Lemon Day. 09.18.2014.
One afternoon in Boracay, one of those times when the wind was blowing and I just knew that a downpour would follow, while the rest of the group was frolicking in the sea, I was having one of those what-have-we-done-with-our-lives talks with a friend. I was telling her that illness does not scare me, except Alzheimer’s disease. Of course I’m decades away from that age to seriously entertain the thought… but it’s there. The thought of not being in control of my mind is horror beyond imagination. I sometimes tease my kids about it using “variations”. Last time it was, “What if I wake up one day with amnesia and have totally forgotten how to cook?” Sam, never at a loss for smart answers, replied, “Isn’t that what your blog is for? So you can just follow what you wrote?”
My friend is scared of the same thing (I’m not alone with strange fears). I told her that I deal with it by treating the brain as a muscle like any other. It needs to be active and it needs exercise. So, I exercise my brain everyday in every way that I can; mostly, by learning new things.
My rule is to learn at least one new thing each day. It doesn’t matter what. Last night and earlier today, it was creating a new logo using Photoshop commands I had never used before. When I was satisfied, I moved on to lemons. How to make limoncello with lemon zest and what to do with the fruits’ flesh afterward.
I love limoncello but good limoncello is pricey. There are cheaper brands but they are so watery that it feels like throwing away money. So, I thought I’d learn to make limoncello. After all, how hard can it be? Alcohol, lemons and sugar… the thing to learn was the how.
I searched the web, found at least six different techniques then decided to start with the most straightforward. Cut off the lemon zest with a vegetable peeler, drop into a bottle of vodka, screw on the cap tightly and leave in a cool, dark place for a week or two. After the soaking period, the vodka will be strained, simple syrup will be added, and voila! Limoncello. Of course, I haven’t gotten to the straining part yet. That’s still a week or two into the future. In seven days, I will strain half of the vodka, add simple syrup and taste the limoncello. After another seven days, I will strain the remaining half of the vodka, add simple syrup and taste. Then, I will compare if the additional seven days of soaking lemon zest in vodka makes a marked difference.
And the fruit flesh…? (more…)