Today I have my hands full working with an enormous haul of fresh lemons! It’s limoncello day, which is going incredibly well, but my arm will be falling off soon from all of the zesting of lemons that’s currently happening, so welcome to break time! Just thought it might be fun to jump on here and discuss what today’s plans look like.
For anyone who hasn’t been following along, my parents have a lovely row of citrus trees on their property, and I’m lucky enough to have full access to it! Lemons, oranges, blood oranges, kumquats…it’s incredible! This time, bags of lemons came home with me, so it’s definitely time for the yearly batch of limoncello, so that recipe is in progress as we speak (okay…as I write…) and will be coming in the next couple of days! I’m also doing preserved lemons and some lemon wedges in honey, which are just amazing to have on hand for tea. They just get sweet, mellow, and wonderful!
These are all totally easy projects, but they are incredibly rewarding to have on hand throughout the year, so this has become a necessary annual tradition since moving to Napa. (This time of year, citrus winds up in everything I make since this area is totally blanketed with citrus trees. Here are some recipes for a black rice bowl with citrus and coconut, a light and fresh avocado and citrus salad, and a citrus carpaccio with pomegranate and avocado for those of you who are also looking at baskets and bushels of the stuff!)
I’m not sure what else I’ll do if I still have extra lemons, so if you guys have any suggestions, let me know! What do you do with extra citrus?
I’m also considering grabbing a ton of oranges on my next trip, but I’m not sure what I’d do with them this year. My goal is to preserve them in order to hang onto that flavor for the coming year. If you have favorite orange recipes, especially if they are along the preserving or fermenting lines, please let me know! Also, if there’s something you wish you could do with a bunch of oranges, but aren’t sure how you’d make it happen, I’d love to give it a try myself!
I’ve juiced them before and frozen the juice, of course, but I’m looking for a more exciting idea. I’ve done orange marmalade, and it was good, but not three or four quarts good. Perhaps orange-cello? Well, that would mean spending a small fortune on vodka between the two projects. (Though a freezer full of limoncello and orange-cello doesn’t sound too terrible!) Maybe I’ll candy orange zest, but I’m not sure how much fun it would actually be to have a ton of candied orange zest hanging out over here without having a real plan of what to do with it. Certainly I could garnish a cake or cupcakes, but that just means that I’ll wind up eating a ton of cake, which is awesome short-term, but doesn’t wind up being a great long-term plan…
Anyone out there have a great idea or two?