Monday, March 26, 2012

When life gives you lemons

Yesterday my friend Anita brought me a bag of lemons from her tree here in Mesa. I have never seen such monstrous lemons in all my life.

You can't imagine, even from this picture, how huge they are. The one on the left is more the size of a grapefruit.

I have seen oversized grapefruit in Mesa this year also. They look like bowling balls.

So what is going on?

Native Arizonians say it's because it has been such a terribly dry year. The skins of the citrus fruits are all very thick, but once you peel the skins away, the meat of the fruit is more normal.

We were going to plant some citrus trees along the side of our house but we learned they need year-round maintenance with watering, or installing watering systems to operate during our six-month absence. We changed our minds after learning how willing people are to share their oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes.

Okay, so what do you do with a big bag of lemons? Of course, you make lemonade. Or you squeeze the lemons and pour into ice cube trays for adding to drinks, or making an individual glass of lemonade. You can make a lemon cake, lemon poppy seed bread, lemon meringue pie, and so on. There are many possibilities.

They all involve too much work for me.

I simply cut them into eighths, or even in chunks, and plop them into a Ziploc bag, then freeze. We brought a bagful of whole lemons back to Minnesota last year and I did this after we arrived back. I used them right up until we left for Mesa again in the fall. I add a frozen chunk of lemon to ice water or lemon-lime soda.

So refreshing. A taste of Arizona all summer long.


I thought you might want to see the progress of our yellow Prickly Pear blooms before signing off and wishing you a good week ahead.

 Luscious yellow lemons. Lovely yellow blossoms.