pie back under the broiler, now on “low” and several inches below the heat source. It was ready in about 45 seconds.
You know what happened, right? My double oven is electric—the last time I made meringue it was under a gas broiler whose flames were no where near as hot as the high setting on an electric one.
Two other great ideas for lemon juice are in marinades and salads.
Mix equal parts of olive oil with lemon juice. Whisk until emulsified and add whatever seasonings your heart desires.
Example—the marinade for Chicken Oreganato ( or Greek chicken) has dried oregano, fresh garlic and chopped onions added to the lemon juice-olive oil mixture. The chicken is then grilled.
The strip steaks from last night's dinner were marinated in lemon juice and olive oil in proportions as above, but I added fresh garlic and some Italian blend mixed seasonings.
The possibilities are endless for seasoning combinations. Use your imagination.
For SALAD DRESSINGS:
Mix lemon juice and olive oil in either equal parts OR 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil, according to your acidity preference in your final product. Whisk briskly! Add spices and seasonings according to your final product, salt and pepper, whisk again. Pour over your vegetables and toss forty times (never forget that rule ) so that your lemon juice-olive oil dressing is completely distributed (from the French—fatigue le salad).
Here is where true creativity really stands out—you need to use your resources and adapt according to local food availability and don't be afraid of trying the truly old grains and legumes in your final salad. Definitely, think beyond lettuce greens alone (although, no question here that chopped kale, spinach, and broccoli love lemon juice-olive oil dressings)!
We are going to a party later today. So I wanted to throw together a light, salad-y lunch for us. I made some bulgar wheat, added rinsed chickpeas, drained chopped tomatoes, my equal parts lemon juice and olive oil with garlic powder, lots of parsley and cilantro—whisked and then tossed. Rice, quinoa, pasta noodles, beans and lentils--all LOVE a lemon juice and olive oil based dressing.
Another salad that I love to make is Cannellini Bean Salad (White kidney beans). It really goes well with grilled meats in the summer. This salad with its lemon juice and olive oil based dressing, has chopped celery, carrots, green onion in addition to the rinsed and drained cannellini beans and the seasoning besides salt and pepper is...dried dillweed--whisk into the lemon juice and olive oil mixture and toss into your vegetables 40 times.
You can see that lemon juice and olive oil based salads, because of their high acidity, are among the safest foods for picnicking and al fresco dining. But always try to remember the food safety principle: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold—as much as possible.
And enjoy that lemon juice!