Friday, January 13, 2006

I think I may have just done something stupid

So, this afternoon I decided to make Moroccan preserved lemons. All was well as I washed out a jar that once held pasta sauce and sterilized it in boiling water, and as I made four deep, diagonal cuts in each lemon, essentially cutting them into quarters but leaving them attached at the ends.
And all was still well as I stuffed the cuts with kosher salt:

Now, I was supposed to pack the lemons tightly into a jar, pressing to release some of the juice. I should have realized my troubles were beginning when I had to really press down and force the first lemon through the mouth of the jar. I got two more in there before I realized that unless I resort to breaking the glass, those lemons will never be coming out!

I'm not sure this photo quite illustrates the problem, but there's no way they'll be coming back out through the top. Somehow I failed to think about the fact that I'd need a wide-mouth jar for this.

Has anyone ever preserved lemons before? Any chance that as they cure, they collapse a bit? I'm hoping that's the case.


Blogger lis said...

I'm sure they collapse. How could they not? You'll have to let me know how those turn out. I've been meaning to try them.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

In desperation a day before a 15-person Morrocan dinner, I tried a "quickie" preserved lemon recipe when I couldn't find preserved lemons at any grocery store in the area. It basically involved boiling lemon slices in very kosher-salty water for an hour or two.

Tara, even if you have to break your jar and pick shards of glass out of your preserved lemons, they are guaranteed to be better than mine were!

Note to loyal readers: a recipe that promises immediate results for something that normally takes 4-6 weeks is a recipe for disaster.

6:05 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

I am pretty sure they soften enough to squish them out. Make sure you have a camera handy in either case.

2:20 PM  
Blogger theorris said...

How coincidental--I was telling lis about Inidan pickled lime. I think it is made in pretty much the same way.

10:15 AM  

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