The bleak Vancouver fall weather has now arrived. The rain itself is not unwelcome as the plants and trees were all desperate for moisture, but the grey skies are already bumming me out and it has only been raining for four days so far. This sudden absence of sun must be the reason I keep focusing on the next brightest thing around: lemons.
The picture above was taken on a June 2010 trip to Spain. We spent a lot of time driving through the countryside, and passed many abandoned farms with orchards of overripe fruit. Many of the fruit trees were located right beside the road and I was surprised that no one had stopped their car and helped themselves. There must be so many orange and lemon trees in that part of Spain, that no one bothers to steal any. The tree pictured above was a tree from a roadside orchard.
Earlier in the week I visited mi amigos in Nanaimo and made lemon curd, as well as apple butter, rhubarb mustard, plum chutney, strawberry jam and apricot jam. The recipes for the lemon curd, the apple butter and rhubarb mustard all came from Plum Gorgeous, a book that I have mentioned previously.
As soon as I arrived home from my canning trip, I made flourless almond-lemon cake to serve under the lemon curd (first jar consumed!). This morning, the man made fabulous whole-wheat lemon scones for breakfast which were also served with lemon curd (second jar gone!). As a result, I now have a total of nine naked and zestless lemons in my fridge, so I will probably use that to make a batch of preserved lemons, another great recipe from Plum Gorgeous.
While I was in Nanaimo I transplanted the yellow lilies and some strawberries from my garden into my friends’ garden. I felt like I was a dog owner for a day, as their pack of small dogs followed me around the whole time, and as soon as I finished planting the strawberry plants, one of the dogs went down the row of plants and ate all the berries. My friends have the same amount of actual garden space as I do, but theirs seems more productive. I noticed that they had planted their plants much further apart than I do, and as a result had managed to have huge kale trees. I checked their kale for aphids (which is kind of like secretly checking other peoples kids for head lice).
This fall I am going to try to start a lemon tree from organic lemon seeds. Right now I have both “regular” and Mayer lemons in my fridge, so will try to sprout both. I just remembered that I have a friend with an office and an apartment full of enormous exotic fruit trees, so will ask him for some lemon growing advice…