Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lemon: on television and in the freezer

Liz Lemon? Do you know this girl? She’s the lead in 30 Rock, a sitcom set behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live–type show. Comic writer Tina Fey stars as Liz. Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, is Liz’s boss, and he calls her “Lemon.” I find the name catchy, fun, and endearing, and I adore Liz’s principled and unflappable character. She can maintain her cool in the absurd situations that pop up throughout the screwball plots (she’d be the perfect mom). The show is a must-see, especially for busy moms who deserve a break and a good laugh.

All of this to say, every time I cook with a lemon I think of Liz Lemon. And when I think of Liz Lemon, I smile.

Although, making a special trip to the store to buy a lemon for two tablespoons of juice doesn’t make me smile. Before I tried the ice cube method in the Super Baby Food book, I either found myself wasting lemons or never having enough of them. When a recipe called for two tablespoons of lemon, I never had it. When I had two lemons sitting on my kitchen counter, nothing wanted lemon juice.

Juicing my lemons into an ice cube tray solves both of these problems. I squeeze the juice out of lemons as soon as I bring them home from the store—and they never go bad. What’s more, I have cubes of juice ready and waiting for any recipe.

Before I start juicing, I wash my hands because I always have to fish out seeds. I prefer to use a tool to help me juice, but Mikey is using my yellow juicing tool as a bath toy right now, so that’s out. The lemon cubes can stay in the freezer up to three months. One cube equals about one tablespoon of juice. I can get about two to four cubes per lemon. No more last-minute trips to the store for lemons!

You can read Ruth Yaron’s tips for choosing and freezing lemons on pages 437 to 438.

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