We have a rather strange lemon tree in our backyard. It's trunk reaches all the way up to the roof (about 7 feet) and then it branches out above the roof line. This spring, my lemon tree started producing lemons...many lemons, and hasn't stopped since. I've used my lemons in numerous meals and drinks, taken them on vacation, given them away to neighbors, and even sent them to work with my husband.
But being such a tall tree, I can't just reach up and pick the lemons, they're way out of my reach. When those lemons are good and ready, they fall to the ground. But every now and then when I'm feeling rather peppy, I'll go in to the garage, get my 8 foot fruit picker (you know the kind with the basket on the end) and I'll go fishing for lemons. I usually end up being showered with leaves, getting the tiny flowers and lemon dust in my eyes as I look up at my lemon tree to try and coax them down off the branches. The picker really isn't such a great system, so the lemons end up falling to the ground when they're good and ready, and where I go to gather them up.
This summer I would go out nearly every morning with my coffee and look at the progress of my vegetable garden (sorry Jim, I know you planted it). I'd water my lavender, sage, roses, gardenia and my herb garden (yes, I planted it). So with my coffee in one hand and the hose in the other, I'd eventually end up under the lemon tree.
I'd always end up putting either the coffee down, or the hose, but sometimes both, and look around for something to bring the lemons in to the house with. Instead, I would end up gathering all my lemons in my shirt and there I'd be, 10 or so lemons in the pouch of my shirt holding it all together with one hand. The other hand free to grab my coffee, which at this point is most likely cold. It never occurs to me during all this figuring out, to walk back to the kitchen (which is all the way around the other side of the house) to get a bowl, or basket, or something to make things easier for myself. But I guess I got into a routine of doing it this way, gathering those lemons. Part of a ritual for me on those early summer mornings. A summer break that has passed too quickly.
The last time I gathered my lemons was Friday. I counted 32 (from the week) into a big beautiful bowl. I squeezed them, froze most of the juice, zested 4 or 5, and made a batch of my favorite lemon bars to share at dinner with our dear friends and neighbors.
This morning I went out as usual coffee and hose in hand, and walked over to my tree to gather the fallen lemons, but to my dismay, there were no lemons on the ground. As I turned around to go, cold cup of coffee in my hand, one single lemon fell right on to my head.
I guess summer's not quite over yet...
|The crust. Buttery. Slightly sweet. A hint of crunch with each bite.|
|The curd. Tart and sweet. Thick and creamy.|
|A to-die-for taste of summer.|
|Worth every calorie.|