The lemons on my trees are turning bright yellow and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Lemons are a winter fruit and are here just in time to keep us healthy and topped up with natural Vitamin C.
The lemon is a very special fruit indeed. Not only is it healthy, but it has so many uses. If you have a sore throat or bad breath, gargle with some lemon juice. If you have a garbage disposal unit in your kitchen, keep it smelling fresh by tossing in a few lemons every so often.
They say you can remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts lemon juice and salad oil and rubbing it on said scratches with a soft cloth. If you want to make a natural furniture polish, mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil.
A handyman once told me if I wanted to renew hardened paintbrushes, dip into boiling lemon juice. Lower the heat and leave the brush for 15 minutes, then wash it in soapy water. I haven’t tried that yet, but we are soon going to be painting the house so I’m going to keep that in mind.
I’m told you can rub kitchen and bathroom taps with lemon peel and then wash and dry them with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots.
Rid your hands of Fish or onion odour by rubbing them with fresh lemons. To get odours out of wooden rolling pins, bowls, or cutting boards, rub with a piece of lemon. Don’t rinse – the wood will absorb the lemon juice.
After shampooing your hair, rinse with lemon juice to make it shine.
You can get 2-3 tablespoons of juice and about 2-3 teaspoons of grated peel from an average sized lemon.
Lemons will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to six weeks and at room temperature for two weeks, but make sure that they are dry, otherwise they will get mouldy and infect all the lemons in the bowl.
You can coax more juice out a lemon that’s at room temperature. Use the palm of your hand to roll the lemon on a table or countertop before cutting.
Waste not want not: what if you only want to use just a little juice from a lemon, but don’t want to cut up the whole fruit? Roll the lemon on a table or countertop until it’s pliable and poke a hole in one end with a toothpick. Squeeze for juice, stick the toothpick back in the hole and keep the lemon in the refrigerator.
The juice from a lemon keeps bananas, apples, avocados and other fresh fruit from turning dark for hours.
Need buttermilk or sour cream for a recipe and don’t have any? If you have a lemon, you can make your own! Add one tablespoon of lemon juice with enough milk to make one cup. Let stand for 5 minutes. You’ve got buttermilk or sour cream!
Make a spicy, quenching cuppa by inserting rows of whole cloves into a lemon and make slices between the cloves. Use clove-studded lemon slices in cups of hot tea.
Don’t waste half cut lemons; make slices of lemon and freeze them to add to your gin and tonic.
Soften your cuticles by mixing 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, and 1/2 cup warm water. Soak fingertips in this mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse hands, dry, and push back cuticles.
Let’s make the most of our lemons!
Boozy Lemon Drink
Makes approx 8 cups
½ cup lemon rind strips
4 cups vodka
Place this into a jar cover, and let stand for two weeks then strain and combine with simple syrup made from 3 cups water and 1½ cups sugar.
The higher the proof of the vodka, the more lemon flavour your finished product will have.