Monday, May 31, 2010

Amalfi Lemons

We're just back from a weekend on the Amalfi coast where we stayed at a 400 year old monastery now in use as a b&b. We visited Pompeii and Herculaneum and drove the treacherous but stunning coastline with baby sleeping in the back seat. I wish I had pictures to share of our drive but much of the coast has no place to pull over and we were mostly concerned with making it out without being driven off a cliff by a tour bus. The hilly region is entirely terraced and laced with lemon trees. Whoever built those terraces, probably thousands of years ago, was really bad-ass, I'm sorry there is just no other word to describe the work that went into cultivating that land for agriculture.

Along the drive we did stop once where a man was selling lemons. I should have been wary since he had no prices listed but I was distracted by his beautiful produce. Some of the lemons were as big as melons. I decided to buy some of these beauties to make lemon marmalade. I should have known better-- I do know better, but dizzy from the drive and the heat, I paid a whopping 25 euros for about 15 big lemons and 2 pounds of cherries.

At home today, I searched the internet for some ideas on marmalade and then just kind of jumped in. With Roman now being mobile, I didn't really take the time to research much and just decided to make it up as I went along. I ended up using 10 lemons, which I put through the food processor, then set this to boil with 5 cups of water, 5 cups of sugar and about a cup of honey. Then we went out to play in the grass.

About 45 minutes later we came back in to a bright, citrus-scented kitchen. I don't think that's how you're supposed to make marmalade, but it worked and there was now a HUGE pot of the stuff bubbling away! I filled up all the mason jars that I could find lids to and the pot was still half full. Hubby raised an eyebrow wondering what we are going to do with all of this. He's right- I made way too much. I'm thinking it will be good on yogurt, ricotta (my current obsession) ice-cream and in a lemon tart which I intend to make soon. I seem to have gotten through this adventure without wasting all of those overpriced but luscious amalfi lemons! Now off to put baby to bed!

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