Lemons in a white bowl

Lemons, one of those quintessential fruits with lots of uses. It can be a key ingredient in many sweet or savoury dishes and it has myriad health benefits. Who hasn’t sipped on a hot honey and lemon drink to soothe a sore throat?

Or hugged a steaming hot mug of water flavoured with honey and lemon after a dreary winter's day out. In times gone by it was de rigueur to have at least one lemon tree in the back yard, good for supplying the lemon zest for stuffing the roast chicken, whipping up a quick lemon delicious pudding or cooking a batch of lemon butter for the school fete.

Its uses go way beyond being an ingredient in delicious recipes and its ability to refresh and clean a grimy microwave is universal knowledge held by kitchen aficionados.

For a sanitised and deodorised wooden cutting board sprinkle salt over the surface and use a half a lemon, cut side down to scrub the surface thoroughly. Rinse off with hot water.

Once heard on a radio interview was the quote along the lines of “If you’ve got no lemons, you’ve got no friends” alluding to the fact that in the lemon season people are most often very generous with their crop of lemons and are happy to give their excess away.

What could be better than a bounty of freshly picked lemons? Placed in a bowl or basket they exude a certain artistic air about them as they grace the kitchen bench or dining table.

Did you know?

Lemons, in particular, neutralize negative energy. In Chinese feng shui, the number 9 represents wealth, accomplishment, and attaining personal goals. Try placing a bowl with nine lemons on the sideboard. It is said to bring good luck and clear out any negative energy throughout the house. 

An air freshener, a bleaching agent, a generous squeeze of juice in a glass of warm water to start the day and used in a plethora of recipes, lemons really are one of nature’s all-rounders. Now for two delicious recipes.

1. Lemon delicious pudding

 lemon delicious 1200

Ingredients

  • 150g unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½  cups caster sugar
  • ¾ cup self-raising flour sifted
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 4 eggs separated
  • Icing sugar mixture to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Grease six 1-cup capacity ovenproof dishes.
  2. Place butter, lemon rind, lemon juice, sugar, flour, milk and egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Using a metal spoon, fold in one-quarter of the egg white into the lemon mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg white.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dishes. Place dishes in a large baking dish.
  6. Pour boiling water into the dish until halfway up the sides of the smaller dishes.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and just set.
  8. Remove from the water and let cool slightly.
  9. Dust each dish with a sprinkle of icing sugar.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

2. Green Beans and Peas with honey and lemon

Green beans and peas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of frozen sliced green beans
  • 1 cup of frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt
  • Rice or noodles to serve

Method

  1. In a frying pan drizzle in the oil and heat.
  2. Toss in the beans and peas, and stir to lightly fry.
  3. Spoon in the honey and squeeze in the lemon juice. Try half a lemon first and taste. Add extra if you want it really lemony.
  4. Salt to taste and serve with prepared rice or noodles.

3. Creamy lemon chicken

Creamy lemon chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup of cream
  • 2 lemons, one thinly sliced, the other for juice.
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pasta and green beans, peas or broccoli to serve
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. In a frying pan heat the oil and fry the chicken until cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. On low heat add the cream and gently heat. Add the lemon juice and the sliced lemon. Warm through and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Return the cooked chicken to the pan and stir to coat with the creamy sauce. Add salt to taste.
  5. Serve with prepared pasta and vegetables

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