Monday, July 4, 2011

A rant about citrus. And recipes!

I am driven by productivity. I can't call it a day unless I can say I was productive. I think it's all that Jewish guilt I didn't get as a child finally catching up with me.

I will moan to my husband, who is covered in grease and G-d-knows-what-else, "I am so upset! I did nothing today. Like, I did 2 loads of laundry, baked three cakes, reorganized the pantry and paid all the bills but that was LIKE IT. Other than that, I sat on my ass." And he's not really sure what to say. I'm sure he wants to yell at me and say, "You moron! I am covered in diesel fuel because I worked all day on my feet and didn't even get a lunch and you complain because you DID NOTHING?! I want to smack you!" Instead he says, "Aww, it's okay honey. You always do a lot. You can do more tomorrow." Which is just weird. But exactly what I need. Which is why we're married, probably.

So today I find myself with just an ever-so-slight surplus of citrus.

I have no concept of restraint.

Do you know what you can do with citrus? Well. NOT FUCKING MUCH. There, I fricken said it. Why are there not more posts on "TEH INTARNET" about this? I see, over and over again, some poor sad soul bemoaning their lemon, lime and/or orange tree asking for recommendations of what to do with their glut and the replies they get are from people who clearly have no idea what a 'glut' is or just how many G-DDAMN FRUIT a tree produces. Let me put it in perspective. Each tree will produce about a thousand fruit in one season. People tend to have about THREE OR FOUR trees if they have one. This box of fruit? This PILE of fruit? Is not even 1/10th of what was currently ripe on one tree.

So when people ask for recipes and someone replies with, "Why don't you put one in a chicken!?" You just kinda wanna smack them. One, you probably already thought of that and two, what the ever loving crap do you do with the other 4000 fricken lemons you have? Make 4000 roast chickens?

Marmalade, you say? Marmalade? Okay... about 5 lemons produce a jar of marmalade. How much marmalade do you eat? Suckiest thing for me is I dislike marmalade. I don't like that I dislike marmalade because citrus season is just so. damned. productive. I wish I loved marmalade. I wish I could eat it out of the jar with a spoon. But the truth is - I just end up with 40 jars of marmalade leftover every year I sell in the markets or to greedy friends. And I feel weird (very weird) selling something I don't even like. Everyone seems to love it, at least. But it's a dirty secret of mine, "Here, buy this jar of stuff I don't eat! People say it's delicious!"

This is why I love Indian people. Hello there, random logic jump. Come with me. There are these amazing things like this amazing lemon pickle from Indian Food Rocks (and they have lime too!). I found an enlarged version of the recipe that asks for forty lemons. Forty! Now that's what I'm talking about, people. Plus - it's a fun rare treat that can be spicy, sour, salty and just plain amazing. And I love me some spicy food. And Indian people. You see where I went with that?

This recipe only asks for 4 oranges but it also only makes 6 cups of orange (which includes the liquid which you probably aren't skulling like an alcoholic). Bloody delicious, if you ask me. Like winter in a jar. But you can eat it in summer! I would make a quadruple batch of this if I were you so you can tuck it away until summer when you really want an orange and, like me, don't buy out of season from the markets.

See, the main problem I have with citrus-y recommendations is they are so boring. Orange cake. Done it. Marmalade. We discussed this. Eat one whole. Not even remotely helpful, people. The other problem is the rest of the recipes, like candied peels, are a fricken nightmare when you're doing it to 400 fruit. 5-10 is easy enough. Peel. Peel. Peel. But after about 7 or 8, your hands start to wrinkle and then, after about 15, you're pretty sure you've managed to pickle your fingerprints. Wear gloves, you say? Well, you wear gloves while peeling oranges with a tiny filet knife. See how exact you are. Yeah, I thought so. But hey, at least I can commit crimes and not get caught now, which'll totally help my business.

Then, there is this holy grail of "I can't believe how delicious this is and yet, how random it is we don't make it in the Western World because we're too afraid to try new things." Fifty lemons, people. FIFTY. Now that's a recipe. Oh yeah, and this shiz is fricken delicious.

And there's the classic preserved lemons. Anybody with a lemon tree should know about this, as it's simple, delicious and uses a good amount of lemons (and limes, and oranges, to different effect).

And of course, just to be a dick about the whole thing, some recipes I want to try I can't even read.

So when my husband asks if I did anything, I will say no. Because I "Only made 200 lemons into 5 different varieties of spicy Indian pickles and preserved them for future use for the next millenia." and he will feel sorry for me.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post on an excellent seasonal dilemma on which I have no additional information to offer.

    I love citrus but loathe marmalade. in 'gag'

    I love lemon or orange cake but...well, how many can you make and eat? Yea.

    So, I still have three HUGE bags of nice lemons on my back verandah and thankfully a friend has a little girl who will be making lemonade for a school project in August. I will be juicing them for her and she will get nearly the lot!

    I wish we could grow avocado trees here. Now that I could cope with!