Whew! I've been wanting to post this for a while, but have been feeling a bit stuck in the mud. So many things I want to share that I'm overwhelmed and I feel like I got nothing. Here are some brief, incoherent thoughts:
Transitions are hard. Life is confusing. Winter is tough. California makes it better. So does CITRUS SEASON.
Citrus season makes me feel like I'm being bathed in a warm magical golden beam of metaphysical sunlight. Back in January my boyfriend Alex's Dad gifted us a giant box of Meyer lemons FROM HIS BACK YARD (bless you, California). I spent the next few months using them in everything and also giving them away and also making them into preserved lemons (and then giving those away). It's one of my favorite lemon preparations, and a great way to save the magical radiance of citrus season. Of course even if it's not citrus season and/or you don't live in California, you can make and enjoy these anytime. And I strongly suggest you do. Since you are going to eat the peel, I recommend organic lemons for this. Bonus points for farmer's market lemons, bonus BONUS points for lemons grown in your backyard. I used Meyer lemons but you can use any variety.
Nuff said. Let's get to the lemons.
lemons (3 per jar plus more for juice, if needed)
wide mouth pint mason jars
Grab a lemon. Holding it upright on one end, cut in half lengthwise, not quite all the way through. Leave a half inch to an inch so the lemon doesn't fall apart. Rotate the lemon a quarter turn and cut lengthwise again, 90 degrees from the first cut. Again, don't cut all the way through. You will have a lemon that is quartered the long way but still held together by the one intact end. Pour plenty of kosher salt into the middle of the lemon, stuffing it thoroughly. Throw a peppercorn in there as well if ya like. Now, take your salt stuffed lemon and plunk it into your mason jar. Squish it down in there firmly, it should release some of it's juice. Throw a bay leaf and a few peppercorns into the jar. Repeat the process with two more lemons- you should be able to fit three in a jar. Press them all down firmly to make them fit. You want the lemon juice to come alllllll the way to the tippy top of the jar, completely submerging the lemons. Depending on how juicy your lemons are, you make need to add extra lemon juice to the top. Always use fresh squeezed. Put the lid on the jar, and stick it in your refrigerator for 3 weeks. By this time the peels should be nice and soft and translucent. To use, scoop the flesh from the lemon and discard. Chop or slice the peel finely and add to just about anything for a bright pop of lemon flavor. Roasted potatoes, grain salads, and Mediterranean style dishes are all great candidates.