Posts Tagged ‘lemon


uses for lemons 007: cleaning food stains off plastic

Tomato stains on your expensive Tupperware? Trying to reuse those takeaway containers for leftovers but they still have laksa stains on them? Mix lemon juice with baking soda to make a paste and cover the stains. Leave them alone for a couple of hours and wash those stains away.

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uses for lemons 006: preserved lemons

The beautiful mix of flavours, colours, textures; the sumptuous delights of far off places; the hints of allure, history and splendour-I adore Middle Eastern food. And thus, I am enamoured with preserved lemons, which I make every year and use in vegetables, couscous and tagines. The salt softens the acidity of the lemon, it becomes something else. Almost sweet. They have a very distinctive flavour and add a burst of summer to your dish.

How to make preserved lemons

To make yourself a big, beautiful jar of sunshine, wash your lemons by working them over with a vegetable brush and rinsing. Cut them as if quartering but don’t go all the way through the fruit. Fill the cuts with lots of salt and squish them into a jar that has been scrupulously washed, sterilised and dried. The jar will start filling up with the juice that has been drawn out of the lemons. Fill the jar right up, pressing the lemons down well. Top up with more salt and extra lemon juice. Don’t be scared of using too much salt-you’re using it to preserve the fruit, you won’t be eating a lot of the salt. Seal the jar and remember to shake it every day for the first week. Now pop it away somewhere cool and dark to mature for a month.

How to use preserved lemons

To amaze friends and love ones with an easy-to-do, no-fuss but sensationally-delicious recipe a la Peta Mathias. First, find yourself a leg of lamb. Take a sheet of baking paper (or bring out the tagine), place your lamb on a bed of thyme and rosemary with a few cloves of garlic and some quarters of preserved lemon. Tie the baking paper into a nice little package with some string (or just close the tagine). Cook for about 2.5 hours  in the oven at 170°C . In the meantime whip up a pomegranate sauce and cook some veges, maybe a little couscous. The lamb will be falling off the bone and the flavours will be symphonic.

Preserved lemons can also be used to add flair and zest to salads and couscous. Just rinse the lemons before use and chop into the accompanying dish.


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Uses for lemons 005: Ant Patrol

I bake a lot and I make lots of sweets and chocolate. I also live in an old house, on a sand dune, where ants like to feel at home.  So after any sugar-laden cooking session I need to clean up very well and I used to spend ages trying to get every last sugary morsel off the bench. I have since found an easier way.

Chop a lemon in half and wipe down the bench with it. The lemon juice interrupts those devilish ant sensors and they just don’t come a’callin.

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Uses for lemons 004: Deodorant

Nasty things are reported to be found lurking in deodorant bottles-parabens, PEGs, hormone-disrupting fragrances and antibacterials, petrochemicals, aluminum compounds. So throw it out and use your lemons! Just slice one in half and rub it under those armpits. The antibacterial properties will keep you feeling lemony fresh.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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Uses for lemons 003: Cleaning raw eggs

Does your favourite salad dressing call for raw egg but you’re a bit angsty because of the salmonella risk? Lemon power will save the day. Add 20ml of lemon juice per egg, stir gently and refrigerate the mix for 48 hours. You can store this mix in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use, thaw the eggs in the fridge overnight.

Image of a raw egg (after being soaked in vinegar for 48 hours) by Wikipedia user Biswarup Ganguly.

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Uses for lemons 002: Lemon curd

1 cup sugar
100 g butter
Juice and zest of 4 lemons
4 eggs lightly whisked

Place the sugar, butter and lemony bits in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Add the eggs and stir continuously over a low heat until the mixture thickens. Simple. Store in the fridge and experiment widely with its use. Bread products will never be the same.

Warning: If you make lemon curd you’ll start licking anything this stuff touches. If you are not used to eating a lot of citrus, your mouth may soon go super-tingly from the acid. You have been warned.

Image used under Creative Commons from: poetas, on Flickr

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Uses for lemons 001: Tequila

If you’ve got lemons, chances are you’ve got too many of them. I hate to see fruit go to waste, so here’s a handy guide on what to do with your crop. And I started with the most important one – if life gives you lemons, then crack out the tequila!


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