Cook without a lemon? Blasphemy. Why not stop using salt, garlic and an onion while you are at it. Yet his little cornerstone of perfection can and will change the way you look at food. From keeping an Aritchoke in check to sexing up a fish ...hell a nibble of MIGNARDISE at the end of a meal is my kind of ending. Lemons lemons so many kinds to choose from.......BUT I live smack dab on the coast in the middle of California which means it's MEYER LEMON country. From gardens to meadows to school yards you will find these little buggars. Throughout the Bay they have been planted as an ornamental and not a food source. And why it was never considered both is beyond me. Some like to point the finger at the ONE person who brought us mere flat palate minions to the Meyer table. Chef Lynsey Shere. Whatever, so she got the ball rolling for the 1%ers of the Bay to see their ornamental bush as a treasure of golden orbs but please.....I was sitting on my stoop as a kid with split open M lemons and packet of sugar making Mouth Lemon aide and popping pomegranate seeds as a chaser.
So odd how folks need to be THE ONE who discovered a food. Proselyization of food is gross. Exposure through example and availability to the people is beauty. The soft aromatic skin and almost sweet juice of the Meyer is so abundant in the Bay Area I could almost say no one needs to purchase a one. Every school should have lemon aide avail at almost no cost. Sigh I don't have enough time today to fully go bonkers on the M Lemon so lets get into some history shall we?
Imported from China 1908 By a botanical adventurer (whatever the hell that means) Lets guess his name was Meyer...... Over the centuries they have traveled throughout Asia, arriving with Spanish colonization of Florida in the 16th century and Cali mid 18th then Meyer brought the uhhh ahhem Meyer. Being the lemon is frost tender guess what...They thrive in Mediterranean regions and are highlighted in the said cuisine. Go figure. For such a delicate skin they are one of our most hardy varietals,so can grow in regions that rarely fall below 20F. Won't cure so don't pick green. Use asap. OCT -APRIL is the coastal season but Santa Cruz keeps them flowing almost year round. yaaaa.
EUREKA And LISBON are the most common varieties in Cali yet the Meyer is everywhere in a non commercial venue.
So don't be shy knock on that door with the bulging Meyer bush in the yard. Ask if you can glean and bring back a jar of Marmalade, lemon Aide or a nice Aioli for the gift of the lemons. What a wonderful way to utilise the forgotten fruit and to have a convivial moment with a stranger by sharing a gift from Mother Nature. If you have a lemon tree and have more than you can use. Call a local elementary school donate your over harvest. Contact a Glean web site for folks to find your fruit. It is meant to be eaten and this country is going hungry with food on trees, vines, bushes and plants. Everywhere there is food. Just like you crazy ass canning fools with a garage full of jars. give back ,share and be part of your community,by providing a local food to your neighbors to create a better sense of community and good will through food. It dosn't take much effort to share and the reward is ten fold. When I lived in Capitola with 20 hens. I had WAY too many eggs to on my way to work I leave a jar of eggs for my neighbors to enjoy. All of a sudden the kids were walking to school with Breakfast burritos and loving they were having eggs from a chicken named Fig, Ethyl Mermon, Gert, etc....All of a sudden we neighbors waved to each other and started to chat in the street at dusk . Rather than scurry into our collective huts with no connection to our surrounding humanity. A extra Zucinni with a bow to a elderly lady who is too arthritic to garden makes for a better planet.
WWW.FOODPOOL.COM Network of gleanable produce around the Bay Area great resource to food otherwise would have gone to waste. Check it!
Now unfortunately I must go. I lost a friend this week and all I can do is be there for those that are left behind. I'm bringing my knife bag and a satchel of lemons. Cause when life gives you lemons.........
I love you Lynn see you on the flip side....xoxoxo