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December 22, 2010

Preserved Meyer Lemons, and a MAJORLY AWESOME Share Our Strength Update

Amaze your friends!

Dazzle fellow food lovers!

Brag that YOU can make something from the Alinea cookbook.

Why?

Because YOU CAN.

A few of the recipes in the book call for preserved Meyer lemon.  Trick is, you need to start them 3 months in advance.  So, knowing I have some springtime recipes that use preserved Meyer lemon, I got them started this past weekend.

Wanna see how easy it is?

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Seriously.  That's it.  You quarter six Meyer lemons, remove the seeds, and mix them with 14 oz. sugar and a pound of kosher salt.  Seal 'em in a bag and stick 'em in the freezer for three months. 

It's how they do it at the #1-ranked restaurant in America.  You can do it, too. 

If you don't want to do a full-on Alinea dish with your preserved lemons, you can get some ideas for how to use them from:

David Lebovitz

Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes

Serious Eats

The Los Angeles Times

The Washington Post

Epicurious

Make them.  You won't regret it.

*   *   *   *   *

Because they've clearly figured out I'm addicted to making my favorite gluten-free brownies topped with homemade dulce de leche these days, the lovely folks at Chicago Metallics donated some brownie-making supplies for me to give away as part of my Share Our Strength campaign.

I got the updated donor list from the team at SOS today, removed family and close friends and jumbled the order of the list, then asked my Twitter followers for a number between 1 and 104 (the number of donors so far).  The 10th number Tweeted back to me corresponded with the line on which was Cathy K. from Brush, Colorado's name.  So, Cathy, we'll be shipping out a brownie pan, batter pitcher, and silicone spatula to you shortly.  Enjoy, and thanks for your donation!

*   *   *   *   *

I've got to run, because there are Noma dishes to cook, Christmas carols to be sung at the White House, and now... somersaults to be done in front of the Capitol Building.

Why?

You guys, we've raised nearly $8,500 for Share Our Strength.  IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.

Do you know how awesome you are?  Do you?  Because you are.  And I love you for it.

Videos and photos to come next week.

Here's a reminder of our donation milestones:

$2,500 -- I will cook something from the Noma cookbook. [Sourcing the ingredients for this has been FUN.]

$5,000 -- I will go Christmas caroling at The White House. [I hope I don't set off the Dork Alarm.]

$7,500 -- I will do a row of somersaults in front of the Capitol Building. [Wonder if I can get one of my favorite Senators to join me?]

$10,000 (our goal, by January 16) -- I will dance along with the Wii videogame The Michael Jackson Experience.

More than $10,000 -- I think I might just have to select one lucky winner for dinner at a certain award-winning restaurant in a certain midwestern city.  My treat.  I think that's a fair trade for us going over our goal, don'tcha think?  No more humilation for me; and the chance to eat an amazing dinner for you. Yeah, sounds about right.

MAJOR BIGTIME SUPER FANTASTIC UPDATE!!! 

Alinea co-owner Nick Kokonas got in touch with me not long after I posted this and said, "Not your treat... our treat. You get 10k and we will pony up a dinner for 4 on us... not two... four. OK? Got that? raise the dough and we will be yours for the taking that night."

So here's the deal: if we raise more than $10,000, there's a dinner for 4 at Alinea that's going to be given away to one lucky winner.

Holy WOW.

*   *   *   *

Thank you for everything you've given so far.  There's a part of me that wants to say I'm blown away by your kindness... but if I'm telling the truth, I've known for a long, long time that you all are a kind, generous, helpful, caring bunch.  I love seeing it come to life again this way.

Thank you so much.

And, thank you to Nick and Grant, whose generosity and support I couldn't do without.

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hey, those lemons are going to be ready on my birthday. just sayin' ...

Woohoo! So glad to hear we've made this progress so fast! I finally have a job, and am thrilled to be able to contribute this year to such an awesome cause. I love that you do this fundraiser, and how fantastic that the folks at Alinea are offering their support with that prize. Great work, Carol!

Yum - I *love* preserved lemon.
I'm so happy the goals are being knocked down like wee bowling pins so quickly! I just donated, myself, so hopefully we'll get to that $10k mark just as fast as the first 5k. ^_^

Got my donation in. Thanks for doing this again, Carol. Great cause.

1) I love preserved lemons, mmm sour goodness.
2) you are awesome. but we already knew that.

I noticed the "12 month" checkbox not long ago. Mighty useful. I know I spend $10 per month on mocha-frappa-whatsis-doohickeys. I'd rather that went someplace more useful. $120 sounded scary, but $10 per month much less so.

Last year I was unemployed and could give only a minimum amount. This year I'm back in the saddle - so to speak - and still recharging the financial batteries BUT am able to give more than last year. This is a really good cause. I have never been hungry, my mother saw to that even in the lean years. Yes, there was Spam surprise but there was dinner on the table. The least we can do as a community is make sure that children don't EVER go to sleep hungry.
Thank you for making this your charity of choice.
Happy holidays to all!

This is really interesting, with the sugar. I have a tree full of Meyer lemons and I think I will try this with at least some of them. Last year I just did salt and those were pretty good too! Happy New Year Carol, and congratulations on the success of your SOS fundraiser!

Love your energy and spirit, Carol. This is a great cause, and your approach to it is wonderful. Hopefully now some lucky contributor will get to experience Alinea for themselves - it truly is a magical place.

When I saw this, I said to myself "well, yeah, sure, it would be easy if you ever saw meyer lemons where you shop." Sure enough... they had them at my produce mart when I went shopping yesterday. A batch of them just went into my freezer.

Came upon some Meyer lemons at my farmers market today and followed your directions, and they're in the freezer now. Quick question: am I supposed to smokey the lemons so they release their juices, or just let them sit and happen on their own?

Thanks much! Happy new year!

Whoops, that was supposed to say "smoosh the lemons" not smokey...aaarrgh, autocorrect!

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