Saturday, 10 March 2012

A glut of lemons and wildlife

a big basket full of lemons
  • eggplants
  • chillies (just a few)
  • lots of lemons (most gathered from the ground)
  • broad beans in and around the broccoli
Took out
  • some of the weaker eggplants to make space for some cabbage seedlings
  • chilli plants that have finished flowering
I have another lemon glut. It is a wonderful thing, I don't want to make it sound like a burden, but I am exhausting my options.

I dealt with my first summer glut of lemons before this blog started by making jars and jars of lemon butter (or lemon curd), some of which I gave away, but I still have jars left over.  My second glut  was demolished by basically making lots of  lemon tarts and taking them to friends' places over the Christmas / New Year period and by making lemonade.  I also have enough preserved lemons in jars in the cupboard to keep us going for a good while so there is no point in making more of them. So I am kind of  struggling to know what to do with these.

The glut is  going to go on for a while too - the tree is loaded and I am not even picking the lemons, I am only collecting the ones that have fallen from the tree! Does anyone have any good lemon recipes they can refer me too?

I could make a favourite cake - a nice Lemony one -  but there is already a cake in the fridge a lovely banana and chocolate one that David made yesterday and you only need one cake in the fridge at a time. So tonight I will make Roasted Lemon Chicken.

Roasted Lemon Chicken
This is a real favourite and comes from a mini book that came with a Gourmet Traveller.The little book is called, 'Comfort Food'. I have made it so many times I cannot count. It's one of those one pan dishes that are so easy to make. Here is my version below, it does really benefit from lots of garlic. * from the garden

olive oil
potatoes cut into small chunks
lots of shallots
chicken pieces
lots of garlic
lots of rosemary leaves*
thyme sprigs*
2 lemons*

Prepare the oven at 200C, put in a roasting pan olive oil, the shallots and potatoes. Cook the veg for about 20 mins. Tuck in the chicken pieces among the potatoes and shallots and scatter with garlic and rosemary and tuck in the thyme sprigs near the chicken. Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken and then cut into quarters or smaller if you have large lemons, and tuck in around the chicken.  Drizzle some more oil over and roast until chicken is cooked and golden. This is so yummy and lovely with a simple green salad.

a big green grub with pink antenna
David is going to make pastry -  he has the hands for it -  and so I will make another Lemon Tart as well. I am afraid I never get sick of them.

During this  morning's garden inspection I came across quite a bit of wildlife.   Does anyone know what this amazing grub is? It's on one of my espaliered Tahitian lime trees and seems to be getting ready to make a cocoon.

another type of praying mantis

On the same lime tree there was a little green praying mantis - not like the giant bee and house fly eating ones. I guess all living things are enjoying the sun.  What did they all do during the massive rain storm?
Another lemon tart?

Post script -  Fresh from the oven, ANOTHER lemon tart. It is possibly the 6th  since 1st January. This one is a  little cracked on the top -  perhaps I left it in a little too long. Could this be called an addiction?


    1. I am seriously green with jealousy! Of all the things in the world that I would like a glut of, lemons would be it. Instead I have one solitary little lemon on my sad little tree, and I'm not even sure it will stick. I'm paying $1.80 per lemon from my organic F & V delivery service - highway robbery!

      I'd personally be making lots and lots of lemon cordial. And lemon curd, but you've already done that.

      I might have to bite the bullet and actually plant a full-sized lemon tree in the ground. Not sure my dwarf is ever going to be prolific enough, and I just don't seem to have the knack of caring for the full-sized one in the pot.

      We might have to meet up and arrange a lemon-egg swap once my hens are in full production. Or Garlic. I still have a crazy amount of that too!

    2. I hate to make you jealous, lemons are just one of those essentials aren't they? I love all citrus, but can't ever really do without lemons.

      You are on with the lemmon / egg ( or even garlic) swap. Perhaps we can swap addresses on our emails.

      I have never tried to grow a lemon in a pot so can't compare but the one in the ground that I have is sure bearing! And a positive from all the rain is that they are really juicy!

      Thanks for the cordial suggestion.

    3. Oh yum - there's a lemon and mint cordial recipe on my blog that I love. Its pretty minty so you may need to use less mint, unless of course you want to use the cordial as a base for mojitos which I heartily recommend. I love lemon tarts and I don't see how it would be possible to have too many.

      1. Oh that sounds perfect, Lemon and mint cordial. It's a definate, it is being made tomorrow.
        You are right - too many lemon tarts is impossible.

    4. Its a good addiction. I am envious of your harvest, chillies, aubergines and lemons. Wow.

      1. And soon we will be envious of your summer harvests. Its kind of good this north/ south thing... we get inspiration from eachother just when we nesd it. Right ow I'm thinking brassicas.



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