Preserved Lemons & A Springy Beginning

When life gives you lemons.... and I mean, a tree loaded with high quality juicy and orangy Meyer lemons.... the kind which sell for $1 each at farmer's markets... you got to be more creative than making lemonades! We use these Meyer lemons in everyday cooking, we freeze the juice in as many ice-boxes as we can, gift them to neighbors and still be leftover with a large bunch to use. 

We don't enjoy lemon curd as much and while we devour lemon bars, it seems more butter and sugar than lemons - and predictably guilt ensues :)  So this year I decided to try preserving some lemons and wow, am I glad we tried that!
Preserving is very simple. All it takes is 15-20mins of prep time and then a few seconds of work each for next 5-6 days and that's that! You put the container in fridge and enjoy homemade preserved lemons for a few months to come! 

My favorite way to use preserved lemons is to rinse them (to get rid of excess salt) and chop them fine and add as flavoring to any number of tagines or pasta salads, couscous with preserved lemons, olive oil and mint is exceptional, add on top of roasted fish or chicken or just toss on salads for an extra salty slightly tart crunch. 

Preserving is easy, even for novice jam-makers like me. All you need is lemons (preferably organic), salt and a fully clean and dry canning glass jar. I followed this easy step by step tutorial with photos. Added a couple of whole peppercorns, bay leaf and a few cloves as seasonings and the process took just over 15 minutes.

It is important to ensure the lemons are covered in their juices before you can them. If needed, please add more lemon juice on top. Add more salt on top, and that's it, close the jar tight and leave it on counter top for 5-6 days, lightly shaking every day so salt and juice redistributes evenly. I transferred my jar to fridge after the 5th day and we have been enjoying preserved lemons since then.

A Springy Beginning:
Can you feel the spring in the air? Just as the weather is warming up and days are getting longer, our neighborhood is filled with spring blossoms and our evening walks are just that much more pleasurable. 

Due to the heavy rain this year, wild flowers are popping everywhere in California and they are so beautiful! We had one in our own front yard - it looks like white painted jewels and it popping up in between the landscaping of our front yard.

We also have a new visitor in our front yard this spring. It's a little bunny who visits every morning right around when kids are about to start for school. The bunny spotting has been our favorite morning ritual for few weeks. Here is he with a friendly squirrel who is trying to figure out just who this new one is?!

Enjoy the scenes of spring!