2.25.2013

Wineaversary and Preserving Lemons


I preserved lemons this week! They were so pretty sitting on my counter. Bright, beautiful meyer lemons.

But first, let me tell you about Wineaversary!

Oh Wineaversary....I love you. 



What is Wineaversary? It is probably the best holiday everrrr. I told you about it last week remember...our yearly limo-wine adventure. Which was a total success. Success meaning I was so tired on Tuesday I could barely function and went straight home after work to have a lush bath and get into my pj's kind of success.

We ended up going to 4 wineries in Livermore. Which is 2 (maybe 3) less then last year - that was far too many last time.

Anyway, our first stop was Fenestra Winery, which happened to have give or take 19 tastings of their wines. We started out big I guess. It was a fun set up with all tastings being around their barrel room. Not the best wine, but I liked a few well enough to buy. I ended up getting a bottle of their California Zinfandel and their Syrah.  

Then we hopped on over to Underdog Wine Bar. They serve a ton of flights and all of the Cupcake Wines. Plus, they have food. Always, always, a good thing while wine tasting. I tried the "Neighborhood" flight and it was amazing. We were in a rush to get to the next place or else I might have bought a few bottles there too. Means I'll have to go back...darn.


After that, we headed to Wente for a few tastings and ended with the trip with an unexpected stop at Tesla Vinters (or the Singing Winemaker). 


We ended up going an hour and half over with our time for the limo and had the best dance party while sitting in rush hour traffic. Remember last year when we had a theme song for the trip, well this year's song was "Thrift Shop." We have a video of the dance party...it will not be posted. Cra. 



So onto these lemons!

My coworker had this book on pickling and preserving and brought it into the office last week. I briefly scanned through the book (and maybe copied a few recipes) and found a bunch of stuff that peaked my interests. These lemons, a bunch of pickled veggies, and a few recipes that incorporate everything together.

I love, love, love citrus season and meyer lemons. So when I saw this recipe and it went straight to the top of my "to make" list.


Meyer lemons. These are a delicious, hybrid blend of a mandarin orange and a lemon. It has thinner skin compared to a regular lemon and is lower in acidity, which makes them much sweeter than its sister lemon. And - the whole fruit is edible! Even the rind! No wasting this babies. Check out this NPR article for some more history on the meyer lemon and a few recipes on how to use them. You can bake with them, cook with them, or in my case, preserve them. 

I do have a confession to make though, I still have about 2 weeks before these lemons will be ready to use, so I'm not sure how they will actually turn out...but I like the concept of preserving them. And I found nothing but good reviews on how tasty they were when they are done. Plus, they looked pretty sitting on my table for a few days. 

Oh, and if you can't find meyer lemons, I'm told you can use regular ones, they will just be a little more tart.


First, wash them all really well. Use a scrub brush. Scrub a dub.


Cut the ends off. 


Cut the lemons in quarters, but don't slice them all the way through!


Grab something to store everything in.


Add them lemons and salt to your container.


Add any aromatics you prefer. I threw in some rosemary. Maybe add some black peppercorns?


Press the lemons down so some juices squeeze out and seal it up for a few days!

Preserved Meyer Lemons
Makes about 1 quart//Inspired by Pickled 
8-10 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup of sea salt (such as Morton)
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Clean and sterilize a large jar to store your lemons. Rinse and scrub each lemon. Cut each lemon into quarters about 3/4ths of the way through (like the photos above). Leaving the lemon intact a one end. Coat each lemon with salt and pour salt into the middle of each fruit. Place the lemons in the jar, squeezing the juice out as you place them in the jar. Add more salt and juice to cover as needed. Add the rosemary next. Seal the jar and let it sit at room temp for 2-3 days. Shake the jar daily to help the juices mingle with the salt and rosemary. Transfer the jar to the refrigerator and let the lemons sit for about 3 weeks. Shake every so often.

I ended up moving mine to a smaller jar by the time they were fridge ready. They get pretty mushy and can be condensed more at that point. Helps with fridge space.

After that they are ready to use. I've read that you should rinse each lemon before using and they should keep in the fridge for about 6 months.



I have a boozy drink recipe I plan to try with these. Stay tuned.

Cheers,

Erica

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