from Girl in the Kitchen by Stephenie Izard:
- 2 1/4 cups coarse salt
- 9 lemons
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vodka
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Boiling the lemons in batches for five minutes.
I never managed to get this crazy amount of salt and sugar to dissolve into such a tiny amount of alcohol. Sure, I've super-saturated pickle brine with salt and sugar many times, but I don't use alcohol to do it.
Throwing the jar down my bedroom floor for two weeks. Crossing my fingers that they don't come out smelling ammonia-y like Mark Bittman says they could get if something's gone wrong.
I also wound up using bottled lemon juice to top off the liquid so the lemons would be submerged.
Strips of the result muddled with some club soda. Pretty awesome beverage. If I was in the mood or I had company, vodka certainly wouldn't be out of place. And hey, it's not full of sugar and chemicals and is WAY more interesting that water with a squeeze of lemon.
I titled this entry 1.0 because I have recently read three different techniques for preserving lemons recently. Partly due to fear of failure (stupid salt and sugar), I admit, and largely through curiosity, I definitely want to try Bittman's recipe when I run out of this batch. Izard's had a longer shelf life and seemed more interesting in terms of spicing (oh I guess I could've played around myself) so I went with that first.
Zak Pelaccio's recipe in Eat wtih Your Hands (which I recently read and will inevitably cook out of) doesn't involve a liquid at all but involves packing the lemons with salt. This techniques demands fridge space though and I'd have to be in the right moment for that. I see myself making one of his two recipes for bacon soon...