Lovely Lemon Harvest

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If you have a lemon tree, then you know the dilemma of an abundant harvest. There are only so many uses for lemons when hundreds are ripe at the same time. Even the neighbors have received more than their share. Thus, I decided to explore lovely homemade lemon gifts for the holidays.

Lavender and lemon are a divine combination. From bottom left to right- lemon curd, lavender lemon salt scrub, lavender lemonade (yum), lavender goat milk and salt bath, lavender sugar for making lavender lemonade and lemon fruits to share.

Each of the above recipes are quite simple while utilizing plenty of lemons from the tree. For additional recipes for lemons and other citrus see our post from last year, Citrus Celebration.

Lemon Curd

2 eggs beaten

1 1/4 cup sugar (white sugar makes a pretty yellow)

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and the rind of 1 lemon grated

In a medium saucepan combine all lemon curd ingredients. Cook over medium heat until thickens up like pudding, stirring constantly. Pour into sterilzed mason jars and freeze or refrigerate until gift giving day. This recipe makes 4, 4 ounce jars. It is better to do small batches because it is easier to pour. As the curd cools it will become more viscous. Delicious with vanilla ice cream, yogurt with blueberries, butter cookies as icing, lemon pound cake, lemon bars, on toast, and as a rub for chicken.

The lemon juice pulls the color from the lavender making a rosy pink.

 Lemon Lavender Salt Scrub

Course sea salt Lavender buds

Lavender essential oil

Organic olive oil

Ripe Lemons

In any size jar of your choosing fill 2/3 full of course ground sea salt. Then add a layer of lavender buds and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon for a small jar or a full lemon for medium to large jars. Add final layer of salt to approximately 3/4th's full. Pour in organic olive oil slowly. The oil will seep through the salt mixture. Add 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil depending on the size of jar. Use a fork to stir the mixture. The oil should be a bit higher than the salt. If the oil is too high, add more salt and mix. Secure the lid. The rosy color will gradually darken as it sits. The salt scrub smells like a fresh summer's day. *Lemon salt scrub is best used in winter or at night when the skin is not exposed to sunlight. Do not use on face. Great for smoothing dimpled skin.

Lavender sugar tastes heavenly in hot tea, lemonade or sprinkled on deserts.

Lavender Sugar

Lavender buds

Lavender essential oil

Sugar

It is best to mix a large jar first and let infuse/sit for a week before filling your gift jars. Fill any size jar 1/4 full of lavender buds. Fill the remaining space with sugar. Add 20- 40 drops of lavender depending on the size of the jar. Shake to incorporate the lavender throughout. Let sit for a week, then fill gift jars.

Lavender Lemonade

32 oz bottle

3 cups water

1 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup lavender sugar (see above) or more if you like lemonade more sweet than tart.

Boil 2 cups of water with lavender sugar, stirring constantly. Pour sugar water into a sterilized bottle through a screen to syphon out lavender buds or leave buds if desired. Add lemon juice and 1 cup of water. Gently shake and serve over ice. This year make the holidays shine like the sun with homegrown, handmade lovely lemon gifts. To learn how to make preserved lemons or lemon vodka, click here for a citrus celebration.

HAPPY HARVEST & HAPPY HOLIDAYS from The Botanical Journey.

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