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July 24, 2008

Lemons: Yellow Sunshine

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about LEMONS

This year our lemon tree has produced heaps of fruit. Our fruit bowls are full of them. They’re a bright sunshine color and remind me of summer, despite the winter gloom outside.

1. Lemon trees are cultivated throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and California Lemons were first brought from the Middle East to Spain and Northern Africa during the Middle Ages. The cultivated lemon is probably a hybrid of two wild species, most likely lime and citron.

2. Lemon juice is used widely as a drink; as a constituent of drinks, salad dressings, and fish dressings; and as a flavoring.

3. The lemon is: Low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It’s high in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Iron and Magnesium.

4. A lemon tea will help loosen catarrh and ease digestion, and a lemon drink taken with the yolk of a raw egg is an excellent natural laxative. Lemons, like all citric foods, are a natural therapy for treating fever. I am a personal fan of hot lemon and whiskey drinks when I have the flu. A marriage made in heaven!!

5. To prevent elbows that look like they belong on a crocodile: Bend an elbow and set it down in a squeezed lemon half twice a day.

6. Lemons should be firm and have a bright yellow color. Avoid soft, shriveled lemons with spots. The best lemons will be fine textured and heavy for their size. Thin skinned fruit tends to have more juice, while fruit that has a greenish cast is likely to be more acidic. One medium lemon has about 3 tablespoons of juice and 3 tablespoons of grated peel.

7. Remove odors, such as fish, onion, or bleach by rubbing with fresh lemon.

8. Using Lemon Juice to Remove Stains:

~Copper – Polish with a paste of lemon juice and salt.
~Ink – Tough to get out. Try saturating stain with milk, or, sponge stain with alcohol. Or, apply cream of tartar and lemon juice paste. Set for 1 hr.
~Perspiration – Pretty tough, but try on Fabrics sponging stain with a weak solution of white vinegar or lemon juice, and water.
~Rust stains from clothing – Moisten spot with lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, and leave in the sun for a couple of days.
~Tougher stains – Make a paste using 3 tbls borax and 1 tbl of lemon juice; scrub with nylon scouring pad and rinse with water.

9. The best position for a lemon tree is in a sunny, but frost-free position, where there is protection from prevailing winds. The soil must be well-drained. If you have heavy clay soil, then planting the tree in a raised bed is a good idea. Make the planting hole very wide and basin shaped.

10. Have you or your kids ever thought about having a lemonade stand during the summer? Here’s the link to all your lemonade questions, including a calculater of your profit and other good advice.

11. When life gives you lemons, find someone who has vodka and throw a party.

12. The lemon in your drink study – did you know that the lemon in your water, tea or soft drink is often full of germs? Here’s a Youtube video.

13. Here’s the recipe for Crunchy Lemon Muffins. They’re also delicious with a handful of blueberries added to the mix.

2 cups self-raising flour (I didn’t have any so I used 2 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
3/4 cup of sugar

75 grams butter
1 cup milk
1 egg
grated rind of 1 large or 2 small lemons

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

Measure the flour and sugar into a bowl and toss to mix. Melt the butter, add the milk, egg and lemon rind and beat well with a fork to combine. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and combine only until the dry ingredients have been lightly dampened but not overly mixed. Divide the mixture evenly between 12 medium-sized muffin pans. (I used paper muffin cases since I hate both greasing the tin and cleaning it afterward!)

Bake at 200 degrees C for 10 minutes. (I find the time depends on the oven. I cooked mine for 10 minutes and found they needed a couple minutes more)

Stir together the lemon juice and sugar without dissolving the sugar and drizzle this over the hot muffins as soon as they come out of the oven. Leave to stand in the pan for only a few minutes after this since the syrup hardens and sticks to the pan when it cools.

Notes: As always I improvise. I use mainly white flour but add a little wholemeal as well. These are also good served with a little fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt. Yum!

Next to chocolate, lemon is my favorite dessert flavor, and I tend to use lemons a lot in cooking. Do you like lemons? What is your favorite lemon dessert?

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  1. Tempest Knight

    Great facts! I’ll have to take advantage of the lemons that fall on my side of the fence to take some of the ink stains in my clothes. What can I say? When using a pen, I always end up with more on me than on a paper. :lol:

  2. Gabriele

    I wish I could grow my own lemon tree, but our climate isn’t for them. I love lemons but hate most of the supermarket stuff.

  3. Adelle Laudan

    I bet your house smells delicious. My fav dessert is lemon merigue pie. Happy T13!

  4. Wylie Kinson

    Mmmm – love lemons. I enjoy sipping hot water with lemon in the evenings,… and this was before I knew it was supposed to be good for digestion!

    Thanks for the recipe. I’ll have to give it a try.

    btw – my TT is at Six Degrees of Sexy this week, and I believe you have a mention!

  5. Stephanie

    Just reading this made my lips pucker. LOL! Great list Shelley! Happy Thursday!

  6. Alice Audrey

    I would love to have a lemon tree! Something about three feet of snow doesn’t agree with them. Sigh.

  7. Debora Dennis

    There is nothing like homemade lemonade!

  8. Jennifer McKenzie

    Mmmmmmm lemon muffins.
    Great list. I always love your info, Shelley.

  9. Bethanne

    Yesterday I used lemon juice, added it to milk to make sour milk and then, made white cake. :) great list. LIke the bit about vodka…I also used lemon juice to make a Bloody Mary mix last week. So useful.

  10. Heather

    “Aren’t lemons just really ripe limes?” (Brandi, In Plain Sight)

    Great list this week, Shelley. I love lemonade in the summer (so long as it isn’t too sweet), and the muffins sound delish.

  11. J.K. Coi

    I remember when I was little I fell off my bike and bit my tongue right through, taking off a piece of my tongue in the process (ew, gross, I know). But since then my sour taste buds were never the same and I used to love how everyone else’s faces scrunched up in distate when they watched me eat a lemon as if it were an orange.

  12. Shelley Munro

    Those lemon muffins are definitely delicious. In fact I might make a batch later today.

    JK – ouch. That sounds painful but a great party trick. :mrgreen:

    Heather – I prefer to have lemonade that isn’t too sweet. That’s why I like the homemade stuff. Much better!

    Bethanne – ooh, sounds like a yummy cake.

    Alice – I’m sorry you can’t have a lemon tree. That’s harsh! I really love the subtropical Auckland climate, despite all the rain we get.

    Wylie – hot lemon juice and water is great. I’ve visited and seen my words of wisdom. :mrgreen: It is a great post.

    Tempest – I usually manage to get ink on myself too. I think it’s a writer thing.

    Gabriele – I have to agree about the supermarket lemons. they just aren’t the same!

  13. Janice

    Hi Shelly,

    What a great TT.

    I make a great lemonade.

    Did you know that often poor kids will suck on lemons because their family can’t offord treats? My SIL told me that when she worked at a dental office. She also said these kids also have a lot of dental decay, because of the acid in lemons.

    So enjoy your lemon but brush your teeth afterwards.

    Janice~ :roll:

  14. Jane

    Ooh, I’ve never had lemon meringue pie, but I’ll definitely have to try some. I love lemon cookies. I don’t see them around that often.

  15. Shelley Munro

    Janice – no, I hadn’t heard of poor kids sucking lemons, but I know doctors and nurses suggest you don’t give babies/toddlers bottles of juice because it rots their teeth.

    Jane – you’re missing out. Lemon Meringue pie is sinfully delicious. I like lemon cookies, too. Very morish.

  16. pussreboots

    I love lemons. I’ll even eat them by themselves sometimes.