Island Cooking: Reader Shares Citrus Sensations

Wait for it, wait for it, there it is!  Oh no, never mind … it’s gone. That elusive sun of summer. I think this is the first time that we still have winter jackets hanging in the back entryway to our house this time of year. You never know when we might dip down to 40 degrees on any given night. When Susan White from Cranberry Island sent this week’s lemon recipes, they were right in time to brighten up our mostly non-sunny days. First of all, though, we need a little kick to get going and what better way than Lemon Drops?


Lemon Drop

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur (Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Superfine sugar for dipping
  • Twisted peel of lemon

Mix the vodka, orange liqueur, sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice; shake well (supposedly the cocktail is to be shaken 40 times to make sure the sugar is well blended). Pour strained liquor into sugar-rimmed martini glass and garnish with a twisted peel of lemon. To create a sugar-rimmed glass, take a lemon wedge and rub the drinking surface of the glass so it is barely moist. Dip the edge of the glass into the superfine sugar.

Susan wrote to say: “Last winter I was shopping and I picked up six lemons. A woman behind me said, “Excuse me, but what do you use that many lemons for?” I refrained from saying, “Gee, do you have a couple hours?” She told me she hardly ever used lemons, and never bought more than one at a time. I told her that I felt panicky if I had fewer than three lemons on hand. I use lemons in marinades, as a final flourish to homemade soups, and to keep cut fruits and vegetables fresh. I stuff a roasting chicken with a lemon cut in quarters, onion, and thyme; and I bake fresh fish in foil with lemon slices, fresh dill, salt, and pepper. I spritz it on guacamole, make lemonade, and lemon meringue pie. I could go on forever … If you get lemons, make lemonade!!

There are three recipes using lemons that I always have on hand, and they all have multiple uses.

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Shake well. Use on garden salads, bean salads, macaroni salads or add 1/2 tsp. oregano for a Greek salad.

Lemon Dill Sauce

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced onion, chives or both
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Pepper
  • 2/3 cup fresh dill chopped

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

This sauce can be used as an appetizer with fresh vegetables, as a condiment with cooked vegetables, as a sauce with salmon and other fish, or as a salad dressing. The goal is not to eat it straight out of the bowl!

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar

Beat together first 5 ingredients. Add sugar in two additions and beat until creamy. Makes 3 2/3 cups.

Can be used to frost a 2-layer cake (great on blueberry and carrot cakes) or a 9”x13” cake. I always aim for leftover frosting and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. For the holidays, spread frosting between 2 sugar or short bread cookies and roll edges in red and green sugar. Spread between 2 gingersnap cookies for a lemony ginger treat anytime, or serve a dollop on gingerbread cake.

Please send in those recipes to [email protected].


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