Sunday, June 3, 2012

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

It all started with a recipe my friend posted on Pinterest for lemon sorbet.  Ooo! Ooo! I have lemons.  Darn it, I don't have an ice cream maker, which is a problem that may have to be remedied. But not today.  Hmmm... google "how to make sorbet without an ice cream maker" and bingo!  I found another recipe for lemon sorbet which explains how to make sorbet without an ice cream maker, which was measured in grams.  So of course I sliced and diced and added my own twist and here below what I came up with. (You can follow the links to the original recipes above.)

1 1/2 C Honey (or sugar)
1 1/2 C Water
1 T lemon zest
1 C lemon juice

1. Zest enough lemon to make 1 tablespoon.  Juice enough lemons to make one cup (around 5 lemons.)  Save rinds for another purpose. (Ideas follow below.)

2. Bring honey and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the honey.  Add lemon zest and the lemon juice.

3. Pour into a bowl and cool in fridge for 30 minutes.

4. Place in freezer for 1 1/2 hours, at the end of which the mixture should have begun to freeze around the edges.

5. Notice that mixture has, in fact, not frozen at all.  Place in garage freezer and go play LIFE with the family. Forget about the sorbet in freezer.

6. Wake up and remember the sorbet that is now almost frozen solid.

7. Pour into food processor and process just until the texture has changed to the consistency of a slushy.  (Be careful not to over-process.)  Return to freezer.

8. Place in fridge 20 minutes before serving.  

Lemon Sorbet
I would not recommend taste-testing this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach if you are sensitive to acidity--not that I am speaking from experience.  We have yet to eat the final product, however what I sampled was quite tasty, and we are looking forward to an after-dinner treat tomorrow night!

The story doesn't end there.

I just couldn't bring myself to throw the lemon rinds in the trash.  Citrus is supposedly a no-no in the compost, a rule I sometimes do and sometimes don't follow.  Which leaves the option of throwing them away.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Some of you may not understand where I'm coming from on this, so let me explain.

If you had been a fly on the wall in my kitchen just a few days ago, you would  have heard the following conversation between my husband and myself as he was rinsing off dishes and putting them in the sink, water running full blast the whole time.  I must have had a funny look on my face, and quite possibly had begun to twitch.

Ben, "What's wrong?"

Me, "Oh nothing." Ben continues to stare.  "Umm, I'm just trying not to think about how much water is being wasted, and how much money it's costing."

Ben, "Only you would be thinking that."

Which is decidedly NOT true.  However, we do have conversations of the like often concerning trash and leftovers.  I don't care if it's barely enough to feed one person; it's food. And it is an absolute sin to waste food.  I once read a recount in a blog post in which the husband had informed the wife that she was the only person in her generation to have grown up in the Great Depression.  I need to meet this woman so that we can be best friends forever.

So...I googled uses for lemon peels and came up with this link to 22 uses for lemon peels which included cleaning options and a couple of food ideas, including a link to a recipe for Candied Lemon Peels.  I had to cross reference other recipes as well, of course, and came across this one on All Recipes.  I more so followed the second recipe, except I substituted the sugar for honey and then sprinkled the candy with Sucanat after it was finished.
Not dried yet, but I snitched one anyway. Yum.

The last line of the recipe reads, "Liquid may be reserved and used as a simple lemon syrup." 

Be still my heart.  

I used half of the simple syrup, 2 or 3 T of lemon juice to taste, a couple sprigs of mint and filled a pitcher the rest of the way to make a tasty refreshing lemonade.

After all was said and done, only  the already-juiced leftover pulp remained and couldn't find a good use for it. I did stumble across a recipe for lemon muffins which called for lemon pulp, but wasn't sure if it meant pre-juiced or what, so I didn't attempt it.  I actually have the leftover pulp soaking in a jar of water on the counter. I figure I'll use it for some kind of cleaning or deodorizing purpose.

By the way, I don't always go to such great lengths to use up lemons.  Sometimes we just juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays for use in recipes later.  Last year my husband made lemonaide for the kids and for the adults, lemoncello, of which we have enough to last a while.  This time I decided to branch out a little and try something new.

What about you?  What's your favorite lemon use or recipe?  Any ideas for leftover already juiced pulp?