I am one of those disadvantaged natural food shoppers who lives many miles from a local health food store, Wholefoods, Trader Joes or the like. And since I refuse to negate the environmental benefits of shopping at these places by driving nearly 100 miles round trip, I make do at my local store. Since I live on an organic farm, this is usually not a hardship. But there are certain things I miss.
So when my friend called me yesterday from Whole Foods where she was stopping in Silver Spring on her way to visit me and asked if I wanted anything — I was sort of speechless for a second. I actually feel like I need a few days of concentrated time in a store like that comparing natural sunscreens, children’s vitamins and checking out all of the amazing new organic products that have hit the shelves since I last shopped in a Wholefoods.
Thinking on my feet, I could come up with one thing that would be easy for her to grab and is never available from my farm or in my local stores: organic lemons. An hour later, she delivered a whole bag of them. I was so happy it reminded me of stories of the days that all citrus was rare, expensive and considered a special purchase.
The reason I chose lemons is that I was recently at a wedding where this amazing lemon rind flavored challah was served, and it was a huge hit. I actually thought it was orange juice at first and tried that in a recipe but it wasn’t the same. I recently saw one of the brides (there were two, it was a lesbian wedding) and she told me the secret was lots of grated lemon rind. But since most of the pesticides in citrus are concentrated in the rind, I knew I needed some organic lemons before I could try it out.
I decided that whenever could I get my hands on organic citrus, I will try to save the peel in the freezer for baking later. The peel is too valuable to throw in the compost, especially now that I have tasted this lemon infused challah. I have asked my friend for the recipe, which is from her family and if she provides it, and gives me permission, I will share it here. In the meantime, I need to do something with the fresh juice and then freeze those pricesless citrus rinds. So what do you think, make lemonade?