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Friday, June 7, 2013

I need some help! (Oh, and a couple of lemon hints too)

The recipe I just posted calls for the grated zest of a few lemons, and the flavor boost that lemon boost gives is really important. However, I sometimes delay making anything using grated lemon rind (or orange rind for that matter) because of this:




You don't see the problem? Well, look a little more closely. There seems to be a lot more lemon zest on the grater than in the bowl! I have tried graters of many kinds and currently have at least five  different shapes and sizes in my kitchen. And, with every one of them, I still end up with the same problem. Often, I end up just taking my sharpest knife, meticulously peeling a thin layer and then cutting it in itsy bitsy pieces. The problem with this approach is that my itsy bitsy pieces are never as small as the grated bits, so someone is likely to end up biting into more lemon zest than they may have really wanted.






So now I ask for your help. If you have found a solution to this problem, please, please share it with me. Not necessarily a specific product but perhaps a way to get these little shreds off the grater without losing skin from my fingers or cutting off pieces of spatula in the attempt to dislodge at least a little more of the peeling. Leave a note here and I will be deeply grateful. Thanks!

Now, for the hints promised:

Not enough lemon juice for the recipe

So the recipe calls for 1/3 cup lemon juice, "about the juice of two lemons" but you end up with only a quarter of a cup of juice from your little lemons. You have two options:
Fill the measuring cup to the level called for with water
OR
Use some bottled lemon juice (ReaLemon or a similar type)

I like to keep the bottled lemon juice in the refrigerator for the convenience of having it when a recipe calls for just a little lemon juice and I don't have any of the fresh ones on hand. It also works well in a recipe like this.

Getting all the juice from the lemons

This hint is published in a lot of places but, in case you haven't seen it, here it is again:
Put the lemon(s) in the microwave for a few seconds (I put the four for today's recipe in for 22 seconds) on high. Remove and juice; you will be amazed at how much easier it is to get all the juice out.

If you don't trust yourself with the microwave version (what if I put them in too long and they start to cook?), then take each lemon and roll on the countertop, pressing hard as you go. This will soften the lemon substantially, also allowing for easier juicing.





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