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The Last of the Lemon Glut

The cockatoos have begun stripping the bush lemon trees.  They are very thorough and very wasteful.  In a few days they’ll all be gone. The geese like sitting under the tree in the shade and they’re a bit perplexed at all the half-eaten lemons lying around. For some reason the cockatoos don’t seem to want the Eureka lemons – the bush lemons are sweeter – more like Myer lemons – and perhaps that’s it.  So although we will have Eureka lemons all year round, it’s the end of the lemon glut.

We’ve been eating lots of lemon based recipes and the neighbours have been taking buckets and we have a bucketful in the car to take up to our daughter’s.  I’ve cleaned the oven and the laundry tubs and the brass vase. I’ve made a dozen jars of lemon skin in methylated spirits to use for cleaning and a jar of lemon skin in vodka to use for massages. I’ve soaked all the luffas in lemon juice and put them out in the sun to bleach (working on the theory that it used to be a favourite hair blonding technique, so maybe it might work on luffas?)

Lemon skins in methylated spirits.  The spirits will go yellow and the lemon skins white as the oils dissolve out.  I add a dash to cleaning vinegar (bottom shelf in the cleaning aisle in my local supermarket) to make a year’s supply of lovely smelling, potent cleaner for sink, stove, tubs, surfaces and floor. Then I can skip that aisle all year.

I use cheap vodka in place of the metho to make the same kind of lemon-oil-in-alcohol solution for rubbing on aches and pains, and for repelling mozzies and sandflies.  I used to use rubbing alcohol from the chemist, but vodka is cheaper 🙂

They’re lovely lemons, but I think I’ve reached the point where the cockatoos can have the rest.

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • celia August 24, 2012, 5:08 pm

    One day, I hope we will have a lemon glut too. Then I will come back to this post and make all these lovely things! 🙂

  • Jane Tudor August 24, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Awww I just juiced about 20 lemons yesterday to make lemon cordial and freeze. I then threw the skins in the compost bin (the chooks would have complained if I gave them that much peel!!). If only you had posted this yesterday morning. Oh well I’ll have to head to my neighbour with a box of eggs to do another trade so I can make the lemon methylated spirits. Do you then put it in a spray bottle or just pour some onto a cleaning cloth. Most of my cleaning is done with ‘elbow grease’ and a bit of my home-made soap. Thanks again for a great post. 🙂

  • Linda August 25, 2012, 8:01 am

    Hi Jane, I fill a pump spray bottle with half lemon oil metho and half cleaning vinegar and use that for surfaces. And for the floor, I just put a dash of each in a bucket of hot water. Works a treat.

  • Linda August 25, 2012, 8:02 am

    You have the lemon tree, in a few years you will have the glut. It’s a very nice glut to have!

  • Marijke August 25, 2012, 8:56 am

    I’ve made a lot of jars with preserved lemons (in oil/lemon juice/salt solution). The skin becomes tender after a month or so, fantastic sliced and stirred through couscous, marinades,… Will try it next through hummus. Keeps for a long time in the pantry. Very quick and easy to make.

    I also preserved some peels of the tangelo glut, boiled in a sugar and juice solution, they are fantastic used in choc-chip cookies or cakes. The sugary cooking liquid has been used as a cordial.

  • Linda August 25, 2012, 9:18 am

    I made preserved lemons too, but mine use only salt? (plus some optional spices) http://witcheskitchen.com.au/preserved-lemons/. I love the sound of candied tangelo peel. That might be nice with orange peel too.

  • Liz August 25, 2012, 8:54 pm

    I spent much of my teenage years squeezing lemon juice on my hair, whether it was the juice or he sun that lightened it I still don’t know. REgardless though this post has given me some great uses for my mums excess crop – thankyou!

  • Barbara Good August 26, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Wow so many great uses for lemons, my oven needs a clean soon, I’ll give your lemon and salt mix a try.

  • Sandy August 31, 2012, 5:04 pm

    Hi Linda

    I’ve got orange and mandarin skins soaking in vinegar as an experiment for a cleaner. How does meth work better than vinegar?

  • Linda August 31, 2012, 5:10 pm

    Hi Sandy,
    I’ve done them in vinegar too, and that works too, but I think the oils in the skin are soluble in alcohol. The skins go white in metholated spirits and the meths yellow. If I then mix it in vinegar, I think I get the best of both worlds.

  • ore October 13, 2014, 1:41 pm

    Hi there! Is rubbing the oil mixed with vodka okay for your skin? does the alcohol totally evaporate>

  • Linda October 16, 2014, 9:42 am

    The alcohol totally evaporates. It probably wouldn’t be good for your skin if you used it every day, but it works wonders for aches and pains.

  • Laura April 22, 2016, 9:12 am

    Have you tried this with the lemon tree leaves? I had tried lemon tree leaves tea and the aroma was extremely nice and seem to produce some oils. I’m curious to know if it would be possible to extract anything from the leaves itself.

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