Martha Roe Burke
Updated: May 23, 2021
This is the first entry into our Lemonsandsuch blog and I promise to make each entry interesting with something worthwhile and a recipe to share. Thanks for being here.
So, we planted this lemon grove in early January 2017. Ideally, we wanted to grow a gourmet piece of fruit that you would rather look at than eat, right? We couldn't wait to introduce it to the restaurant trade, imagining that we would see large vases of our gorgeous lemons on display at all the finest restaurants we serviced.
Then came Coronavirus this past spring, and every one of our target markets closed. But, last season I had shared our lemons with my Pilates group in Winter Haven, and found that there was an interest in purchasing our pesticide-free, seedless lemons for home use. My friend Jane was going through 5 pounds of lemons a week! She is a gourmet chef and a health guru (a caterer and a health care provider in her prior life), and knowing the health benefits of lemons, she was using them in every way imaginable and some unimaginable, lol. She couldn't believe how juicy Florida lemons could be! Of course, a wedge of lemon in your water is a lovely touch, but she was squeezing lemon juice and using lemon zest on everything, saying "it brings out the flavors!" She promised me some of her favorite recipes! YEAH!
She got me interested in learning more about the antioxidant properties of lemons and how they reduce inflammation. I read where lemons are a weight loss food, helping to control weight and assist in weight loss. Lemons also help prevent kidney stones, freshen your breath, improve skin quality, protect against anemia, reduce your risk of cancer, and improve digestive health. It seems that lemons contain a high amount of vitamin C, soluble fiber and plant compounds that render these health benefits. Who knew? Jane did!
Well, back to my little story. Jane got me bringing her lemons every week and soon I was delivering lemons to other friends as well. One friend asked me to sell her lemons without any wax so that she could make her own limoncello recipe! (BTW, we use organic carnauba wax only) In fact, she was on to something because being pesticide-free makes zesting lemons a very safe and tasty addition to everything from fish to pasta to salads. And no worry about nasty pesticide residues from store-bought lemons!!! (In fact, we grow our lemons as close to organic as you can!)
And so, based on my little retail carpool business, we are launching a retail lemon business for all my friends and hopefully many new ones. We have set up one location in Winter Haven where, if you order by Tuesday, we will deliver your order for pickup on Fridays, thus avoiding shipping costs. (See order entry for locations) The plan is to set up relationships with existing businesses throughout Central Florida for this subscription service, making the pick-up location convenient for anyone living in a 50 mile radius to enjoy outrageously gorgeous fresh pesticide-free lemons without freight cost. We will also drop-ship anywhere in the continental U.S. outside of our delivery area.
Now, I want to close each journal entry with a recipe that is both tried and true. This week, we are sharing Jane's famously delicious LIQUID GOLD salad dressing. It comes from Love Real Food cookbook by Kathryne Taylor of Cookie + Kate. Come back here for more great recipes and stories from my dear foodie friends.
Tag us on Instagram @lemonsandsuch whenever you make one of our recipes and share your favorite recipe using fresh Florida lemons!
1/3 cup virgin olive oil (I double this!)
1/3 cup (one large lemon) lemon juice
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Chill. Shake well before serving. Make this with your own juicing lemons - click here.