Preserving fruits and vegetables, is the most glorious way to capture a moment and save the memory for another day.
When I open a jar of something that I have pickled , jammed or chutnied, I remember back to the time of year the ingredients were picked, the weather, & what was happening in my life – To open a jar of homemade Mint jelly or Sun-dried tomatoes, transports me back to warm summer, fun filled lazy days – When I open a jar of fig chutney, the end of summer & autumnal scents
and a time to begin routine once more springs to mind.
This week I have preserved a winter & springtime jewel, the Lemon, handpicked off our trees. Preserving lemons will allow me to use them in Summer dishes of Moroccan & arabesque flavour, as well as adding to a simple chicken for the most delicious roast.
My normal method to preserve lemons is very simple & cost effective, and lemons will be ready to use in a months or so time …
Scrub lemons and cut them into quarters but stopping before going all the way through.
Stuff the lemon with a tablespoon of sea salt.
Put the lemons into sterilised jam jars, stuffing them in.
Allow them lemons to purge overnight, then top up the jars with squeezed lemon juice, till the top of the jar.
Store until ready to use.
A new method I tried this year I think will become my favourite – It was taken from the delightul book ‘Arabesque’ by Claudia Roden. This time I boiled the lemons whole, in water & salt until softened, then put them in jars with oil – I added herbs of fennel seed & cinnamon sticks, then I can use the oil too, for roasting vegetables.