It was a rainy day in South Florida. I got some much needed beach time this morning even though it was overcast and a bit gloomy. Stormy weather is my favorite time to go to the beach – it’s a little wild and windy and a lot solitary.
When I got home from the beach, the cooking frenzy began. After a crazy work week last week and no time to eat home cooked, whole food meals, this week would be different. After shopping for everything I needed, I launched into a marathon cooking afternoon. Gluten-free pizza dough – pizza recipes and pics later this week. Free range roast chicken with fresh herbs and basil, basted with oregano, orange, and lemon infused olive oil I got at the market yesterday. Hot Italian sausage, potato, and kale soup. Turkey burgers with cranberries, mashed potatoes and green beans. My daughters’ childhood favorite and my favorite comfort breakfast food – shepherd’s pie – seasoned grass-fed ground beef, a few shreds of extra-sharp cheddar, topped with mashed potatoes laced with gobs of butter and cream – served with al dente green beans. Gluten-free apple cakes. Collard greens that will be a side dish for Southern shrimp and grits later in the week. Southern creamy cole slaw and chili spiced fish to make fish tacos. Slow cooked beef flank steak, shredded and dressed with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a delicious lunch salad and tacos. And preserved lemons. I so want these to be ready now! But they take about 4 weeks to morph into tangy, heady, lemon deliciousness.
3 – 4 thick skinned lemons
extra lemon juice
6 – 8 tablespoons fine sea salt
1-2 bay leaves, optional
1. Sterilise a medium jar (with a good lid or seal) by popping in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle, or using your favourite sterilisation method.
2. Place the thick skinned lemons in a strainer and pour boiling water over the lemons to get rid of any dirt or bugs. Drain.
3. Chop a lemon into quarters, lengthwise.
4. Place a tablespoon salt in the bottom of the jar and pack in the lemon quarters, squashing them in to release as much juice as possible. Scatter with another tablespoon salt.
5. Repeat with the other 2 – 3 lemons, until the jar is full. If using the bay leaves, poke them in along the sides of the jar while layering.
6. Finish with a final tablespoon or two of salt. Cover with lemon juice.
7. Seal jar and store at room temperature for 4 weeks.