A Few Less Than Obvious Uses for Lemons

We haven’t had cable or TV in our place for months. And before you think it’s because we’re too sophisticated for it, you are wrong sir. I LOVE my reality shows, and I miss the Housewives and Kardashians more than you know. It was our attempt to save some money and it kinda works. But we will be moving soon, and we will be FORCED to have cable again in our new place. It comes sort of as a package deal with our rent… weird, huh? Oh wells, no one complaining over here. So in lieu of TV, I’ve been watching a lot of “Friends” that we have on our computer. So on that note, in regards to the blog, sorry about last week’s silence, but in the words of Ross to Rachael, “we were on a break!”  

We just had a crazy odd week with two sets of out of town guests from Sunday-Friday and then I was cooking for a Cafe Night Fundraiser at my church over the weekend. So, time to get back to the routine now. On that note, here I go again with my tips and lists. I think I’m on a sudden kick or something. You know how sometimes it’s the little things in life that make us happy? For me, it’s a good cup of coffee, watching a movie with my husband, or a bowl of sunshine-yellow lemons. That’s why I often like to keep a bunch of lemons around the house at all times. You may notice they make a guest appearance in quite a bit of my recipes.

Lemons are so versatile, and everyone knows it, but here are a few uses for them that are a little less obvious.

a few less than obvious uses for lemons:

Freshen up your garbage disposal.
This is a tip I learned while being a personal chef. After washing dishes and cleaning up, add some chunks of lemon in the disposal. Run hot water for a few seconds, and then run the disposal to completely chop the lemons. It will keep your disposal smelling nice and fresh.

Clean your microwave.
Mix the juice of half a lemon with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes to form lemon steam. It will help cut that grease before you wipe everything down.

Scrub your pots.
Dip half a lemon into kosher salt and scrub those crusty pots. The salt and acid works as a gentle natural abrasion.

Fade stains off your cutting board.
You know how people squeeze lemon juice in their hair to lighten it naturally? Same concept with stubborn food stains on a cutting board.

Freshen up your pastas and stews.
Make a lemon gremolata which is a topping you sprinkle over slow cooked stews, hearty meat dishes or pastas to freshen up the flavor. Finely mince equal parts parsley, fresh garlic and lemon zest (and if you want, a little salt). Sprinkle away.

Keep your produce looking fresh.
Squeeze some juice on top of artichokes, avocado, mushrooms, or apple slices to keep them from discoloring and turning brown and unattractive.

Make yourself an easy instant gourmet pan sauce.
Melt butter in a pan until it turns lightly browned and smells like hazelnuts. Add fresh sage or capers, turn off the heat, and squeeze in fresh lemon juice. This will brighten the flavor and stop the butter from cooking more. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over fish or ravioli.

Make yourself a refreshing tangy iced tea.
Freeze fresh lemon juice in ice cube trays (if you want, mix in a couple of drops of agave nectar to sweeten it a little bit). Add the lemon cubes to your iced tea and enjoy the tangy taste as the ice melts.

It’s no wonder why to me lemons are magical fruit. I’m rarely at home without them, and now you have a few extra reasons why you should keep them around the house too.

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