Shots of lemon

8 Jan

Pink Sister homemade preserved lemons

Feeling a bit creaky on and off – either age or RSI or the weather or all of the above. Tanking vitamins and putting lemons on the top of the shopping lists every week. A squeeze of lemon is going in salads, soups, tea…
This last week I did a few jars of preserved lemons, which I’ve made before and used in Moroccan stews and soups and tagines. It’s quite easy and quick: take about 10 unwaxed and scrubbed lemons, segment half of them and juice the other half. Push a layer of segments into the bottom of a sterilised jar ( a jar hot-washed in the dishwasher), add salt, a bay leaf, some peppercorns, cloves, coriander seeds, do another layer of lemon segments then add salt and spices as before. Continue to the top of the jar, squishing down each layer, then pour lemon juice over to cover and seal the jar. You have to wait 6 weeks (well alright, a month) before you use them.
Cook them with chickpeas or chicken in a tomato stew with onions, chillis, peppers, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and some coriander leaves or parsley or even rocket added at the end. Wash the excess salt off before you use the lemons – I find they make everything TOO salty otherwise. Jars of miniature whole preserved lemons in the supermarket are really expensive. Try this instead.
And if you don’t like throwing anything away you can make candied peel from the lemon ‘husks’ left after juicing, or freeze these and use them in a batch of marmalade at the end of the month, or use them to clean tarnished metal, or…. run away and knit some dishcloths or big pants to wear on your head! Even the friends who mock my extremes of household economy are happy to eat moroccan lemony stew.

Pink Sister: candied lemon peel in progress

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