...Wait. What do you mean it's not Thursday?
Just kidding. Better late than never, right?
After picking up my 4th graders from the playground Wednesday morning, I was greeted by one of my girls with a heavy bag of fresh lemons as she walked into the classroom. Here's how it went down:
Student: "Ms. ___, do you like lemons? Our tree was toppling over with them so my mom wanted me to share some with you."
Me: "Oh my goodness! I love lemons! I can think of a million things to do with them today after school! Oh...and they smell so good! Thank you so much!"
Student smiles as she walks back to her seat to unpack her belongings.
I walk back to my desk and secretly squeal as I stash the bag of fresh citrus away for the day.
And, just like that, I attained a delightful dozen of homegrown lemons. I also developed a sense of playful envy as I began to wish I had a lemon tree just like my parents do back home.
Well, what's a girl to do when life gives her lemons? Make lemonade?! Wrong. Make candied lemon peels, of course.
These are super easy-peasy (lemon squeezy...how fitting) to make, but do take some dedication of your time. I started the candy making process early in the evening and graded papers in the midst of it all. As they dried, I happily went to sleep for the night and finished the sugar-coating step in the morning.
I think they make lovely gifts when packaged up nicely with some ribbon and cellophane or tins. What a sweet way to say "Howdy-doo-dee" or something else of the same nature. Maybe even an "I love you". :)
Candied Lemon Peels
*recipe from Whole Foods Market
makes about 60 lemon peels
8 organic lemons (look for ones with thick skins)
5 cups of sugar (divided use)
1. Cut the top and bottom off each lemon. Using a vegetable peeler, or sharp paring knife, peel off pieces of the skin, cutting from top to bottom. Slice peels into 1/4-inch strips or leave in natural shaped pieces. Place peels in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Drain and repeat two more times. Mix 4 cups sugar in with 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Add lemon peels and turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer lemon peels for 1 hour over low heat. Remove from liquid.
2. Spread remaining sugar evenly on a baking sheet. Roll lemon peels in sugar and place on cooling racks to dry, about 3 to 5 hours (I allowed them to dry overnight).