We have a Meyer lemon tree out back. It looks more like a bush, lopsided and squat, leaning off the shady edge of our raised patio. You wouldn’t notice the lemons at first; their small green shapes disappear behind the shiny leaves. But if you squint a little, you’ll catch a glimpse of one, and then the rest appear. Dozens of the green, egg-sized fruits sit tucked under the branches, waiting to ripen.
I don’t know what it is about fruit trees that inspires me. A fruit tree feels like such a valuable asset. If I were house shopping, I would definitely put “has fruit trees” on my wish-list. Maybe it’s because the rewards are so great and I put in little-to-no effort. Someone else planted the tree years ago. Heck, I don’t even water it. Yet the fruit just falls into my open hands. It could be my years of liberal arts education conjuring symbolic associations like immortality, fertility, and youth. Or maybe I’m simply inspired by a sweet tooth.
The purpose of this post is not to get super philosophical about fruit, but I found myself just now reading about the frutarian diet. It’s based on the notion that we should only eat what plants give us freely and we should never harm a plant. This is a subset of veganism, but even stricter! It seems related to a kind of religious or spiritual asceticism. In the Wikipedia article on frutarians there is mention of Jainism, a religion whose practitioners follow a diet of non-violence. I have to say, I find that appealing in a way.
But let me get back to my neighborhood dilemma. Yes, I have a dilemma. The problem is, people are not harvesting their fruit! There are citrus trees in my neighborhood with rotting fruit falling onto the sidewalk.
But let’s not dwell on the wasters. (I am considering my options, one of which involves a midnight walk with a very large grocery bag.) Our good friend and neighbor Kelsey was blessed with a Meyer lemon crop already this fall. She was kind enough to share her bounty and I made this lovely yogurt lemon cake with her gift.
Until our lemons ripen, I’ll bide my time reading recipes and planning yummy lemon treats. I’m looking for recipes using Meyer lemons, so send me ideas if you have them.
Tagsbakeries bay area cabbage citrus cookies csa dairy dairy-free dessert diets dinner dough education family fermented foods fish food writing kimchi korean lactose intolerance massachusetts meyer lemons moosewood nashville new yorker nyc oakland organic farming organic produce pears pie recipes restaurants rockridge san francisco seafood soup southern food squash strawberries summer traditions turnips vegan vegetarian
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