Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Little Tree That Could

On our back porch, in an unlikely spot because we have no more room in the yard we have a Meyer lemon tree. Sweetly perfumed thin skinned Meyer lemons are a cross between lemons and, some say, tangerines and some say oranges. In either case they are fairly delicate and don't ship all that well so some parts of the country still may never get fresh Meyers.
In years past we've gotten maybe six lemons from this sturdy little potted tree. But this year we have a fruit explosion -- almost 4 dozen lemons on a tree barely four feet tall.
I had to come up with a worthy project to honor our faithful tree and settle on an old-fashioned lemon marmalade. I zested 16 lemons and painstakingly cut the zest into think strips. I then took a dozen completely peeled lemons and chopped the pulp in the food processor. I added the pulp and zest to a bowl with an equal amount (by measure) of water and let that sit overnight in the fridge. In the morning I added the mixture to a pot with a measure of sugar to equal the water I added the day before. I brought everything u to a boil and let the pot simmer for 30 minutes. I ladeled the marmalade into waiting jars sealed them in the canner and stored them on the shelf for special presents and James' toast.

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