” In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus
In California in winter you might very well witness yellow lemons fattening on the branches of the Meyer Lemon tree, bringing summer into winter. This is so at odds with one’s expectations, that I found the quote by Camus to be perfect!
And now for a little fun research on the extraordinary & delicious Meyer lemon ~~ In the turn of the last century, American “agricultural explorer” Frank Nicholas Meyer collected a sample of a native lemon plant on a trip to China, which was believed by him to be a hybrid of a lemon and a mandarin orange. He introduced it to the United States in 1908.
The Meyer lemon is commonly grown in garden pots as an ornamental tree, I personally have one, and feel they are delicious and wonderful potted citrus to have. California Cuisine chef Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley rediscovered this fruit in the cuisine revolution of the 90’s, as did Martha Stewart when she began featuring them in her recipes. I remember that era & the popularizing of the Meyer lemon very well.
“The Meyer lemon fruit is yellow and rounder than a true lemon. The skin is fragrant and thin, colored a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe. Meyer lemon fruits have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka supermarket lemon varieties. The pulp is a dark yellow…” read more …
Happy Summer Solstice everyone ~~ and on this first day of summer, I give to you my very own extremely delicious sparkling Meyer lemonade recipe ~~ having just renamed it just for this solstice “Invincible Summer Lemonade” ! This recipe will make you a couple of tall glasses of delightful ice-cold lemony refreshment, so dig out your zesters and make sure there’s plenty of ice in the freezer.
- Pick 1 ripe fruit from your Meyer lemon tree, or from the grocery store produce, but really, any kind of fresh lemon will do, just avoid using old stale lemons.
- With a zesting tool, zest outer skin of entire lemon, only the yellow part, avoiding the bitter white of the peel if possible. If you don’t have a zester, then use a grater, but more often than not, too much of the peel is lost to the grater.
- Into a glass quart jar or liquid measure, combine 2-4 tbsp organic sugar, and lemon peel and let sit for 30 minutes, while stirring once or twice while sugar is leeching out those tasty essential oils from peel, the signature flavor in this drink.
- Now juice the peeled lemon and pour juice over sugar-zest mixture. Stir well until all the sugar dissolves in the lemon juice.
- Pour into juice 2 to 3 cups sparkling mineral water ( or a combination of sparkling and cold water). Add more sugar if desired.
- Pour lemonade through strainer over ice into pitcher or glasses & enjoy the best taste of summer you’ll ever have. Perhaps while contemplating the following text by Albert Camus …
“ In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back. Let the situation be as cold as winter but the heat lies within you. “