Posted by: Rachel | December 9, 2012

the children are nestled all snug…

OK, maybe not in their “beds”, but I’m bringing my babies in just in case. The weather-folk seem quite certain that we’re going to have all winter in a night this year, and the night is tomorrow night. So.

I’ve harvested my lemons and oranges and limes (oh my!) and brought the trees either actually inside or at least up close to the south side of the house, well out of the wind. The kumquats are still “coming on” so I brought the tree in with fruit on it. I’ll just eat ’em until they’re gone! Mmmm…

kumquat tree and tomoates in pots inside

it’s a jungle in here!

My most astonishing fruit this year, though, was my pomelo. I just got the tree this past spring, and I honestly thought the fruit would break the branch! I mean, this puppy weighs in at almost 2 pounds! Yikes! There isn’t much pulp in these, but the zest is great either candied (if youhave the patience required for that sort of thing – I don’t!) or added to lemon zest for a slightly different spin on “Limon”cello (Pomelocello? Hmmm…). Mmmm! See what I mean? Just look at it!

pomelo fruit

monster pomelo!

Pomelos are pretty much like grapefruit in flavor, sort of sour-sweet, and they smell heavenly fragrant. Wikipedia says they can be grown from seed, so I’m going to give it a shot! Check back in 10 years or so… I’ll let you know if it worked.

I also brought in my keffir lime. It is a tender baby, so while I put it out on sunny warm days, anything much under 40F makes it take to its bed with the vapors (so to speak). This is a tree that serves several purposes. The leaves are used in Thai cuisine either chopped fine and left in or like a bay leaf, to flavor soups and then removed. They smell wonderful when “scratch and sniffed”. The fruit is also useful, but I mainly use the leaves. Mmmm!

keffir lime tree

oh keffir lime, oh keffir lime…

I think I’ll need to give it a good pruning this year as its getting a bit unwieldy to go through the door!

With all this bounty (I have a nice bunch of Meyer lemons and a few limes as well) I guess I’d better get busy. Lemon curd! Limoncello! MMMMMmmmm! Have I shared my Limoncello recipe with you? It’s easy, it keep forever pretty much, seems to improve with age, and my Italian friends tell me it is a very good digestif!

I don’t see this in my blog archives, so here you go (and if I missed it, well, here you go again!):


10 – 12 lemons (ideally organic, or at least well scrubbed)
1 bottle (fifth/750 ml) decent unflavored vodka
2 C sugar
2 C water

Pour the vodka into a clean wide-mouthed quart jar. Add the zest of the lemons*. Close jar tightly and store in a cool dark place for at least 10 days (but up to a month or even longer). You can sort of twirl the jar every few days to move the zest around but don’t shake it.

When you can’t stand it any longer, make a simple syrup of the sugar and water. Put the water in a pan, add the sugar, stir to blend and bring to a simmer over medium heat. When the syrup is clear, that is, when all the sugar is incorporated, remove from heat and let cool.

Strain the now lemon-infused vodka in equal parts into 2 clean 750 ml bottles, reserve the zest**, add the now cooled syrup to taste to each bottle. Cap tightly, and keep in your freezer. Enjoy in small doses appropriately! Mmmm…

*use the lemon “innards” for lemon curd! mmm…
**you can use the “used” zest as you would fresh, it just won’t be as strong as most of the flavor is now in the vodka

Let us know if you try it and what you think! I think it’s dandy (grin). Stay safe and warm… and enjoy what ever you may celebrate this time of year!



  1. My you have been busy and I love the limoncello recipe. Love the idea of pomelocello, mainly because the name os so brilliant!

  2. I love lemons in anything and your lemoncello sounds simple and wonderful! We brought our lemon trees in last night too – they’re OK most of the time but a cold wind seems to damage some of the younger leaves.

  3. A holiday favorite!

  4. Love the stories! I could almost smell the citrus perfumes in the air! I say bring on the cool weather! I’m oer 80 degrees in December!

  5. I think I have to get a kaffir lime tree. I have strong memories of falling over, quite a few times, in Positano after a Limoncello overdose – It’s sort of put me off it:)

    • I guess no one told you that you’re only supposed to have like a short shot glass of this stuff? Poor Roger… maybe you’ll try it again (in moderation) some day 🙂

  6. I had a surfeit of lemon juice lately (Dennis uses the zest in strips in several really nice cocktails), and had to come up with several recipes to use it up. Didn’t try lemon curd, but did a lemon polenta cupcake thing, and a lemon – greek yogurt thing. I still have a little left. Guess I’ll look up lemon curd!

    • Mmmm cocktails *and* lemon curd. Hmmm… 🙂

  7. […] I am also partial to “digestifs”. Its true – you may recall that I make my own limoncello? Anyway she told me to keep an eye out in case I should happen across […]

  8. I think I can, I think I can.

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