Both as a flavour, and as a decorative element.
I learned that years ago watching Oprah.
She had a decorator on who offered the idea of displaying fresh fruit as an alternative to flowers.
Since then bowls of fresh lemons, green apples, and the colour palette they embody, have been mainstays in my kitchen.
But it isn't just about decor.
The flavour of lemon in my cooking tends to show up year round, but in January, especially, when winter has wrapped its chilly blanket around us, I find the bright summery zestiness of a lemon is just right in both food and drink.
With that in mind, I've chosen the Lemon Drop Martini as my signature cocktail for January.
Lemon Drop Martini
- Juice of 6 lemons
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- 4 shots vodka
- Ice in shaker
- 1 sugar-rimmed martini glass
Mix lemon juice, sugar and vodka in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with mint.
While you're at it, warm up your winter with a little grilling.
We bought an indoor grill several years ago and it is a kitchen must have in my books.
Light, inexpensive, and easy to store, a grill is a great way to give meat, poultry, and fish a little added zip while the snow falls outside.
Better still, it is a healthy alternative to frying.
That being said, I hope you enjoy my recipe for lemon grilled pork chops.
This is honestly one of my all time favourites!
Lemon Grilled Pork Chops
For printable recipe click HERE
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 bone in pork loin chops
- In a large resealable bag, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper. Place chops in bag, seal, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Turn bag frequently to distribute marinade.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Remove chops from bag, and transfer remaining marinade to a saucepan. Bring marinade to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill pork chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side, basting frequently with boiled marinade, until done.
The lemon in my opinion is a special fruit with lessons to teach.
At first glance, it's attractive, sunny, bright, and wordly. But take an unexpected bite...
And what appeared to be delicious becomes something entirely different.
What a loss, though, if we judged the lemon solely on outward appearance and first impression.
How sad to imagine never finding the gifts the lemon has to give.
The succulence in the sour. The carefully hidden sweetness.
I write this as much for myself as I do for you because I have recently become aquainted with a lemon.
And though it would be easy to write her off, something inside me is saying "Stick it out - there are gifts to be given, and gifts to be had."
And so I will.
Instead of judging and jumping to conclusions I will ride it out and wait to see what gifts this particular lemon has to give.
I hope you will continue doing so with any lemons you may encounter in life.
After all, they can can do some pretty surprising things...
Use Lemon to:
1. Sanitize a chopping block. Run a slice of lemon over the surface to disinfect.
2. Eliminate the browning that occurs when food sits out too long. Sprinkle apple or pear slices with lemon juice before serving, or squeeze a bit into guacamole and give it a stir.
3. Remove tough food stains from plastic and light-colored wooden cutting boards. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze the juice onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with water.
4. Fade tea stains on cloth. Dilute lemon juice with an equal amount of water. Use an eyedropper or a Q-tip to make sure the juice targets the stain. Thoroughly flush with cool water.
5. Decorate on the cheap. Fill a glass bowl with lemons for a sunny centerpiece. Or display a row of them along a windowsill.
6. Relieve a sore throat. Cut a lemon in half. Skewer one half over a medium flame on a gas stove or an electric burner set on high and roast until the peel turns golden brown. Let cool slightly, then mix the juice with 1 teaspoon of honey. Swallow the mixture.
7. Whiten fingernails. Rub a wedge on the surface of your nails.
8. Shine the interior of copper cookware. Sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub.
9. Brighten laundry whites. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the wash cycle of a normal-size load.
10. Remove soft cheese or other sticky foods from a grater. Rub both sides of the grater with the pulp side of a cut lemon.
So happy Tuesday! Here's wishing all the lemons in your life turn to lemonade!
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