Sunday, June 22, 2008

gifts

Sometimes we forget that what's just "every day" to us is special to someone else. Recently, my friend and I had an email correspondence about lemons...Meyer Lemons, in particular, which have a floral scent that is just unmistakable. Lovely like the best kind of perfume, and I'd never known it until I bought an expensive splurge in Nashville, two of these rare lemons. Bits of this chatter may have appeared in blog comments, you might have heard about it. My friend is Alison; she lives in California. She'd emailed me that I should expect something in the mail when I got home. When the mail arrived, it included 10 Meyer Lemons. Two had gone off (no surprise, given the heat and delay I'd forced upon them) but 8 were popped into the refrigerator.
This is what I wrote her on Friday--the lamb roast was for the professor's b-day..:
Hi Alison:
Day #1 with lemons...fresh lemonade and a little squirt on those canned grapeleaves..
Day #2 with lemons...homemade pasta noodles dressed with garlic from our garden and lemon zest sauted in olive oil, bits of smoked salmon and meyer lemon juice. Topped with a bit of grated parmesan cheese. Mmmmh. Good.
Day#3 with lemons.(tonight) roasted locally raised lamb, marinated with lemons, onions, rosemary and garlic. Eggplant salad with banana peppers, seasoned with garlic, lemon, red wine vinegar, pepper and salt.
We are thanking you every night over here! :)

Day #4 was fabulous leftover lamb sandwiches for dinner, with leftover eggplant salad and fresh tomatoes from the farmer's market, so we saved a few lemons for the next couple of days...good thing, too.
Today the professor dug up our radishes and harvested all the radish seed pods. We plan to saute those tonight with a bit of garlic, sesame oil, and ---maybe some lemon? Nothing brightens up summer food the way a little lemon might. I have my big bottle of lemon juice at hand, but it in no way compares to a real lemon!

Last fall, I had a last minute idea. We'd had such a bad drought that practically nothing remained in our garden. However, I bought some seed garlic and get started on another crop. (Garlic needs to overwinter in Kentucky's climate) Today, we pulled this out of the ground. After a few days of drying out this treasure, we'll look forward to many nights of garlic bread, garlicky tomatoes, or pesto filled adventures. Yum. An ordinary thing, garlic...but still it's a wonder to pull your own out of the ground!

One of the best parts of gardening is getting to "pass along" some of one's treasures...like the lemons were sent to me. Today the professor potted up bits of our enormous lemon balm (great for tea and getting rid of insects, it perfumes the air) and grabbed some onion bulbs from our Egyptian Walking Onion. He passed along these to a neighbor and friend. She owns a great neighborhood cafe, Bread and Bagel. In the back? She's starting an herb garden. She's working to produce her own veggies and herbs for the restaurant, and just as the lemons were passed to me, the onions and lemon balm were passed to her. She too will pass countless green gifts along.

Thank you, Alison, for starting this chain of gifts!

4 Comments:

Anonymous AlisonH said...

Oh, wonderful! Thank you, Joanne!

I just got an email from my daughter in Vermont: she found a place where she could order one, and bought a dwarf Meyer lemon tree--the New Improved variety, rather than our Old Unimproved with the bitter whites--and is growing it. In Vermont. Indoors. And she's actually getting lemons. Cool!

June 22, 2008 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Those Meyer lemons sound wonderful!

Gardening is so much fun when bits and pieces are shared with friends...

... your garlic looks great (soft or hard neck?)

I am going to try your method of fixing up the radish seed pods, it sounds good!

One of my most favorite things to do with my lemon balm is to fill a cheese cloth bag with it, and tie it to the bath tub faucet ...the hot water that runs through it as the bath is drawn--fills the air with a heavenly relaxing scent!

June 22, 2008 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Romi said...

Alison is wonderful. :)

Try a Meyer lemon meringue pie. Yummy.

June 23, 2008 at 12:30 AM  
Anonymous CarolineF said...

Happy birthday Jeff!

June 23, 2008 at 11:38 AM  

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