I never used to be a lemon kinda girl. Whenever the dessert menu would circulate at restaurants, I'd choose chocolate over the lemon option without fail. The same went for savories. No lemon vinaigrettes, preserves, or zests, thank you very much. The tart flavor of citrus simply harshed my mellow more than I'd have liked. But that was before I had a lemon tree in my yard.
Yup. Just a few steps beyond the front door grow all the Meyer lemons I could ever desire. The tree is just a scrubby little thing—not photogenic in the least. The lemons dangle from the tips of the branches as though hanging for dear life. But leave them hanging long enough and they'll ripen to a deep, burnished yellow, their tough exteriors belying a tender flesh that yields a liquid so thick with flavor it's more like syrup than juice.
Most of the lemons I pick go into a homemade "Gatorade" that I've been chugging by the galon: in a sports bottle blend a dash of sea salt, the juice of one lemon, and cold filtered water. But I've also been squeezing them into salad dressings, Greek yogurt with honey, and even on my skin as a fruit acid peel. Next up I want to try my hand at from-scratch lemon curd. When given the choice I'll probably still pick chocolate for dessert, but who knows! The lemon tree has taught me to expect the unexpected!