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I love lemons. I've always liked them, but growing Meyer lemons, I've come to really love them. They're sweeter than regular lemons, larger, juicier, and have thin peels and very few seeds.

They grow large in my garden, and they are such a bright, deep yellow that between the color and the size, people think they are oranges.

Despite their bright color, it's the egg yolks that give color to lemon curd.

I recently used lemon curd on top of these meringues. Lemons start to ripen in my garden the last week of November and will hang ripe on the trees through the beginning of April. Pomegranates are ripe in October/November, and they will last a few months in the refrigerator (you can also freeze the arils). 

Meyer Lemon Meringues The Prudent Homemaker 

I am currently growing six Meyer lemon trees in the garden: two large, older trees, which provide hundreds of lemons, a small potted tree that gave me a few lemons this year, and three small trees in my white garden that will give me a few additional lemons each year; these trees will stay small as they are limited in the small space they have.

I have five pomegranate trees in the garden: Four small potted trees and one small tree that I planted in the garden last year. The tree in the ground will be able to get much larger than the potted ones, but right now it's about the same size. These give me a small number of pomegranates. Last year (and in years past) I have been able to pick pomegranates from those who had so many on one of two large trees that they couldn't use all of them. 

We loved this dessert, so it will be on the menu in winter and early spring for years to come.

You can find the recipe here

More lemon recipes:

Lemonade

Lemon Parmesan Pasta

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Dill Chicken

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lenon Popyseed Muffins

 

 

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Mini Pavlovas

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Mini Pavlovas 1 The Prudent Homemaker

 

Pavlovas are such a simple thing to make. Hands' on time is very little. The hardest part is waiting for the meringues to cook. Everything is quick and easy.

You can top them with any fruit you have on hand. I used blackberries and white strawberries from my garden that I simply tossed with a bit of sugar to macerate in the refrigerator while the meringues cooled.

For fun, I decorated these with borage blossoms and chocolate mint from my garden. Both are edible garnishes. The borage flowers can be used as-is, or candied if you prefer. I simply picked a few from the garden right before serving, rinsed them and stuck them on top.

 Mini Pavlovas 3 The Prudent Homemaker

You can find the recipe here. For more dessert recipes, click here.

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Lemonade and Lemon Meringue Pie

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Meyer Lemon Tree The Prudent Homemaker

Last December we had a bumper crop of lemons, easily 5 times what we had harvested the year before.

Meyer Lemons in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

I get asked what we do with all these lemons. 

First, I use lemon juice on Swiss chard and artichokes from the garden. I freeze juice from our lemons to use throughout the year for this and other recipes.

I use lemons to make lemon dill chicken, lemon poppyseed muffins, lemon chicken (with lemongrass), and lemon parmesan penne. I also use lemon juice on crepes, and in various other recipes.

 

I also use them to make lemon meringue pie.

 Lemon Meringue Pie The Prudent Homemaker

 

You can find the recipe for pie here.

 

Meyer Lemon and Bay Trees The Prudent Homemaker

I planted three more Meyer lemon trees in our white garden three years ago (shown above in bud last year), with the express intent to have enough lemons to make lemonade. The lemon trees in the backyard have never yielded enough lemons for me to make lemonade more than a couple of pitchers of lemonade a year, along with the other things I make, except for this last year. Having lemonade throughout the year, from juice that I've frozen, is the goal I have in growing more lemons. The three trees in the front yard will grow together as a hedge to cover the cinder block wall, and will help ensure that I have enough lemons for lemonade.

Lemonade 2 The Prudent Homemaker

You can find the recipe for lemonade here.

Lemons The Prudent Homemaker

A few things that I love about Meyer lemons: 

They are very sweet. I get asked a lot if they are oranges (both in person and here on the blog) because of their dark yellow color. Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin, and they are delicious!

They have thin skins, and a lot of juice. I can easily get twice the amount of juice from a Meyer lemon as I can from a typical Eureka lemon from the grocery store. They can also grow really big (the size of oranges) at home, which means even more juice.

They tolerate a few degrees colder temperatures than Eureka lemon trees. I have lost two Meyer lemon trees  in the backyard due to temperatures that got down to 26ºF, but the larger trees only had damaged branches those years. 

Like all citrus, they smell amazing when they are in bloom. My trees are covered in buds now and will be blooming again soon!

 

 

 

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Sandwiches

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One of the most frequently asked questions in my inbox is, "What do you use for sandwich bread?"

The answer is simple: I use French bread.

I sometimes will make baguettes and have sandwiches like I did in France: ham, cheese, and mustard on bread. More often, though, I'll slice the bread, and just use it that way.



For meats, I'll cook a bone-in ham, or a whole turkey. I use an electric knife to cut the ham from the bone in several large chunks. I then use my meat slicer to cut in into deli-thin meat. I was using a $5 meat slicer that I picked up used from a garage sale, until the motor burned out. We decided to replace it with a nicer slicer this time (with a stronger motor). I saved up my Amazon credit (thank you dear readers for purchasing through my links!) and I bought this one. I use it to slice bread as well. I can slice bread thinner on the slicer than by hand.

Turkey sandwiches on French bread with mayonnaise, tomatoes, basil, and Italian dressing


I will sometimes shred the cooked turkey and mix it with barbecue sauce, and add tomatoes from the garden (in summer).

I purchase ham and turkey on sale for under $1 a pound at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter (usually $0.75 a pound and under). I freeze them to use throughout the year.

When I have lettuce or arugula from the garden in spring and fall, I'll use that on my sandwiches. In summer (when it's too hot for lettuce to grow here), we'll often have tomatoes and basil on our sandwiches, (or just tomato basil sandwiches!) We love Italian dressing on our sandwiches.

We'll also have Thanksgiving style sandwiches, with mayonnaise, turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.

I've planted a lot of basil up the walkway in front of our house so that I'll be able to make pesto, which is delicious on a turkey or chicken sandwich with cheese. I plan on making these this fall when we have lots of basil.

Tuna melts are another favorite at our house, made with tuna fish, pepper, mayonnaise, homemade sweet pickle relish, and topped with cheese. We make those on our griddle. We also make grilled cheese sandwiches.

To go with our sandwiches, we'll have homemade pickles, or giardiniera. We also always have some type of fruit with our sandwiches, depending on what is in season. Last week I cooked a ham and we had apples, peaches, and grapes from our garden with our sandwiches. I've also served carrots and dip made with homemade yogurt alongside our sandwiches.

What is your favorite kind of sandwich? What inexpensive sides do you serve with your sandwiches?



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