What excites me about this article are a few things; the Quick Tips, the fascinating life of Frank Meyer, the recipes, and the products. Let me know if you are growing a lemon tree/bush and if you have any tips to share?
When thinking about lemons, I tend to think of them as a summer fruit. Enjoying a cool glass of fresh lemonade in the warmth of the summer. Interestingly, it’s not in the spring or summer months that is harvest time for Meyer lemons but actually between the months of November and March.
The Meyer lemon was brought to Amercia from China by Frank Meyer. Read this wonderful article about this fascinating man – https://www.vice.com/en/article/59je4d/the-mysterious-life-and-death-of-frank-meyer-the-man-behind-meyer-lemons
Other lemons came from the warm climate of North West India. Lemons now grow in many regions across the world including Egypt, Iran, and Italy.
One of the most rewarding gifts I have been given was a lemon tree; Meyer lemon tree to be exact. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. If you are interested in purchasing or giving a lemon tree, here are a few interesting pieces of information to help you enjoy your fruit more fully.
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- Place the tree/plant in a pot on caster wheels, if you live in a climate subject to frost. You will have to move it inside to protect it from the cold.
- Give it a good soaking once a week. During warmer weather, water a little more.
- Every 6 weeks add a citrus fertilizer or Epsom salt to the soil.
- Once you see blossoms, make sure the bees are pollinating. If not, use a paintbrush.
- If you have an abundance of lemons; slice them, and freeze slices individually before placing them in a freezer bag.
- Enjoy the fruit of your harvest!
When I was first given my tree, it only had leaves on it and no flowers or fruits. I didn’t even know if this tree would give us fruit. Lo and behold, beautiful blossoms developed and the bees naturally found it from the lovely fragrance it puts off. The blossoms turn into what look like limes (I’ve had a little fun joshing people that we were growing limes). Then you see the coloring go from green to an orangy/yellow, almost egg-yolk color.
Lemons are a fruit that are packed full of flavor and can often be added to drinks and dishes for a taste that packs a punch. As well as great taste they are packed full of health benefits, as they are high in Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Here are some favorite ways to enjoy your harvest:
If you are looking for a non-alcoholic option, why not try some sweet, delectable lemonade? The origins of this drink date back to Egypt in the 13th century, as a sweet mixture of lemons, honey, and grapes. The drink first became known and marketed as lemonade, however, in 17th century Paris by the company Compagnie de Limonadiers.
Lemonade comes in many different varieties, from carbonated to cloudy and still. Generally, it is clear or pale yellow in color but can be mixed with food coloring to make pink lemonade. Traditionally, the drink is made by mixing the juice from the lemon, water, and a simple sugar syrup or honey and it can be easily made at home. In the UK lemonade is a sparkling soft drink that Americans call 7-Up/Sprite.
Lemons grown on the warm Amalfi coastline, or the peninsula of Sorrento, are often made into a sharp alcoholic drink known as Limoncello. Traditionally, this drink is served after dinner to help boost digestion. The drink is made from the zest of the lemon peel without the spongy white pith that sits underneath it, which is soaked in neutral spirits (in our recipe we use vodka), allowing the natural oils within the lemon to be released into the alcohol. This lemon alcohol mixture is then mixed with sugar syrup to form a delicious drink.
A lemon meringue pie has the lovely balanced flavor of the pillowy marshmallowy meringue combined with a gentle sweet lemony filling. Meringue had been used in Europe since around the 1600s. The first lemon meringue pie came from Elizabeth Goodfellow from Philadelphia. In her cooking school in the early 1800s, Ms. Goodfellow incorporated more of a lemon custard or a cream pie with the meringue.
Whichever way you may enjoy your lemons, my favorite way is to grow them and share them with others. Cheers!