Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”. The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Tree of Knowledge, painting by Lucas Cranach
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has been artistically portrayed for centuries as being an apple tree, with big red apples, perfectly ripe and juicy. I have come to believe that it was not an apple tree, but a lemon tree. I base this not on anything theological but my culinary knowledge only.
To me the lemon is the perfect fruit - it has the power of both good and evil. It can hurt and heal, it can add to a dish and over power with just a simple squeeze. It is medicine to the doctor and poison in the wrong hands. You can have it in a desert, a savoury dish, an ice cold lemonade or a hot toddy and you certainly can't live without it in your kitchen.
After my first evening at The Cooksplayground, I learnt to make preserved lemons. It is so simple to make and after a month of waiting patiently, my lemons are now ready for me to use and well worth the wait.
1 Sterilized preserving jar (The bigger the better)
As many perfectly ripe yellow lemons as you can fit in your jar
Sea Salt (not iodized or your lemons will turn pink)
Slice the lemon in quarters lengthwise, but not the whole way through to the bottom.
Stuff as much salt into the lemon and place in your jar, pushing down to release some of the juice.
Add extra salt in the layers as you place the lemons tightly in your jar.
Once your jar is full of lemons, add boiling hot water all the way to the top, covering the lemons.
Seal the lid and store for at least 1 month before using.
You can add new lemons to your jar, adding salt and water as necessary.