I always have a big white bowl of lemons sitting my kitchen. Growing up I learned from my mother, that lemons were a staple in a Southern home. They are just as important as having butter in your fridge. From homemade lemonade to lemon sugar scrubs or repelling insects, lemons share their sunshine in my life.. If I don’t find myself needing a lemon in a day , I will slice one up and arrange it in a clear vase, topping it off with a bouquet for the kitchen table. The yellow color just makes a happier table, even on a cloudy day.
Lemons are one of the most versatile fruits . They love to join in cooking, from squeezing one on pasta or layering on broiled fish. It is packed with nutrients. And all southern sweet tea comes with a slice of lemon. Lemon juice is an acid and it is a natural disinfectant. The lovely lemon even deters pests. It helps preserve food and can easily replace harsh chemical-based ingredients. For me, I love the luscious lemon in the bath . There is no lovier scent than lavender and lemon. Even Yankee Candles know this. I light the candle by my Jacuzzi and pour oils of lemon and lavender based into the water. What a way to unwind. After cleansing my face, I use lemon juice as an astringent. I use a homemade lemon sugar scrub and afterwards, a lotion of lemongrass by Dani.
I know I’m a little obsessive about lemons, but what Southern Girl isn’t ?
Here are just a few reasons why you want a bowl of lemons.
Sooth Sore Throats
Gargle a mixture of lemon juice, warm tea and honey before bed. Helps ease your sore throat .
Travel Sickness Cure
Suck on a slice of lemon to help you stop feeling nauseous.
Create a Scented Humidifier
If you live in a dry winter climate, put lemon peels in a pot of water and simmer on low to humidify and oh the aroma is divine.
Fill the sink with warm or boiling water and lemon skins. Soak the dishes for a couple of hours. Rinse and wipe dry. All stains will be gone.
Combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1-1/2 cups water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 5 minutes, allowing the water to boil and the steam to condense on the walls and tops of the oven. Carefully remove the hot bowl and wipe away the mess with a wet sponge. This works every time. No harsh chemicals.
Because of their acid, lemons have antibacterial properties that makes them perfect for refreshing a cutting boards. Scrub the cutting with a heavy pad and then rub the surface with half a lemon . Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
Create Blond Highlights
if you are lucky enough to be a blond, then you need to keep a lemon with you in the summertime. Shampoo hair and rinse with a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 3/4 cup water. Bask in the sun until your hair dries. Repeat daily for one week to maximize the effect.
Make Fires Smell Good
Fires smell divine on their own, but a few lemon peels tossed on the flames give off a twist of lemon that is just lovely. And I love to watch the Sparks that rise up .
Create Your Own Sugar Scrubs
Use Pinterest to find a great homemade sugar scrub with lemon. You can check My Pinterest for the recipe I use .
Cooking with A Lemon
And of course, the reason my mother kept her bowl of lemons. She used them in any recipe that needed a touch of zest.
Please try this Lemon Olive Oil Seasoning. The recipe is
1 cup extra virgin olive oil or 1 cup olive oil or 1 cup grape seed oil or 1 cup other vegetable oil
2 -3 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
Delicious and easy to make…
- Place the oil and the zest in a glass jar. Let it stand at room temperature for at least 2 weeks, shaking occasionally.
- Pour the oil through a strainer and discard the zest. Transfer to a jar and store, tightly covered, in refrigerator.
- Yield: 1 cup.
Use it to brush on baking pan to oven fry some fish and oh my goodness, it will be a staple in your home. Wonderful to use when weather is too hot to cook. Use on cauliflower, asparagus, and broccoli .
And while you are still squeezing those lemons, here is a great recipe for your own lemon extract.
Store-bought lemon extract costs an average of $1.98 per ounce.
- Spirits ( Vodka )
- Organic lemon peels – Free because I was already using the lemons. (If you don’t use 6 lemons all at once, you can squeeze the juice to use as needed)
How To Make Lemon Extract
- Rind of 6 large organic lemons
- 1 cup vodka
- Wash and dry lemons.
- Using a vegetable peeler, cut thin slivers of the yellow skin in long ribbons. (Or if you have a zester, use that!) Make sure not to peel off the bitter white pith, just the outside will do.
- Place peels in a jar and cover with vodka. Shake well.
- Place in a dark cabinet for 4-6 weeks. Shake every few days for the first week, then occasionally after that.
- When the extract has reached the intensity you prefer, strain peels and pour extract into a clean jar. Store in a dark cabinet or the fridge.
The Lovely Lemon ..
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 cup kalamata olive, sliced (optional)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons basil, julienned
- salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pasta noodles.
- Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, garlic cloves, Kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes.
- Cook pasta and reserve 1/4 cup (60mL) pasta water.
- Drain and toss pasta with olive oil mixture and reserved pasta water.
- Toss with basil and Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese if desired