Sunday, March 23, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons

A kind and anonymous donor brought bags of ponderosa and meyer lemons to work and left them in the kitchen a month or so ago. Knowing the people on my floor, I felt comfortable taking three of each and leaving only one of each behind. Believe me, had I not taken them, they would've gone to waste!

I'd never heard of ponderosa lemons, so I researched them and found that they are most likely a lemon and citron hybrid. I wish I'd photographed them because they had wonderful sunset shading, yellow to orange, and a bumpy rind. They were fairly large and smelled like oranges when zested and juiced (they are tart, though, so don't take a sip of the juice like I did!). With the ponderosa lemon juice and zest, I made a double-batch of Alex Jamieson's Orange Date Scones from her wonderful book, The Great American Detox Diet, except that mine were Lemon Raisin Scones. I made a batch of these every week when I was on her detox diet close to 2 years ago. They are so good! This time, I eliminated all of the oil in favor of unsweetened applesauce. They contain walnuts, so the only fat came from the nuts. These scones are more like drop biscuits than the scones that you might find at a chain coffee shop and they are delicious!

There was a little juice remaining from the ponderosa lemons, so I mixed that in with the meyer lemon juice for Eat, Drink & Be Vegan's Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup. I made a few substitutions: 2 cups of celery instead of onion, 1.5 cups of shredded carrots instead of celery, and I eliminated the zucchini or tomato because I didn't have either. What an amazing soup! It had so much flavor and a wonderful texture (a huge thanks to Dreena for reigniting my affection for my immersion blender, which had previously let me down), with the added bonus of being very comforting. I will absolutely be making this soup again.

I had meyer lemon juice and the zest of 3 meyer lemons remaining, so the juice is in the fridge and the zest is in the freezer. I've never frozen citrus zest before, but I figured it was worth a shot. I didn't want it to go to waste, especially because I recently bought myself a Williams-Sonoma microplane grater (mine has a yellow grip) that has changed my zesting world. I used to dread zesting, but not anymore!

Please pardon the wretched photos, as my camera is broken and I'm relying on my camera phone. My birthday is in about 6 weeks, so I'll have to start dropping hints! ;) If anyone has suggestions for a great point-and-shoot camera, please leave a comment.

I'm backlogged, so expect to see a plethora of posts the next week or so. :)


Jennifer said...

How good of you to rescue those lemons! I hate wasting food! Those scones look fantastic!

Romina said...

That's so creative of you!! =) I need to find myself a microplane grater too.

BitterSweet said...

Lemons are always welcome at my house- How lucky that they should just fall in your lap like that! Looks like you used them well, too. :)

vko said...

You simply blogging about lemons made me think I could smell them!

As for a great camera- check out panasonic lumix- it's got a leica lens and decently priced and a simply a great camera.

Rural Vegan said...

I've never heard of ponderosa lemons either, interesting! Congrats on your new grater too! Similar to yours, I bought Martha's "Great Grater" years ago when they first came out. I love graters like this, I actually go around looking for things to zest! :P

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

I wonder if I could use some of my Calamondin Oranges that are growing in my kitchen garden. They have a tart lemoney thing going on.

trina said...

I'm glad that those lemons went to such a good cause! I look forward to hearing how the freezing turns out.