Thursday, April 2, 2015

Preserving Lemons

I stumbled across a book while browsing and came across this book about preserving without canning or freezing. The book is Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, by Chelsea Green Publishing. I was intrigued, especially since it wasn't just about dehydrating. This includes preserving in the ground or root cellar, lactic fermentation (think sauerkraut), preserving in oil, salt, sugar, vinegar, and alcohol. This book was originally written in french and covers classic  methods of preservation according to various contributors and their time honored customs that had been handed down through generations.

Fed Ex and UPS always just drop off any packages that they deliver on our covered front porch and leave it at that. Now, you know, we got Ernie back in December and he is usually put up in his kennel while we are at work or run to town for errands. A couple of weeks back I needed to run into town for a much needed haircut. Ernie needs to be able to be trusted to stay on our property along with Cooper to man the place and generally, be a dog out in the country. But little steps. I wasn't going to just up and leave for the whole afternoon, after all, he is only 5 months old. So, I figured he could handle an hour and half unsupervised and could be trusted. After all, wouldn't Cooper scold him if he got out of line? Cooper is supposed to be showing Ernie the ropes. I got home with my new do, and pulled up in the driveway, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what all the garbage was strewn across the front yard. As I wandered over to investigate, I saw shreds of packaging paper, bubble wrap, and what was left of my brand new book! Complete with grass and dirt in between the pages. Yep.

You can't really tell from the picture, but the first ten or so pages have been chewed at the corners, and I put some packaging tape over what used to be the rest of the cover. Apparently, Ernie figured that the package was a toy to shred to pieces and needed to be dealt with before I got home. I was not very happy! It's a good thing he's cute.

One of the first methods of preserving that caught my eye was lemons in salt. I love lemons. I enjoy them in ice tea, for cooking, and fresh juice is hard to beat. But I don't usually buy lemons unless I have a specific purpose, and often am cooking something that uses fresh lemon juice, but since I don't have any on hand, I use the bottled juice. Now, what if I could have  a real live lemon any time I wanted. That is very appealing to me. So I sterilized a half gallon jar, and got to work. You soak the lemons for several days changing the water. I used organic lemons, I like them better and they are smaller with a thinner rind. Then you boil water and let it cool. Slit the lemons length wise not going all the way through the ends, and add non-iodized salt into the slits. Cover with the cooled water, seal and wait a month. Rinse and use. I have about 3 weeks to go before I try one. The picture clarity isn't the best, but they do look pretty in the jar. I will let you know how they turn out. I don't see why you couldn't use this method with limes as well.


  1. Rose,

    Your book really looks like it's been a chew toy for your dog, lol......
    Thank goodness you were able to save the book.

    Interesting post about lemons, please let us know how this works out in the end. I'm interested in knowing if the lemons can survive in the jar this way for long periods of time.

  2. Hi Sandy,
    You can imagine my dismay when I got home to find the book in ruins- thankfully, though, salvageable. The book says that lemons preserved this way "will keep for a very long time." So, I guess I'll find out what "a very long time" means in the preserved lemons world.

  3. Hi Rose, I wanted to return the blog visit and thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful and thought provoking comment on mine.

    I have to tell you that that particular book is one of my favorites. But! I did not remember reading about preserving lemons! I need to go back to look that up. My Meyers lemon tree gave me 10 lemons this year (a record!). If I'd known earlier I would have tried to preserve them as you mention. As it was, I've had my once-a-year treat of great-grandmother's lemon cream pie 3 times this year, LOL. It's blooming again though, so hopefully I'll get to try lemon preserving next year.

  4. Hi Leigh,

    Wow, your own lemon tree. I live in the Pacific NW, so that is not an option. But we are in apple/peach/pear/cherry tree country. So I can up and use a lot of those fruits. Would love your grandmother's lemon cream pie recipe if you give out recipes. Sounds delicious!


Your thoughts are welcome!