Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Preserved Lemons’

Lemons Out Of The Jar

Posted by terrepruitt on May 16, 2015

You might have read a little over a month ago that I put salt in a jar and filled it with lemons.  (Click here for that post.)  I had heard about it from a friend on Facebook.  When writing the post for my blog I did a really quick search and learned that preserved lemons are a “gourmet food”.  Also, after I posted about it two of my friends told me that they had seen jars of them at Trader Joe’s.  So this is not a completely unique food.  It is actually common in Moroccan and Middle Eastern recipes. I sealed my jar on April 7th so the schedule was to open it 30 days later on May 7th.  Well, I was making something on May 6th and decided to use the lemons for it.

I was making chard.  I think of chard as bitter so I usually use a lot of seasonings when cooking it.  I didn’t read the instructions when I prepared the jar, and true to form I didn’t read, or more accurately, I disregarded the instructions when cooking with them.  I did not rinse the lemons.  And on top of that I salted the chard as I was cooking it.  So two huge errors.  I used a lot of lemons because I wanted the greens to be very flavorful.  But it is imperative that the lemons be rinsed!  The chard was actually too salty to eat!

I was a bit sad because I thought these lemons were going to be a new “thing”/flavor I could cook and prepare food with.  I did hold out faith that it was my bad decision not to rinse the lemons that made the lemons icky.

A few days after my chard disaster I made some rice.  This time I rinsed the lemons thoroughly then cut them up and put them on top of the rice in the rice maker.  Success!  YES!  It was sooooo yummy. The lemons gave just enough flavor but did not over power.  It was good.  Yay!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoSince I had had success with the rice a few nights after that, I made some broccoli with the lemons.  I used a tiny it of oil and a couple of slices of onion.  I didn’t want to overpower the lemons so I didn’t want to use too much of anything else. Again, I rinsed the lemons really well, cut them up and then put them in the pan with the broccoli to cook.  Again, yummy!

One thing about the lemons is they are so slimy.  I don’t care to touch them because they are so slimy, but once you rinse them they are ok.

The information I’ve seen is that lemons, salt, and water is more common for is recipes in North African and Indian cuisine.  The recipe I followed is just salt, lemons, and the juice of the lemons.  No water.

As I said in my original post about this, I used a small jar.  I was thinking after I tried it, if I liked it, I would make a larger jar, but, I don’t see the need for a larger jar for us.  The small one is fine.  If I were to start a new jar now, we would probably finished with the present jar by the time it is ready.  I think I might try that, but this time add some other flavor.

Have you ever had preserved lemons?  Have you have made them?  What do you think of them?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Squished Lemons In a Jar

Posted by terrepruitt on April 14, 2015

I have some friends on Facebook that I have never met.  They are friends I have through Nia.  Nia is like any other group exercise or activity, you tend to “gather” in a group.  In addition to the average things people share on Facebook (recipes, family pictures, proud parent moments, pet pictures, meal pictures) we do share about our classes.  We make announcements about up coming events.  We talk about the routines and the “stuff” going on in Nia.  So I have a group of “Nia people” I am friends with on Facebook.  One of them was having a conversation with one of her friends and I jumped in because it sounded interesting.  You might know from some of my previous posts that I have a lemon tree.  You may also know that I am not really a fan of lemon flavor.  I never think to add it to any meat I am cooking.  I never think to use it to flavor marinades or dressing.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, City of San Jose Group X, Zumba, PiYoI only use it in lemon cookies . . . which I don’t make often any longer.  Every once in a while I zest some into our rice.  But I don’t think of using the lemons to cook so I am always on the lookout for ways to start using them more.  Well, the conversation they were having was about lemons.  So I butted in and said, “Hey, what is this about lemons?”

Georgia, my Nia friend on Facebook, shared the recipe she uses to preserve lemons.  She said to put them in a jar with salt, let them sit for a month, then use them as you need them.  Her instructions stated a quart jar.  Well, I don’t have one and have yet to remember to buy one.  I really wanted to try this, so I started thinking I didn’t need such a large jar.  I might not like it so I decided to start small.  So this past week, I smushed some lemons in a jar.  I did not do it correctly because I got more involved with cutting and getting them into the jar than actually following the instructions.  I did not have the instructions in front of me and I so was just guessing.  Of course after I was done I looked them up.

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You’ll need a large jar that will not leak when it is flipped over.  (In her picture it looks like she might have used a large pickle jar.)
About 7 or 8 organic lemons (I only used two and a half because my jar was so small)
salt

First make sure the jar is clean.  Then make sure the lemons are clean and dry.  Then cut the lemons – not all the way through – in an X pattern.  Cutting from one end to the other, leaving one end intact.  I did not do that because the lemons were bigger than my jar.  So I actually cut the lemons into wedges.

Put about two tablespoons of salt in the bottom of the jar.  Then put a cut lemon in the jar.  Smush it down so the juices come out.  Then put more salt, then another lemon – smushing it down, getting more juice.  Continue this process until the jar is full.  Georgia said you cannot have enough salt.  She also said you can add other flavors; herbs, cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaf, dried red chili peppers . . . . whatever flavor you would like.

If you need to, put more lemon JUICE in the jar to make certain the lemons are covered.  Then you leave the jar on your counter for 30 days.  Flipping it over every day.

After 30 days you put the jar in your refrigerator and use a lemon or a piece every time you want to flavor something with lemon.  Pick what you want out of the jar, rinse it, then use it.  You can chopped it up using both the rind and the pulp.  Use it with chicken, beef, pork, fish, pasta, salad . . . whatever you want.

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Her recipe said that you can always add more juice and salt as you use the slices.

She said that the sour goes away and an intense yummy lemon flavor comes out.

Now . . . . I just did this . . . and by JUST . . . I mean I am in the 30 day flipping stage.  So once my 30 days are up you will be reading about it again to see what I think.

In looking at her post again she indicated this was a Moroccan delicacy.  So I looked it up and there is a lot of information regarding it on the internet.  I will post more when I actually get to taste them.

Perhaps some of you already do this so you can share?  What do you think?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »