I suffer from SAD and that makes me sad (you saw that silly joke coming didn’t you?). SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder better know to some as the Winter blues. It is a temporary or seasonal mood change which has some of the same symptoms as mild depression and it is most common in the northern hemisphere. Basically me no likey the dark grey Autumn and Winter days. Ha! go figure we choose to live in the northern hemisphere. While I consider myself a happy person with no worse mood changes than any other typical woman (except when my Latin temper kicks in, that’s another story) it is these dark grey sunshine-less days that make me want to sleep more, and make it harder for me to concentrate or get motivated to do much. Even so I am not one to stay in bed or lay around even if I’m ill, I can’t stand not doing something.
I’ll have you know my diagnosis came from very reputable and prestigious Doctors, Dr. Google, Dr. Wikipedia, and WebMD. Don’t you just love the internet ? (And I say this with the most sincere form of…Sarcasm!) You can look up anything and instantly get diagnosed with the most life threatening diseases out there. For instance you could look up… let’s say a paper cut and come back with a rare diseases called papercuteosis. Oh no! you may just have to take the day off work because it can be contagious, as a matter-of-fact while you are calling your boss to tell him/her you can’t make it into work today you are being quarantined. Perhaps my husband is right when he says I should stop looking up everything on the internet. Wait, did I just say he was right? I hope he doesn’t read this or I wont live it down.
Seriously, SAD is a real disorder and I need some Santeria or Voodoo to bring on the sunshine and make me feel better on these grey days. But I don’t know either so I’ll have to create my own sunshine. I’m going to start with lemons, because they just brighten things up on their own. I love lemons with their lip puckering and slightly sweet fresh taste, always leaves me satisfied. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many citrus ripens in the Winter months. I think mother nature knows that we all need their vibrant colors and delicious tastes to get us through the Winter. Just looking and smelling lemons or any other citrus immediately leaves me reminiscing about sunny days, it is like holding a little sunshine in my palm. I want to preserve them to get me through the remainder of the Winter. Many of you are already talking about Spring arriving, but for us it’s quite a ways off and there are many rainy days coming too, blah!
I adapted this Preserved Meyer recipe from Epicurious.com. I made some changes to the original recipe, cut it in half, I used a combination of sweet (Meyer) lemons with Spanish Mesero (primofiori) lemons, you could really use any variety you choose. The other change was that I also sliced off both ends from all the lemons. Plus I added a little twist which you can see below. This recipe is great because it only takes 5 days before you can enjoy the lemons, and they will keep up to 1 year in the refrigerator. I’m going to be patiently waiting.
Preserved Meyer Mixed Lemons
Adapted from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Preserved-Meyer-Lemons-102747
11/4 lb or 560 g lemons, I used 6 very small lemons (Meyer or any variety of your choice)
1/2 cup or 118 ml fresh lemon juice (from 21/2 lemons)
1/3 cup or 90 g coarse sea salt
sterilized jar (I used 2 small jars)
1/8 cup olive oil, to use on the 5th day
1. Choose lemons that are semi-firm but not unripe, don’t have bruising or other imperfections. You could also buy organic lemons or if you buy regular make sure they don’t feel sticky and that they are cleaned properly. Thoroughly and properly rinse the lemons. I suggest starting by measuring out the lemon juice needed, then set aside. Bring some water to a boil, once boiled place the remaining lemons in the boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, drain and allow to cool.
2. Have the sterilized jar ready. Once the lemons have cooled enough to handle, cut off both ends on each lemon. Next slice each lemon into 8 wedges, remove the seeds and place the wedges in the bowl. Pour the salt over the lemons and mix well. Pack the salt coated wedges into the jars then pour the lemon juice into the jar.
Seal and either leave on the counter or place in the refrigerator. During the next 5 days shake the jar to help distribute the salted juice. On the 5th day add 1/8 cup of olive oil and refrigerate. They will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 year.
I also made a variation with a little twist, I added fresh tangerine (mandarin orange) peel. Follow the recipe exactly as above but add as much fresh tangerine peel as you like. I can’t wait to taste the different flavors!
I will keep you posted in the coming week on the results. What is your sunshine or feel good comfort food that always puts a smile on your face ?