Food for thought
Tuesday February 09th 2016, 11:39 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Garden,Life

It was almost time to go pick up Richard when I felt like walking around the yard while there was still some light out, just to enjoy.

Our lemon tree is having the biggest and juiciest crop it’s had in years (thank you, rain!) and I found myself reaching in past a few thorns for a larger, deeper-colored one. The bit of tangerine in the tree’s parentage deepens the flavor the longer they ripen.

Coming back inside, I meant to put it down in the kitchen but somehow I walked on past and it stayed in my hand.

I was almost to the door. I stopped a moment, looked at the thing, and wondered if today somehow I was supposed to gift someone with, of all things, a lemon. A fresh-picked lemon, but still, it wasn’t much, it certainly wasn’t a hand knit, but hey, they’re fun and they smell wonderful and so out the door we go, sure, I’m curious to see if anything comes of this, but whatever.

I tucked it in a cupholder next to the driver’s side.

Richard didn’t get my text that I’d arrived and so I ended up waiting ten minutes before finally calling and going, yo….

And during that time one of his co-workers on his way to his car walked past where I’d parked and waved hi.

I turned the car back on a moment so I could roll the window down and asked how his day had gone.

Oh! He threw up his hands and laughed with a wince. Busy! SO busy! But he looked like he really didn’t want to be asked any questions about details, so okay, and I found myself reaching for that silly lemon. I described having just picked it and on a whim having brought it with me; would he like it?

That was the–comic relief isn’t the word–the break from it all, something so unexpected, and he said, “Sure!” in delight. He turned it over in his hands a moment, taking it in, and asked, “A Meyer?”

“A Meyer lemon, yes.”

He told me they’d had a tree, but, in embarrassment, “I killed it.” I told him that in that big week-long freeze we had about 15 years ago we thought ours was gone, too, but it had slowly come back and now it’s fine.

I don’t know what he’ll do with just one lemon, but I saw what that one homegrown lemon in that moment could do for him. It was just the thing.

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On the subject of fresh lemons, something I just learned and wish I’d known earlier, was grate/zest the rind and freeze it in teaspoon mounds. Then there’s zest ready for baking when needed. All those useful rinds I’d thrown away over the years after just using the juice.

Comment by LynnM 02.10.16 @ 2:06 am

This is so weird! I bought a bag of Meyer lemons on sale a while back (thinking of you!) and today, I used the last one. I’d been holding the lemon in my hand, remembering your tree and the lovely box of lemons you’d sent me way back when when I lived in Kentucky. How nice to be on the same lemon wavelength…

Comment by Joanne 02.10.16 @ 11:08 am

Talk about making lemonade when life hands you lemons!!!

What a great episode of Life. 🙂

Comment by Suzanne from Montreal 02.10.16 @ 7:45 pm

You did a drive-by fruiting! So proud of you!!!

Comment by Lynn 02.10.16 @ 9:21 pm

And the ones you gifted me glowed on the kitchen counter for less than a couple of days before they seemed to disappear – into drinks, dishes, stomachs and lunch bags.

Once again – thanks!

Comment by Holly 02.11.16 @ 4:03 am

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