Over Thanksgiving we made a little road trip to see some family for some good eats and company over the holiday. It is pretty amazing what one can grow and keep in Southern California. Pumpkins, zucchini, varieties of squash, herbs, lettuce, kale, orchards of lime and lemon trees, and soon to be persimmon trees, avocado trees, oh…and a handful of chickens, some playful cats, and the ever fetching pup. Their citrus trees were so heavy with fruit, the branches were literally breaking, so they spoiled us and sent us home with a trunk full of lemons and limes. Now what to do with a mountain of citrus other than give some away and freeze the juices? Well, this little darling of a recipe is proving to come in more and more handy as we creep closer to winter. A snotty nose here, cough there, sneezing here, fevers and chills there. All of these little bugs are making the rounds and making us want to curl up on our couches with a hot cup of tea and a blanket. These lemons are amazing in tea, minced in yogurt, on toast with herbed goat cheese, as a preserve in breads. I’m sure preserving tangerines, clementines, or oranges..oooh or blood oranges…would prove equally delectable and delightful. Raw honey has some amazing antimicrobial properties to it created by an enzyme left by our friends the bees, so the lemons will keep refrigerated for up to 3 months…if they hang around that long. Also, let me know if you turn this into an adult libation, warm scotch or bourbon anyone?
Honey preserved lemons…
6-8 Meyer lemons, cut horizontally into rings (any variety will do, but I like the floral essence of Meyers)
1 cup raw honey
½ cup organic cane sugar
6-8 whole cloves
a cinnamon stick, just for fun
*You will also need sterilized jars any size.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water, honey, sugar, and cloves to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and slowly add the lemons. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep covered, for 8 hours. Re-heat mixture to a low simmer, then slowly transfer to your jars. Let cool to room temperature, then seal and refrigerate for a week before using.
Eat together, toast to each other, and share!