Local Lemons?

December 26, 2009 § 6 Comments

It’s Christmas, and of all the foods I should be craving right now, I’m thinking about lemons.  Thinking about how just a bit of zest or a squeeze of juice can transform a dish from ho-hum to bright and flavorful.  Salt does a similar thing, as well as red pepper (for me). It wakes up your taste buds, balances sweetness and cuts through oil and fat to wake up the flavors underneath.

Can I therefore consider lemons a kind of spice, a condiment, a flavor enhancer? I realize this sounds like I’m trying to rationalize citrus as a local food in the Mid-Atlantic… and perhaps I am a little.  I know lemons will never be local here, but in the same way that it would be a serious detriment to my food life to be without olive oil, so it would to be without lemons.  So the lemons stay. As an enhancer, not as a main ingredient. As it goes now, I only use 1 or 2 a week (if any) so it’s not as if I will have a huge impact.

Since this is supposed to be a permanent change, and not a year long gimmick, I’m giving myself a little slack.  And in the spirit of transparency, I want to be honest about these things.

And besides, a life without lemons is just hardly worth living at all.  Everyone needs a little sour to their sweet 😉

Merry Christmas to all!

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§ 6 Responses to Local Lemons?

  • […] shared thoughts on using lemons in her local cooking. As she noticed, lemon gives a brightness and zing to a meal […]

  • Margo says:

    oh, I so totally agree with you!!! I have decided that I cannot give up lemons and limes! I even (guilty cringe) decided that we are having Florida citrus (I live in PA) while it’s in season there.
    I buy everything local that it is possible to buy, even beyond food; I hope that balances my citrus!

    • elittlestar says:

      Margo,
      Having been raised in Florida and seeing that local agriculture is so important to the fabric of that community… I think you are making a fine concession 🙂 Do you have a particular source for your lemons? I would MUCH rather buy from Florida than California (no offense CA- but a girl’s got to have hometown pride). I think if you are going to make local eating/buying a lifestyle, you have to be reasonable, right? And having some in-season Florida lemons in your life is certainly reasonable.

      I used to live near a citrus grove in Sarasota called Albrittons (http://www.albrittonfruit.com/), and i’m telling you if you are looking for oranges you cannot beat this place. They are a family company, but ship nationawide, and i swear they must put crack in their orange juice because it is AMAZING, and super addictive. No, not local to DC… but if you are going to buy non-local at least make it a small, family owned company right? Supporting small agriculture is at least half the point of this whole experiment!

      Thanks for commenting Margo! This is a brand new blog… so it’s nice to know someone is reading 🙂

      xoxo Erin

  • sustainableeats says:

    I have been reading the little house on the prarie cookbook and even Ma Ingalls somehow bought lemons in Minnesota. I’m still not sure how! But you are in good company. If Ma Ingals made that exception then I’m doing it too. 🙂

    • elittlestar says:

      Wow. Thank you! I feel completely validated now! Ma Ingalls is the ethical standard for pretty much everything, so if she uses lemons, I’m using lemons.

      I want a bumber sticker that says “WWMID?” In fact, i think that will be my question evertime I buy anything now.

      Where did you find the Little House on the Prairie cookbook? I must have it!!

  • sustainableeats says:

    WWMID? Hilarious! You sadly just missed my cookbook giveaway but it’s called http://www.amazon.com/Little-House-Cookbook-Frontier-Ingalls/dp/0064460908/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262708859&sr=1-1-spell

    It’s somehow escaped my attention since the 80’s so many libraries would likely have copies with little to no demand.

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