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Friday, December 09, 2005

Photo Friday (Vol. XLVIII) ['Lemon Tree' edition]

Countless groups have covered the song 'Lemon Tree', but I grew up listening to the Peter, Paul & Mary's version (The Kingston Trio's version being a close second).

As a kid I didn't really pay much attention to the lyrics because they spoke about things for which I had no frame of reference; impermanence, infidelity, bitterness, etc.  All I really heard was the catchy chorus:

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet,
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

So when I was casting about for likely fruit trees to plant in our garden, a lemon tree wasn't really in the running. 

Many of our neighbors have figs, apples, cherries and peaches... but when I was wandering around the nursery I kept coming back to a pretty little 4 year old lemon tree.  I figured that those other fruits were readily available from neighbors (everyone always swaps fruit here because they have way more produce from their trees than they can eat) and the local markets... but home grown lemons seemed like a decadent treat.

In this photo from this past summer you can see our lemon tree right after it was replanted in our yard with it's young fruit already starting to develop.

Well, here it is this morning with some of the most beautiful lemons, ready to be picked.

There is some meaningful religious stuff I have to take care of before we can use the fruit, but within the next day or two these lemons will disprove the song lyrics and find their way into a few very edible (and drinkable) recipes.

First up is Limoncello.  Since tasting it at Chez Weese I have been longing to make a batch of my own.  I'm pretty sure that Zahava will be able to come up with a recipe that calls for lemon zest/peel as well... and I may even try to candy or chocolate coat some lemon peels.

As to that musical fallacy that lemons represent impermanence, bitterness and infidelity... I was doing some reading after I planted the tree and found out that lemon trees flower and bear fruit several times a year.  Not only that, but the very act of planting a tree in our yard and seeing it develop and bear fruit has done more than anything else since we moved here to make us feel like we are here to stay.

Shabbat Shalom.

Posted by David Bogner on December 9, 2005 | Permalink


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Ahh.. the tri-annual trip to Jerusalem..... please remember to remove the "muzzle from your oxen in the field" :.)

Posted by: shabtai | Dec 9, 2005 2:32:43 PM

My frame of reference to the song "Lemon Tree" was from Grandma Fay who loved to play her Trini Lopez version of this song while the two of us would dance around in her living room while singing along! That song and "Never on a Sunday" are classic Grandma Fay songs!

Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: val | Dec 9, 2005 2:40:22 PM

Did you happen to read today's Dilbert?


And if you want a rare look behind the scenes, take a look at Scott Adams' new blog:


and then


(by the way, the first picture link is broken)

Posted by: Dave | Dec 9, 2005 2:58:24 PM

My favorite recipe source, William Sonoma, had 29 results for Lemon Zest... my favorite is a lovely scallop dish, however I fear that would ruin the whole "kosherizing" process... As I recall, scallops don't really fall into the kosher category, do they? Excuse my catholicism... I have a hard enough time remembering not to eat meat on fridays in Lent...

Posted by: nrg | Dec 9, 2005 3:21:22 PM

oops, forgot the link!! http://ww2.williams-sonoma.com/sch/rcp.cfm?src=srrn1%7CrLemon%5Cszest%7Cv0&refurl=&recipe=Lemon%20zest&ftest=1&formsubmitvar=submitted&cmreferrer=http%253A%252F%252Fcontent2%252Ewilliams%252Dsonoma%252Ecom%252Frecipe%252Findex%252Ecfm%253Fcmtype%253DGlobalNav%2526sid%253DWSE10QDBPPBHCMMMH68LUWRFNWEDJFHX200512090516%2526src%253Dhme&bnrid=&flash=on

wow... long link!

Posted by: nrg | Dec 9, 2005 3:22:10 PM

Nothing like home grown produce. Enjoy the lemons! Shabbat Shalom.

Posted by: Essie | Dec 9, 2005 3:22:17 PM

Now if you can come up with something yummy that uses lemons and honey...

Lemons seem to get a bad rap in lots of idioms/pop songs. The one I thought of is "If life hands you lemons..." which is supposed to be a bad thing. In your case you'll make limoncello.

Shabbat shalom.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Dec 9, 2005 3:47:44 PM

Mmm, limoncello... I'm not the world's biggest vodka fan, but citrus and herb-infused ones are delicious.

I've made this recipe several times, and it's always gotten a great reception.

Dr Bean: I don't know how they did it, but the old Firebird Cafe made a honey & lemon infused vodka that was out of this world. Try experimenting, and after the third or fourth attempt, you might not succeed, but you probably won't care... :)

Posted by: efrex | Dec 9, 2005 4:08:28 PM

first time commenter...

as i was reading the comments - i saw the one about a recipe for honey & lemon. i have recipe that uses both - quick, easy, and yum-dilly-icious (one of my words!)

i forget the proportions:
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
either 1/3 or 1/2 c. honey (probably 1/2)
either 1/3 or 1/2 c. lemon juice (probably 1/3)
crushed red pepper flakes

mix honey, lemon juice, rosemary, & pepper together, until smooth

pour over chicken & bake in oven


Posted by: kj | Dec 9, 2005 4:52:53 PM

"You won't get a lemon at Toyota of Orange."

Sorry, jingle from my childhood got caught in my brain.

Where are the pictures of the milk and honey I always read about growing in Israel. ;)

Have a good Shabbos.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 9, 2005 5:05:55 PM

What about Bikurim?

Posted by: marjorie | Dec 9, 2005 5:25:41 PM

That reminds me -- I left etrog seeds germinating in my refrigerator and (as I do every year) completely forgot to plant them. I'd better get on that...

Posted by: JSinger | Dec 9, 2005 5:30:33 PM

I simply MUST drop by for a taste of your limoncello. They say in Sorrento (known for Limoncello) its all about the lemons.

Posted by: lisa | Dec 9, 2005 7:32:23 PM

My dad has a fabulous lemonrind candy that my brother and I LOVED as kids. We would hover around like pavlovian dogs waiting for them to be finished. I could get it from him if you like.

Posted by: Fran | Dec 9, 2005 9:02:00 PM

How come you are not that much older than me but keep listing songs from my parents record collection?
How about U2 "Lemon"?

Posted by: Lisoosh | Dec 9, 2005 11:19:24 PM

Looking at those ripe, juicy lemons is making my mouth water. Oh, how I love lemons. Lemon is my favorite non-chocolate flavor.

And I love to bake with lemons....lemon meringue pie, lemon curd, lemon cookies, lemon pound cake. YUM.

Enjoy your limoncello. Yum, I want some, too!

Posted by: Stacey | Dec 9, 2005 11:22:17 PM

Shabtai... Very cute, you do pilgrimage humor too, I'm impressed!

Val... I remember Yellow Bird, but Lemon Tree was definitely on one of the Peter Paul & Mary albums we had in New Paltz.

Dave... Scott and I don't usually consult one another about plot lines and props, but I have to admit he geve me the idea. :-)

nrg... You must check out epicurious.com! They have a database of every recipe from nearly every cooking and gourmet magazine since time began. My favorite feature is the search engine that allows yo to plug in whatever ingredients yu have on hand and it will tell you what you can make with them. Great for when you don't have a clue what to make for dinner!

Essie... I didn't exactly drain the swamps to grow these, but I still feel like a have a little stake in the land now. :-)

Doctor Bean... As Dave pointed out, Friday's Dilbert said exactly that! Great minds and all that... :-)

Efrex... Sort of a lemon/vodka mead concept?

kj... That sounds fantastic! I'm glad you decided to speak up. Can anyone guess what's for dinner next Friday night???

Jack... On the ministry of tourism site. :-)

Marjorie... I didn't want to complicate the explanation... I'm on it.

JSinger... Happy to be of help... It's all part of the service here at treppenwitz. :-)

Lisa... You have no idea how happy such a visit would make us. Next time you guys make one of your trips to Italy we're literally in the neighborhood. As Mario Parillo used to say "It's included!" Seriously, the guest suite is made up and ready whenever you guys decide to visit.

Fran... Yes please!

Lisoosh... I was born about 40 years too late. I like the music from my parent's (and grandparent's) generation much better. And today's stuff? Feh!

Stacey... You know where to find me! :-)

Posted by: David | Dec 10, 2005 9:26:51 PM

Thanks for the link... am in recipe heaven...

Posted by: nrg | Dec 12, 2005 1:31:40 PM

You need to get a tall stake on that spindly thing right away. It's going to break off in the middle in a high wind with the weight of the fruit. It's 'reaching' ... probably not getting 100% full sun as citrus likes. I know you are hungry for growth but really it needs to be pruned way back as it's just to spindly as it's going now. It also has a touch of clorosis. Maybe needs iron and certainly a good acid citrus food. Use the stakes as it's easy to put in too much or too little with a powdered fertilizer. Keep those weeds outa there too. Sheesh!

Posted by: scott | Dec 12, 2005 8:26:35 PM

nrg... Don't thank me... I'm a giver! :-)

Scott... thanks for the gardening advice. This is actually the first thing I have ever planted that didn't die on me, so I figure I'm ahead of the game. :-)

Posted by: David | Dec 13, 2005 12:00:17 AM

The Chad Mitchell Trip version is good as well i believe. I am having serious problems typing. I took my sleep mediciation which is not putting me to sleep but it is makig me dizzy....
side note to Efrex, I have had that granita..... sour, very sour, and not enhanced by mint lentils!

Posted by: Faye | Dec 13, 2005 5:28:00 AM

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