Our little lemon tree is full of beautiful ripe lemons right now. I took advantage of the harvest and made a batch of preserved salty lemons. I love this stuff. Again I used Hunter Angler Gardner Cook as a guide and added a cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves before I sealed it up to let it cure for three weeks.
The basic protocol is: wash & dry the lemons thoroughly (more emphasis on the wash). Slice the lemons in quarters, stopping before slicing all the way through. Put in a quart jar and mash down releasing the juice. Add just under a tablespoon of salt (I used Redmond's & yes, that is tablespoon not teaspoon) on top of each lemon. Repeat until you fill the jar. I added the juice of about two lemons to cover the preserves, but it's not necessary. I also took some time to remove the seeds this time, gently pulling open the lemons careful not to break the wedges off.
At a winter bake sale/fundraiser for my oldest son's school, I had a revelation that I should donate a few batches of preserved lemons and/or cultured vegetables. Although I'm not one to put aside an opportunity for baked goods gluttony (witness my weekend baking spree), I realized both these items would be great for the some of the foodie families at the school and offer a bit of diversity at the table.
My mind is flashing forward to the upcoming preschool Carnival in May. The preschool has some seriously talented bakers, both professional and amateur, and the bake sale table is not to be missed. Last year, one of the pros made an almond macaroon-esque cookie with a chocolate coconut milk ganache filling. I bought one to give me a bit of a sugar boost to fill my sails. As I sat down on the grass with loud bouncy houses all around and a dunk tank directly behind me, I took a bite. The creaminess of the ganache melted slowly in my mouth, the taste of a subtle rich almond met the chocolate and feel madly in love. Bouncy houses slipped away, overly tired kids teetering on cranky seemed silent. I returned to the bake sale and bought the entire box. I really truly hope she makes more. Note to self: begin campaign of fandom requesting those cookies.