When life gives you organic lemons….

Vintage Produce Label from Dover Publications

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?


  1. Yes, save the rinds for challah and make lemonade immediately. When I was a youth spending a little time working on kibbutz, there were lemon trees right by the volunteers quarters loaded with lemons for the taking.

  2. How about a Tangy Lemon Marmalade.

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