Feeling SAD and Preserved Meyer Lemons (With A Twist)

>> Wednesday, February 23, 2011

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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.

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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!

Tangerines; Tangerine peel; mandarin orange; orange; zest
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

large bowl
sterilized jar (I used 2 small jars)
boiling water

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.
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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.
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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!
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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 ?
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egbkid February 23, 2011 at 6:58 AM  

My mom makes all kinds of pickles, jams and jellies, but i have never had pickled lemons!! They look good :-)
This time of year, it is ice cream that keeps me going. A yummy treat that reminds me of summer!

Paaka Shaale February 23, 2011 at 7:40 AM  

Even I/ suffer from SAD disorder Nancy. But thankfully, I stay in a place where sunshine is in abundance. So for the time being I have not complaints. Coming to the pickled lemon, they look great. Loved the way you have photographed them :)

Frank February 23, 2011 at 8:35 AM  

Not to worry, spring is on the way! Funny, I'm someone who actually likes a grey day once in a while, curled up beside a nice fireplace with a good book... But I do know that in central and northern Europe, winter means grey days *every* day, and that's a drag! PS: I lived in Vienna for a few years and remember those long, grey winters very well!

Spicie Foodie February 23, 2011 at 9:35 AM  

@ egbkid, I'll let you know how they taste, they already smell great. I just can't eat ice cream in cool or cold weather:(

@Paaka Shaale, Lucky for you to have sunshine, I miss it horribly. Thank you:)

@Frank, I'm crossing my fingers for an early Spring. Yes you know exactly the grey days I'm talking about then.

Wilde in the Kitchen February 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM  

I used to be SAD a lot when I lived in Buffalo, it was very grey there in the winter. All that snow. Living on the coast is a little better, but still cold. Can't wait to see how your preserved lemons come out!

Sandra February 23, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

You already brightener my day with your photos, I don't have SAD but I feel the same way on the sunless days- don't talk to me on those day at all, I just might bite:) And one more- my husband saying the same thing to me, I hate when he is write..98% of the time, those 2% are mine:)))!
Awesome post, wish you pull out of the sadness.

Spicie Foodie February 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM  

@ Wilde in the Kitchen, I can live with the cold and snow if I get sunny days in return. Maybe we need to go near a cost.

@Sandra,Aw you are sweet and funny:) Thank you.

Catherine February 23, 2011 at 12:02 PM  

I've never made my own preserves before, but your lemon preserves look lovely.

I think we all have the winter blues- fortunately, spring will be here soon enough!

Belinda @zomppa February 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM  

Dr. WebMD...you make me laugh. These are such a great way to brighten up the day. The days are getting brighter and longer. Sending some sunshine your way!

Pacheco Patty February 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

Hi Nancy, This jar of preserved Meyer lemons should cure the SAD, at least the lovely Spring like yellow color should have an affect on your mood,lol! I made preserved limes with jalapenos this year and I use them all the time, talk about adding a little punch of flavor;-)

Indonesian In Turkey February 23, 2011 at 3:41 PM  

It is new for me.. I think I'll love this one.. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.. it's on my bookmark :)

raptortoe.com February 23, 2011 at 3:51 PM  

I buy this jarred preserved lemon from my work. I love it. it goes so well with roast chicken. Amazing!

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines February 23, 2011 at 6:25 PM  

I wonder how they are going to taste, but my mouth is starting to pucker already! I hate SAD too, but I think a faster remedy is to squeeze those lemons and add make a lemon drop! Thank maybe you would have drunkitis! He He

Spicie Foodie February 23, 2011 at 6:38 PM  

@Catherine,You should try them!

@Belinda, I'll take it all, thank you:)

@Patty, They are helping and can't wait to try them. Oh yummy! Limes and jalapenos, my mouth is watering.

@Citra, Glad to hear it.

@raptortoe, I'll have to try that, thanks.

@Gina, Me too,when I look at them my mouth starts to water. That sounds like fun and at least no more SAD:) Your are so funny!

Carolyn February 23, 2011 at 6:46 PM  

I am feeling a little SAD too, this winter has been really tough in New England. Even when the weather is nice, there is so much snow on the ground we still can't take the kids to the park or anything. I know SAD is a real disorder so I don't mean to make fun of it, I really do think I have a touch of it this year!
But the beautiful colours of those preserved meyer lemons and tangerines...that is definitely a cheering sight!

January February 23, 2011 at 7:24 PM  

glad you found what could take away your SAD moment. what's weird is that i sometimes want myself to be in that SAD moment because i feel that it's also therapeutic :) that gives me a reason to make my comfort food. in my case, a chocolate drink, hot or cold, will do the trick :)

Claudia February 23, 2011 at 9:03 PM  

Citrus brightens my bleak days. And now this post did! Playing with lemons is my idea of fun.

penny aka jeroxie February 23, 2011 at 9:22 PM  

I think many of us suffer from SAD.... ;)

Magic of Spice February 23, 2011 at 10:05 PM  

I am sorry you are SAD :( But I am excited to see how these come out, especially with the mandarin add :) We do not have many specific Seasons here, they are pretty mixed up but when it rains for long periods I think I can relate a bit. I know, just a bit...
but I am with Gina, lets have a drink ;)

A little bit of everything February 23, 2011 at 11:55 PM  

papercuteosis :))))) I laughed so much I have tears on my face. in few minutes you managed to heal my SAD. Thanks you Nancy.

The lemons look stunning. They'd brighten every ones day.

Hope you'll have a sunny Thursday

Healthy Mamma February 24, 2011 at 12:37 AM  

A latin a in the northern hemisphere suffering fro SAD?! Watch out! ;) I can't imagine all those weeks of overcast, cold, rain or snow, yucky. I try not to forget how lucky we are to live in the valley of the sun.
O.k. Question. What would you use these in? I love lemons but haunt really heard of this technique much.

Tiffany February 24, 2011 at 10:42 AM  

Oh, my, I thought I was the only person who say Dr. Wikipedia! In all seriousness, as a psychologist and someone who lived in Michigan for 5 years, I can say, SAD is very very real! Try to eat these preserves while sitting in the sun (the vitamin D is good for you as well!)!!

Tanantha P. February 24, 2011 at 5:23 PM  

I know this disease! I got it when I first experienced winter gloom in Seattle. I started eating spicy (anything) to cure it. These preserved lemons look easy and I like the twist you added.
This might sound silly but how do you eat it with? Do you eat it plain or mix with someting else?

Hope your SAD go away soon Nancy!

She's Cookin' February 24, 2011 at 6:26 PM  

SAD is what keeps me in California even though we grumble about how overcrowded it is! I have a bunch of Meyer Lemons and intended to make preserved lemons but still have not done it! They're slowing disappearing in lemon drop martinis :) So lemons always put a smile on my face! I think the addition of tangerines will be delicious, too - prob. great in Moroccan food.

Stella February 24, 2011 at 6:47 PM  

Hey Nancy, I totally understand the mood thing. I can't blame a lack of sunny spring days, as I live in Florida. Certain sad things can really set me off though. You know, one reason that SAD happens is due to a lack of both Vitamin D and Seratonin uplift-sun exposure causes both of these important processes that significantly affect mood. It might help to go outside even if it's cloudy and just let the bit of rays that come through hit you while you sit and read or something...?! Maybe...
Oh, and this is so cool. I've been meaning to preserve lemons for a while now. And guess what?! I just sprouted a meyer lemon seed. It worked so hopefully I'll have a tree soon. Bookmarked:-)!

It's Copacetic Everyhing's Jake February 24, 2011 at 7:02 PM  

I LOVE Lemon anything...also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I have a natural sun lamp at work and am lucky enough to have 4 windows in my office. The sunlight lamp helps a great deal as does vitamin D. Here in the Boston area we won't see spring for a few more months... I feel your pain.

Trix February 26, 2011 at 9:37 AM  

While I do love a rainy day, I am with you that all this grayness just gets to be TOO MUCH. Preserved lemons are the perfect way to bring a little sunshine into your life! Hope you feel better.

briarrose February 26, 2011 at 12:05 PM  

Yummy.....I look forward to seeing how these come out. ;) Rice krispy treats are one of my giggly feel good foods...they just take me back.

Chef Dennis February 26, 2011 at 8:34 PM  

hi Nancy
I think I suffer from the same ailment....and what better way to get over it than with that lovely preserved lemon, the jar with the orange is beautiful! Sunshine in a jar!
Thanks for brightening up my day!

Faith February 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM  

This looks like the perfect way to bring some sunshine into your day! Not only do they look like summer sunshine, but I bet they taste like it too! :)

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels February 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM  

Sending you hugs, hopefully the sun starts shining soon. Love your perserved lemons! I've never made them before and will have to try it one day. The colors are so bright and beautiful. :)

Our Eyes Eat First February 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM  

beautiful pictures! in awe.. you must include a post on how to take such great shots!

Conor @ Hold the Beef March 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM  

Nancy I would so love to send you some warmth and sunshine. We are having way too much of it here, and it is sending us all quite crazy. Our brains are frying. It's too much!

Beautiful lemons, they look perfect for a pick me up :)

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