I have a pretty good supply of home-grown lemons almost all year round. Even though I don’t grow them myself. Not for lack of trying, I should confess. In four years the lemon tree we planted here in Brooklyn has yet to bear a fruit. The tree flowers, fruitlets form, but they fail to develop, just drop off the tree. I wish I knew why. So I manage the lemon supply by raiding my father’s well-fed and very prolific lemon tree on a regular basis.
Getting the lemons is one thing. Then, unless you’re a heavy gin & tonic drinker, there’s often the question of how to use all the fruit. In summer, there’s a refreshing lemon drink I’ve started to make. Despite the name, it’s not alcoholic. The quantity is determined by the size of the largest bowl available, but works in multiples of the following … one lemon sliced thinly, covered with 2 litres of boiling water, ½ a cup of sugar stirred in. Allow to cool, squeeze juice out of slices, strain into screw-top bottles and put in fridge. Just as well it’s so simple … it disappears pretty quickly.