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Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Completed the Lemon Cairn painting which will be delivered and hung in the customer's kitchen tomorrow.  I will miss the scent of lemon in my studio, but think I just may take the lemons into the kitchen tomorrow...lemonade, lemon curd, lemon pie, lemon bars, lemon chicken, lemon drop martini....what a list!  


There are many lemons:  Eureka, Lisbon, Meyer, Bearss, Ponderosa.  My favorite is the Meyer which is sweet, deliciously fragrant, and lends a wonderful flavor to many dishes.
The Meyer Lemon Tree is a hardy variety and the best lemon tree for subtropical climates such as the gulf coast of the United States. The Meyer Lemon is not actually a real lemon but a cross between a lemon, a type of orange and a mandarin. While it retains most of the characteristics of a lemon, it has a bit less acidity, less bitterness, more sweetness and thinner skin. The skin of the Meyer Lemon lacks the typical zest of a real lemon. It has gained favor because it bears a heavy crop and it is a relatively hardy plant.  And it is oh, so delicious!  





The Meyer Lemon Tree is named for Frank Meyer. He brought it to the United States from China in 1908 while working for the USDA. The tree became very popular and was widely grown until a virus that attacked Meyer Lemon Trees was discovered in the mid-1940s. Meyer Lemon Trees were banned in the United States in an effort to insure the safety of other lemon varieties from the virus. A new version of the Meyer Lemon Tree was developed that was virus-free and it was reintroduced in 1970. Since that time, the Meyer Lemon has become a favorite for the home grower. 





This variety is especially sweet and succulent. The Meyer Lemon has a thin skin and does not survive shipping well. As a result, the Meyer Lemon is not widely grown by commercial lemon growers.  You don't see Meyer Lemons in the markets often, but make friends with someone who has a tree and you may receive lemons as a gift since the tree is prolific.  Or better yet, plant your own.  I have a Meyer, in a pot, living in a mountain climate.  It spends the winter months inside, in a south facing window, and the summer months outdoors in full sunshine.  



    
I am off to the studio to move the lemons into the kitchen.....                                                                        

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