Recently, David Liebovitz had a recipe which required preserved lemons as an ingredient. It looked really good and I wanted to try it. I asked Rebecca if she had any preserved lemons, but she was cagey in her reply. “You can get them at PFI,” she said. “Or you can make them.” “They are really expensive to buy and they take a month to make,” I whined. "And I only need one." “You need to use organic lemons,” she said, ignoring my hints. I knew she had some secreted in her stores. But she was firm. So we went shopping for the lemons and a suitable jar. It was all sort of expensive. Organic anything is expensive. There was just enough of everything – enough salt, enough lemons, and enough room in the jar exactly. I cut up the lemons, salted them generously, using the last grain of my Kosher salt, and squashed them into the jar. The next day, the lemon juice was rising, and the day after that, it had risen even more. I was watching the lemons’ progress with the tenderness of a gardener encouraging his lettuce shoots as they emerged from the earth in early spring. The third day, I came home from work, feeling tired and bedraggled, and went straight to my lemons to see how they were progressing. The jar was half empty! I was dumbfounded. What could have possibly happened to them? I asked Rachael if she knew, and of course she didn’t. I wondered if Maria or Margaret had eaten them. They are both such messy eaters that they always leave evidence of their food crimes, but there was no evidence. Maybe they dropped off the counter and someone threw them away. No signs of that either. Later, John the handyman came over and I asked him if he knew about my lemons. Well….. he thought they were destined for the compost and so he made himself some lemonade out of them. “What??!!” I screeched. “Those were semi-sacred lemons!” “Well, I guess that explains why they made such awful lemonade” Grrrrrrr!
So I started over again, with new expensive organic lemons and new inexpensive kosher salt. Now he knows not to touch them. Ever.
1 day ago