7 Reasons That I’m Sick Of The Lemons
On Monday, I started my bank holiday project: A batch of limoncello. It’s a simple enough liqueur to make, requiring a couple of litres of vodka, some sugar and lemon zest. A lot of lemon zest. The zest of twenty-four lemons. Here are seven reasons that I’m now sick of the lemons.
1. Peeling Them. Ever peeled a lemon? It’s the second dullest activity known to man (or woman). You have to be careful not to get any of the pith with the zest, so it takes a long time. I peeled twenty-four of the things. I have no idea exactly how long I was in the kitchen, but I do know that I had a ginger beard when I emerged from it. I had one when I went in too, but I was definitely in there for a very long time. Peeling lemons.
2. Poor Planning. “Errrr. Ummm. Errrr. Have a lemon, darling.” That’s what I said when my wife – not unreasonably – enquired what I was going to do with twenty-four peeled lemons. This is because, caught up in my enthusiasm for making the limoncello, I had forgotten that a by-product of lemon zest is lemons. Lots of lemons. I decided to put them in the fridge, certain that we would be able to use them.
3. Juice. Our fridge was already quite full. So full, in fact, that I had to remove several jars of jam, a bag of onions that pre-dated the internet, and all – except for two – bottles of beer, to fit the large, overflowing bowl of peeled lemons in. Eventually, two days later, desperate to free up fridge space for more beer, I had a brainwave. Lemon juice. I would juice half of the lemons. This would free up space in the fridge and enable me to put beer in there. Ever juiced twelve lemons? It’s the dullest activity known to man (or woman). After what seemed like a fortnight of squeezing lemons, I put the (surprisingly still quite full) bowl – now containing half the original number of lemons – back into the fridge. Then I had to remove the remaining bottles of beer in order to make room for the two bottles of lemon juice. Brilliant.
4. Drinks. As there was now no cold beer in the house, and many, many lemons, I decided to have a cocktail week. The things that I have drunk at home in cocktail week have included: lemon drop martinis, gin fizzes, whisky sours and tom collinseseseses. Hic. All of these cocktails contain lemon juice, of which there is still a lot. Probably enough to keep Amy Winehouse in lemon-based cocktails for several months. Still, one of the benefits of having had lemon-based cocktails all week is that they’re a perfect match for…
5. Our Food. The meals that we’ve eaten in the past four days have been (in no particular order): pancakes with sugar and lemon juice, linguine in lemon cream sauce with smoked salmon, fish finger sandwiches with tartar sauce and lemon, and home-made bread and lemon summer soup. I have no idea what we’re having for tea this evening, but I sense that it may involve a lemon. And I don’t want to eat any more lemons. I think I may be turning yellow. And then there’s…
6. The Smell. The fridge smells of lemons. The kitchen smells of lemons. I smell of lemons. My wife smells of lemons. The entire ground floor of the house smells of lemons. Our cat now lives in the garden because of the smell of lemons. Our neighbours have been looking at us strangely all week, presumably because of the smell of lemons emanating from our house. If you were to send a letter to:
The house that smells of lemons,
We would probably receive it. Please do not send any circulars. Or lemons.
7. The Lemons Are Seemingly Infinite. Despite having consumed so many lemons that my blood is now 29% citric acid; despite having reduced half of their number to juice; despite having made my wife consume so many lemons that she could possibly use it as grounds for divorce – “Being married to him was horrible, m’lud. He filled the kitchen with bicycles and forced me to eat lemons.” – there are still many, many bloody lemons in the fridge. At the current rate of consumption, they will probably last for about three months…
…which is when the limoncello will be ready. Will this lemon-hell never end?