Friday, March 7, 2014

Stomp on those old dried out lemons!

Okay, so here's the scoop.  Marash Girl's mother-in-law Azniv always stomped on her lemons before she squeezed them . . .  Just to soften them up.   Not old dried out lemons, but fresh lemons. (Did she bring this custom with her from Marash?) Then she rinsed the lemons, cut them in half and proceeded to squeeze them on her antique (for her it wasn't antique) glass lemon reamer.   That way she was able to squeeze the very last bits of lemon juice from the rind.

(Marash Girl thinks she does Azniv one better when Marash Girl makes hummus and babaghanoush. . . she peels the lemons, removes the seeds, and puts the lemon -- sans seeds and peel -- into the Cuisinart, blends it up and adds it to the chick pea or eggplant mixture.  Absolutely delicious!  Azniv would approve!) . . . but back to the subject at hand.

Stomping on your lemons is particularly helpful when you've had the lemons around for a long time . . . when the skins become so dried out that the lemon skins become hard . . . impossible to squeeze, (is that what happens to us after a long time?) and everyone in the family is telling you to throw them out. So rather than tossing those forgotten in the corner lemons, stomp on them, rinse them off, squeeze them using your (now) antique glass lemon reamer [whatever you do, don't use a plastic lemon reamer . . . unless you want to change the flavor and the chemical makeup of the lemon juice], and the result will be 'extra-strength' lemon juice.  

Note of warning:  be careful how much you use in your soup, or your soup will be too թթու ["tutou"] for even the hardiest of taste buds to tolerate!


  1. you reference to hummos brought to mind the first time i ever enjoyed hummos with my good friend Ara newly arrived from Beirut and ensconced in the steel towers of a PhD program at MIT. as always we were having fun discussing whatever we were discussing. the plate of hummos just served to us in a restaurant brought forth the comic pedagogue embedded in my look alike omar sharif sitting across from me. with wily dark brooding eyes and a moustache that transfixed one's gaze, he duly seized the moment, the anticipated millennial moment, no doubt, and demonstrated the various ways, driven by the social milieu that one must be versed in eating the ubiquitous and life saving hummos. first, he demonstrated the haute couture method, daintily dabbing, oh so lightly at the tip of the syrian bread, then the worker's approach, leaving a gouge in the innocent face of the moon faced platter, then the piece de resistance, the student, no frills approach, complete with impatience and get to the point and i have a class to run to, a revolution to foment, when he slammed the flat bread on to the scarred face, scooped up half of the remaining moon, stuffed it into his mouth, and laughed with his eyes all the way to my searching for any remaining for me to do likewise. alas, it required a new plate to be served to us for me to demonstrate what a quick study i was. when i called over for the bill the waiter gingerly approached, not with the bill, but with pen and paper in hand, and asked if Mr. Sharif if he might would give him his autograph. of Course, my friend complied, and because he is an honest man, particularly for that part of the world, he signed his MIT ID name and we ended up paying for the bill that miraculously appeared ex nihilo from pocket of the waiter

  2. I can't say I've ever stomped on a lemon ... I'd be afraid I'd break it open. Instead, I learned from my Dad's sister to press it under my hand and roll it back and forth on the counter to the same end. :)

    1. Keeping the lemons at room temperature for a day before you need to use them, and running them under warm water for a bit helps as well.