Careful pruning this year means that the Meyer tree is doing what all the other Meyer trees around here do -- pumping out lemons as though it's going out of style. This year, I went to BevMo and got prepared.
There are many different zesting options in my drawer. I tried two at first. The little strip zester seemed to be better at taking off only the yellow stuff, but even that got more difficult. I may have become impatient after a few tries, too.
Then I remembered a post somewhere on the internet about zesting essentially from the inside out. Tablespoon to the rescue.
If I aimed correctly, I ended up with a round bit of lemon and an empty shell.
Then the fun really started. In varying ways, I tried holding down the half shell and scraping out the white pith. Everyone is really serious about how you must get all of that white pith out, or doom will ensue. I tend to take stuff like that pretty seriously, and then spent all of the time (except for the brief errand run for chicken food) left obsessing about whether or not I was getting all of the stuff out.
Scrape, scrape, scrape.
The peels didn't always stand up well to that kind of force, but my cutting board is well-oiled with pure lemon oil. My hands aren't super happy, though. The jar has many different bits of scraped peel on it. I aimed for the clearest yellow part of the piece to the right of the spoon in that picture, and mostly think I got there. We'll see.
So, in a few months (?) we'll see what I've made. Ellie and I were talking as I was buying the Everclear, and I was explaining that it's pure alcohol, famed for fraternity parties and making people extremely inebriated, but that it didn't have a flavor to interfere with the lemon flavor. So she said, "You're making alcohol that tastes like lemons?"
"Well, after the peels have steeped for about a month and a half, we'll add some simple syrup, you know, water and sugar boiled together?"
"So you're making super-alcoholic lemonade?"
"I'm not serving it to people by the TUMBLER!"
The funny thing is that I may not end up serving it to anyone. I'm the only one in the family who actually seems to like the nocino that I made, and even I rarely drink it. A digestif seems odd drunk alone, to me. Anyhow, the few times that I have encountered limoncello, in Sorrento, and other Italian towns, it wasn't exactly love at first sip.
In fact, I reacted a lot like the character "Ben" on Parks and Recreation in this clip. Just hated it. Like bad lemon-flavored cough medicine. To be fair, I'm also so-so on Lagavulin. . . So why make something that makes me want to wipe my tongue?
Well, it might be different.
And it might not.
But someone, somewhere may like it, and hey, it's a new thing to try, right?