I did that substitution thing to get three orders of Meyer lemons in my last box. I wasn't sure, but I knew there was something yummy I could do with them.
|They smell even better than they look!|
What I did not expect was their lovely perfume.
And what I really didn't expect is the memory that the perfume would unearth.
The intoxicating smell of the lemons brought back my grandparents house in Laguna Beach, CA. They lived in that house from before I was born until my grandfather died when I was 31. I learned to walk there.... my parents were moving from NJ to CA, and I spent the day with my grandparents while my parents looked for a house.
I wasn't sure if I could be right about this.... it was a long time ago. I emailed my dad and his sister. She replied in minutes that yes, the house on Capstan Drive had a Meyer lemon tree, and in memory, her house in Rancho Palos Verde has one too.
As I write this, I realize that my favorite photo of me with my grandmother was taken in the front yard, near that tree. All smiles!
|Preserved lemons, chilling in the jar|
Sliced thin, five lemons are in the dehydrator. It's a great way to keep a bit of this memory alive. Sliced, dehydrated lemons are pretty, and can flavor seltzer, tea and vodka, three of my favorite beverages! The dried ends are useful too; I'll grind them into dried Meyer lemon zest, to use in baked goods and canning.
There's one left. It has a bruise on the side, so I didn't want to dry it. I might keep using it in tea... It smells divine. And it reminds me of foggy mornings and sunny afternoons in Southern California. Driving my grandmother's Volvo, going shopping and out to lunch at Cocos. My grandfather watching the weather report each night (it was SoCal... the weather was always the same!), and the big leather chair in his office. And the cool clover underfoot in the front yard. And the lemon tree.