Girl picked a couple of gallons of lemons. Our tree is so heavy that the branches are dragging on the ground. She told me she wants me to make lemonade. That's an awful lot of lemonade and no, we aren't setting up a lemonade stand during the winter. I have a surprise for her. She is going to dry the lemons.
I'm cut them up using my new mandolin slicer. When girl gets home from school today she is going to lay them all out on the dehydrator trays. We will dry them at about 135 for a day. They have to dry to a brittle crispy state or they will rot. Once they are dried they can be stored as is in a canning jar or they can be put into the blender and blended into a powder. You can do the same thing with limes and oranges or any other citrus you may have. Not only do I dry the nice looking center slices but I also dry the ends.
What do you do with dried lemons? Make lemonade. Eat them straight, although I like to sprinkle a little sugar on the ones I'm going to eat straight. You can put one slice into your water just to give it a little lemon flavor. It works well in tea, too. You can use it for cooking. I'll put the dried lemons on my fish as it's cooking. If I'm making muffins I can cut up the pieces and mix into the batter. It's past Christmas time but I've had friends who've hung lemons and oranges from the tree. It's really pretty.
What about the ground lemons? Mix with pepper to make your own lemon pepper. This also goes well into cake or muffin batter.
My favorite? Using the dried ends of the lemons. You get a canning jar. Put in a handful of dried ends. Fill the jar with vinegar. Let it sit for a month. You then dilute this vinegar/lemon solution with water and use it as a cleaner. Works great, smells great.