Monday, October 4, 2010

Every single molecule is right

So, wouldn't you know it, the day that I wrote a blog entry about being all out of preserved lemons, I headed over to a potluck and my professor's house and discovered--well, rediscovered--that he has a lemon tree in his backyard, and that the tree was at that moment just bursting with ripe, fragrant low-hanging lemons. I asked Clay what he did with them and he said, "Oh, pick them up off the ground, mostly. If you want any, take some."

So I did, and then because I needed my backpack the next day to go shopping, I arranged them into some bowls in a way that is pretty reminiscent of Catalog Living:

And then later that night, right before seeing The Flaming Lips in concert at The Fox, I preserved them. Preserving lemons took a lot less time than I remembered--you just wash the lemons, cut an x in them, peel the flaps back a little and fill them with salt, and then put the lemons in a jar with some spices, pressing down every so often to release the juices and cover them completely. I think I had a massive jar done in less than an hour. I kind of wish it had taken more time, because the act that opened for the Flaming Lips was not very enjoyable. If I had to assign them a genre, it would be "drums and screaming". Okay, my next pre-concert project will be cassoulet.

You need a lot of salt. The amount of salt in the picture above was good for like one-third of the lemons. The salt does not all really dissolve at first, but then when you put the lemons in your cabinet and let them sit there and develop for a couple weeks, it will turn into kind of a lemony sludge eventually. I thought that this lemony sludge was inedible, because it is really salty, but I have since learned that you can strain it and add it to your food as a flavoring. Yes! Couscous, now with lemon sludge!

I also made sort of an ad hoc mint julep to go along with the whole lemon preservation deal, inspired by the fading light on my back porch, the sparse contents of my liquor cabinet, the ridiculous quantity of mint I got at Berkeley Bowl last week, and these awesome glasses that I picked up at a yard sale. I actually passed by the yard sale on my way to the thrift store to buy glasses. Yes. All of the subatomic pieces came together.


  1. sam. why don't you just give in already and get a tumblr??

  2. I wanted to have a title image that changes when you reload it. I couldn't figure out how to do that on tumblr, and you have to pay for it on wordpress. This is the only reason.