Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Ponderosa Lemon

 When I was growing up in Arizona my father planted three "small" Ponderosa Lemon trees. He planted them to keep the neighbor's kids off the wooden fence that divided our properties. The "small" trees did the trick, because in no time at all those fragrant lemon branches were reaching as tall as the fence. The long thorns that lined the branches kept the neighbor's kids from scaling the fence. As the years went by the lemon trees flourish and produced the largest lemons of anyone around.

 The variety of Ponderosa Lemons has been around since the late 1800's. It is actually a hybrid of a lemon tree and a citron tree. The Ponderosa fruit is distinct by it's thick bumpy outside, plethora of internal seeds, and tart flavor. Despite all of these seemingly nasty attributes, however, this lemon makes the best lemonade! The trees produce hundreds of lemons, and the fruit unloads large amounts of juice. I just mix strained lemon juice with water and sugar. There is no particular quantity of ingredients. You just have to go with the taste of each batch!

Whenever we go to visit my parents in Arizona, my boys like to pick the lemons for a refreshing drink. Picking one at a time is taxing, so we end up shaking really hard. Of course there is some duck and cover action required for the shaking of the tree, but well worth the labor!

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