squeezing lemons

By day I study critical theory that deconstructs museums, their histories and their mission statements. By night, I bake until my tummy is full and my hands are sore.

I remember my first year of university when after handing in a paper I had one day to read Dante's Inferno and then discuss it. After the introduction, I was inspired by his map of hell. I decided to celebrate it by baking a chocolate cake, listening to Tom Waits, and imagining what hell would look like if each level corresponded with a different musical note. Seven layers of hell and seven musical notes, perfect.

Since then, between reading books and writing papers I can be found chopping chili peppers, melting dark chocolate and sifting flour.

As of late, I have been rather fascinated by preserves. A good friend of mine's family has a farm on Vancouver Island with a basement that is both an ode to and a shrine of preserves. It is rather magical. This summer I made pickles for the first time and ever since I look at mason jars with much more interest.

Today I got busy squeezing lemons. In three weeks or so they will be ready to be served with tagines. After all, winter is coming soon to Sweden. I better be prepared.

Preserved Lemons


organic lemons
coarse sea salt
one sterilized jar

Sterilize one jar in boiling water. Wash lemons well. Cut off ends and cut lemons vertically in four slits, as if you are about to quarter them. However, make sure the lemon stays intact and the pieces attached. Generously pack the cuts with salt. Cut lemons over a bowl and save the juice. Put a few tablespoons of sea salt in the bottom of the jar. Add lemons one at a time, squeezing them gently, and add salt in between lemons. Once jar is full, add a few more tablespoons of salt and then lemon juice reserved from slicing the lemons. Leave at room temperature. After a few days, the lemons should be submerged in juice. If not, add more lemon juice. The preserved lemons should be ready to eat in about three weeks. They will then keep for a year. Refrigerate if you please.


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