Garden with Grace

"I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some." ~H.Rappaport

When the Garden Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Drop Cocktails!

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At the start of this year, I shared the story about the pink lemon tree acquired in October 2013.

We’ve waited for months for the first lemon to be ready to pick (almost a full year, actually), only to see hundreds of tiny lemons, barely the size of peas, fall to the ground during 3-4 growth cycles. While that may seem discouraging to some people, this plant has been enjoyed even without fruit for months, indoors and out.  Its tiny white and purple flowers are extremely fragrant, as is the beautiful, shiny, variegated foliage. When it isn’t indoors filling the garden room with lemon perfume, it’s outdoors bringing delight to the honeybees.

By late May, the pink lemon tree was moved from the garden room indoors to the back patio where it enjoyed outdoor living for 3 full months.  However, with the temperatures expected to drop into the 40’s (F) in New Hampshire tonight, it is time to bring this beauty indoors during the overnight hours

But, before that happens, we needed to pick a lemon. Today, the first lemon was harvested! The pink lemon variety never really turns completely yellow – it’s a creamy yellow color with green stripes. The fruit size is small, more like a lime or golf ball.

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A lot of thought went into what to do with this lemon – we really wanted to be able to taste its lemony flavor, but with only one lemon, there’d be hardly enough juice for even a thimble-full of lemonade.  The truth is that I didn’t care what the end offering would be, I just wanted to cut open the fruit to see its pink flesh.  It looked a little more salmon color than bright pink – and was beautiful.

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When you grow your own lemons, you enjoy fruit that is not covered in wax because it was shipped to your market from thousands of miles away.  Instead, the outside of the lemon rendered a big spray of oil when it was cut and then squeezed.

Thankfully, if you have vodka in the house, you can skip the lemonade and go right for a lemon cocktail.  I did a quick search online to find a recipe that only needed a few ingredients and Ina Garten offered the solution. Her recipe for a Lemon Drop cocktail was perfect – I simply cut the ingredient portions in half for my one, lonely lemon.

Voila! The most delicious Lemon Drop Cocktail that took nearly a year to make!

IMG_4917Cheers! And, here’s to the remaining 4 lemons that should be ready in as many weeks. If you have suggestions on how I should plan to use them, let me know via a comment!

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