Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ingredient of the Day: Lemons

Ingredient of the Day: Lemons

Every spring break, while it was still very cold in Oklahoma, my family would pack up our old Lincoln and head to Palm Springs for some fun in the sun. Bundled up in our wool sweaters, it was exciting to think about the bags packed to the brim in the trunk, filled with the swim suits and flips flops we would soon be wearing.

I remember that, upon arrival, we would inhale the incredible aroma of orange and lemon trees, itching to have a taste of the fruit. As we stumbled out of the car, legs still stiff from the drive, my grandmother would welcome us and take us immediately into the yard to look around.

One particular lemon tree always caught my attention. My grandmother was fond of lifting me up as a young girl and helping pull off a beautifully tart lemon the size of a soft ball on every visit. Once inside from the heat, we would slice into the lemon and watch the juices pour forth, dreaming up recipes.

To this day, I love lemons, and I use them in many of my dishes. Lemons can be used for meat tenderizing, garnishes, marinades and much, much more. No chef should go without!