Sometimes I lay in bed writing my posts in my head. I know, I’ll liken my lemon tree to being pregnant and awaiting the girls arrival. It’ll be fresh and unexpected. Then I look back two months and realize that’s exactly how I started the post about our lemon tree (https://bigwhitehouseonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/anticipation/) the last time. Maybe I’m lost in an endless circle. I’m thankful lemons don’t take up most of my thoughts—some days.
Anyhow, all that to say I don’t have a clever way to start my blog, but the lemons are ripe. Yippee! We’ve been waiting and watching for a year. Back in January, I shared pictures of our tiny tree with two giant, green lemons we’d been watching for ever, and over the last few weeks, me and the MR have been trying to figure out if they were starting to turn yellow or if it was just wishful thinking.
Who knew lemons take a year to ripen? I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a patient person. Last week, I decided it was time. Which one of these beauties should I pick?
Of course, then I bumped the lemon off the paint stirrer, and they both fell off—decision made. I used the first one in dinner that night with roasted chicken, carrots, and olives. Just mix it all together, add a bay leaf, and some salt and pepper, sprinkle with paprika and stick it in the oven at 425-degrees for 45 minutes give or take. I always tell my girls when you start smelling dinner, you should probably check on it.
That recipe uses the whole lemon sliced into wedges, but it doesn’t really highlight the fruit the way I wanted to. I mean we’ve been waiting for these babies forever, we don’t have any other fruit on the tree; we have to make this last one something special.
That’s when my grandma came to mind—both of them in fact. When I was a kid, I remember riding home from evening services at church with my Grandma Gigi. She turned to me and asked if I wanted to stop for some pie and coffee. Well, I was young and foolish. I just laughed and said no. I didn’t drink coffee, I wasn’t that excited about pie from the local chain, just think of all those calories. I missed out.
Then there was my Grandma Fisher who was the pastry chef at the local bowling alley. I know that’s a strange pairing of terms, but bear with me. She’d make 30 or 40 pies every day for the locals. Those days were long gone by the time I was born, but pie was always plentiful when we came to visit. She’d make chocolate and banana, coconut and even, yes, lemon. Making another pie was never much trouble for her.
So in honor of two special ladies, I decided pie was the answer. Of course, I only had one lemon left, and I really did want to use the whole thing. So I was pleased as I was thumbing through myJames McNair’s Pie cookbook to find a recipe for Lemon Slice Pie featuring thin slices of Meyers lemons.
Since pie two nights in a row sounds decadent, but pie every night sounds gluttonous, I decided to scale back the recipe. It called for three lemons, so divided it by three and made two tiny pies for me and the MR.
While the recipe suggested peeling the lemon and then thinly slicing it, I opted to include the peel. Next time, I think I’ll remove it and use it for zest in another recipe. Let’s just say it was a little tart.
This little beauty made a lovely addition to our evening meal.
And we still have one pie left for tonight. Now we just have to wait for our tiny tree to bloom, put on a few lemons, and then wait a year for more pie. Perhaps the grocery store is a quicker option.
Do you have a favorite lemon recipe I should try? Any grandma stories you’d like to share?