Lemon LovePosted on Mar 1, 2013 | 1 comment
I remember hearing the saying…”When life gives you lemons…” as a young girl, and being so perplexed as to why it was always accompanied with such a dour face.
I loved lemons. I eagerly anticipated receiving my complimentary glass of water at a restaurant…and was severely disappointed if there wasn’t that little citrus half moon gracing the edge of my tumbler. If I was fortunate enough to have been given one, I would pop it in my mouth…and delight in the sour puckering experience…before returning it back into my water where it continued to refresh and infuse my mealtime drink.
Every year around February and March, when winter stretches and yawns and refuses to get up and leave…I get a little desperate for some citrus and sunshine. Since weather can’t be purchased at will, I have to forgo the latter, and settle for a grocery cart full of oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. A perky zingy bite of grapefruit can really drive the doldrums from the brain…at least for a few minutes.
And oh, those lemons. Those beautiful little orbs of shocking flavor…whisking you away, for an imaginative moment, to a warmer clime. I adore them. I prefer lemon desserts, every time, over chocolate. My husband accepts this, but does not understand. I love a great chocolate cake or mousse, but I will bypass it at any occasion if there is a lemon option available. Lemon cheesecake, lemon tart, lemon meringue pie…and yes, the over-processed-completely-junked-infamous-and-easy- to-assemble Lemon Lush. (sigh of bliss) And now since I am on the roll…I will confess something publicly that may shock you. I, an organic purchaser of food and great despiser of high fructose corn-syrup, chemicals, and preservatives…have a rather appalling weakness. Kroger Lemon Pudding Cake… which one can conveniently purchase by the slice. If there is a serving available when I am out grocery shopping, I must purchase it. I guiltily sneak it onto the cashier belt and hide it under my organic salad greens. Then, with great stealth, I squirrel it away from the gaze of hungry boys, and carefully hide it out of sight upon arriving home. When all is clear and the kitchen, at last, is empty… I painstakingly cut the cake into three skinny slices, and tuck them into the freezer for safe-keeping. There they wait, not so patiently, calling my name…and what a great pleasure there is “in the partaking” (to quote Dickens) of a steaming hot spot of tea and buttery, citrusy bite of lemon confection while the kids are all down for a quiet time. Winter afternoons are once again bearable.
Yellow. It is a wonderfully, cheerful hue. I actually did paint creamy white over my yellow walls this summer (with the help of some family and friends) because after six years of living within them, the warmth of these said walls had morphed into a rather greenish gray mustard (think dandelions covered in drive-way dust). They were grimy with finger prints, and totally depressing. But blips of yellow still can be found all over our little home. And until I can convince my hubby that we NEED to move to Tuscany because I NEED my own lemon tree grove, I will keep on burning my citrusy candles, diffusing bright-smelling oils, purchasing oranges in bulk, and fastidiously consuming my illicit Kroger Lemon Pudding Cake. And I will love it when life gives me lemons.
Before I sign off, I must leave you with these two wonderful recipes that make great use of citrus ingredients. They are both easy, delicious, and refreshing. Put a little zing into a dreary winter evening and serve these for dinner.
Baked Fish Tacos
1/2 c. plain breadcrumbs (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Breadcrumbs )
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
5 Tilipia fillets, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. sour cream
small amount of salsa
chopped red or green cabbage
Combine breadcrumbs, cumin, coriander, and chili powder.
Place fish on baking tray greased with olive oil.
Season fish with salt and pepper.
Top each fillet w/generous amount of breadcrumb mixture…use it all up.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 min.
While fish is baking, combine yogurt, sour cream, and salsa. Just add salsa to taste.
Peel oranges, separating into segments and removing seeds.
Either warm, or gently fry tortillas in good oil.
Chop 1-2 c. of cabbage.
When fish is finished, carefully add 1/2 a fillet to each corn tortilla.
Add cabbage, orange segments, sour cream sauce, and cilantro.
Squeeze lime over all.
Be prepared to totally bliss out.
This serves around 4-5. I have to double it for my family.
You can forgo the breadcrumbs if you need a gluten-green option. Just season and bake. Or fry the fish to make it a bit crispier.
Do not forgo the cabbage! The extra crunch is delightful!
Avocado Citrus Salad
For the salad:
Around 6 c. torn greens
1-2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
3 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1-2 ripe avocados, sliced
1/4 c. toasted almonds
For the dressing:
1/2 c. good olive oil
1/3 c. honey or agave
3 T vinegar (white or white balsamic)
1/2 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt.
Drizzle over salad until the ingredients are lightly coated.
Yum, yum, yum.