I've had a life-long love affair with a fruit — and not just any fruit: The glorious LEMON.
Growing up, I would listen to my relatives sitting around the table after dinner continuing to sip their tea with lemon and fresh mint (it grew through the concrete on my grandmother’s back porch). Then, as if to say “Ok, it’s time to get up from the table,” the adults would pull the wedge of lemon out of their tea glass, turn it inside out, and eat the tea-drenched fruit. At first try, this ritual made me pucker. But in short time I declared the fruit to be delicious! Hence, the love affair began.
As I hit my young teen years a fabulous new product hit the market — Loves Fresh Lemon Cologne. It was as if my fancy for this fruit was forecasting a trend. OMG — it was my scent!
I began to doodle pictures of lemons in my favorite yellow “flair” pen. And then a new big item hit the market — Sun-In (used for lightening your hair). But who needed to spend money on that when I had my trusty friend the lemon? I would squeeze the lemon juice straight into my hair without fear of turning it green or orange! (I still use it to naturally highlight my hair today.)
Fast forward to today — I still love lemons in my water and tea; I draw them (most lately with watercolors), squeeze on seafood of all sorts, and decorate with them!
So, let’s talk about DECORATING WITH LEMONS! Honestly, there are too many ideas to share in this one blog post so I will stick to some easy basics.
Get creative with lemons! When she lacked money for "fancy" decorating, my grandmother would create a beautiful centerpiece on her dining room table... with a simple bowl filled with lemons!
My grandmother knew that interesting bowls & pitchers make great display containers. Lemons and other fruit are much less expensive than most floral arrangements but achieve the same fresh, attractive effect. If you like, add some twigs of fresh greenery or colorful blooms tucked in between the fruit.
A stack of lemons makes an easy, cheap, and impressive arrangement. Tall, clear glass containers filled with the fruit make a great centerpiece for tables and buffets or for adding a fresh touch to a side table. You can find them quite inexpensive at dollar stores or in craft stores.
Lemons pop against greenery in a wreath or on a table runner. They even can be used as a whimsical place card holder.
And don’t forget the inside of the fruit — lemons have a beautiful color, texture, and fragrance.
The uses for lemons other than decorating are many (just Google it!). Here are a few of my favorites:
* Natural and safe bleach for delicate fabrics
* Deodorizer for trash, fridge, onion smells, and a make-shift personal deodorant * Wart removal * Insect repellant (also keeps roaches away) * Keep fruit from turning brown
* Hangover relief. Drinking lemon in warm water or tea not only will re-hydrate you but also helps balance your pH levels and helps replace vitamin C lost in over-indulging.
So, as we head into the dog days of summer, remember the lemon is a fruit for all seasons. Whether eating, drinking, cleaning or decorating — whether life gives you lemons or lemonade — enjoy this beautiful, versatile fruit!