Monday, March 3, 2014

Lotta Lemons Part 1

 This is kind of an off the wall recipe for me. I'm such a beginner cook, that most of the recipes I try are the first time I've made something and sometimes the first time I've eaten it! Now, this is mostly due to my upbringing, lack of eating out, and relative inexperience with new foods. My goal with this blog is to try new things, expand my culinary horizons, and learn to be a better cook. One thing I want to try soon is a traditional tagine--in the crock pot, since I'm not going to shell out for a tagine pot for my first attempt. One of the typical accompaniments to a chicken tagine is preserved lemon, which you can buy. But I love lemons, and this seemed like something I could make--it is time consuming in that it takes almost a month to be ready, but most of that is sitting and looking pretty. So this is the set up post, I'll post the results in a month along with the tagine!

I actually have a recipe for this in one of my books--I bought a much beloved canning and preserving bible whose spine had broken in several places. I used that and some of what I read on line to throw this together!


10 or more lemons
kosher or preserving salt
corriander seed
bay leaves
dried pepper
quart jar and lid

I boiled the jar for about 10 minutes to sterilize it, and then let it cool for a little bit. I rinsed and scrubbed the lemons. I cut off a little bit of the stem end of around 5 of the lemons, then quartered them without cutting through to the middle. This is kind of a trick, and some got cut too much and some weren't cut enough.

I put a tablespoon of the salt in the bottom of the jar, and then working over a bowl, stuffed a tablespoon of the salt into each lemon. After putting three of the lemons stuffed with salt in the jar, I added the bay leaves, the pepper corns, the coriander, and a pinch of red pepper. The rest of the quartered lemons in salt were added, and the remaining salt. Then all of the rest of the lemons were juiced and the juice was poured in the jar. The recipe said to fill almost all the way to the top, but I needed some lemons for something else, so it didn't quite make it full. I believe the lemons will release some of the juice to make up the difference.

I screwed the lid on and it is a very pretty jar of sunshine on my table this winter! I'll report on how it tastes in a month!

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