We all know the old adage of when “life gives you lemons”, but when our guests enthusiastically answered our call for Meyer lemons, we went beyond the “lemonade” route. With a little help from our neighbors Kristy, Carolyn, Denise and OneTree.org, we’re proud to feature two new additions to our PUBLIC Label line: Backyard Meyer Lemon Preserve and Rooftop Honey Lemon Marmalade.
Over the course of two months, we received over 130 lbs. of beautifully fragrant, ripe Meyer lemons grown in the backyards of our guests. Even our friends in Berkeley got in on our social experiment; we received lemons from Michael Pollan and his wife, Judith Belzer. All were jazzed to support our ‘urban gleaning’ effort to tackle local fruit waste. As a professional preserver, I love the inherent community and connectivity in canning; my conversations with our gang of urban growers ranged from methods of preserving to maintaining lemon trees.
The preserves I created for this PUBLIC Label project will start your morning with a zing and add brightness to many a recipe. Our Rooftop Honey Lemon Marmalade is sweetened with honey from the beehives on the roof of our 18th Street Market. With lovely, honeyed ribbons of tender peel, this marmalade is sweet with serious, citrusy bite. The Backyard Meyer Lemon Preserve is a bit different than marmalade; it’s thicker and richer, well-balanced by the tang of the lemon peel and sweetness of organic cane sugar. This preserve only has two ingredients (lemons and sugar) and little goes a very long way.
Pair each of these delicious preserves with a nutty alpine cheese and crusty sourdough bread for the best grilled cheese EVER or baste on chicken halves for a lovely glaze. Or, try my favorite remedy for springtime sniffles – a spoonful in a piping cup of earl grey tea.
Now we’re excited about this radical way to connect folks to their food by functioning as a small scale retail outlet for urban agriculture—stay tuned for more like this in the future!