Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Top Ten List for Lemons

Recently my friend Yvonne gave me a bunch of lemons and limes from her tree.  I took 6 for myself but ended up with the whole bag.  Apparently she had already left a bunch in the office break room, and she didn't want to bring these home.  So I took them to a group meeting and passed out the rest.  But I still had the 6, so i thought I would put together a top ten list that I like to use lemons for.  There are a zillion uses for lemons so feel free to share your tips as well. 

This list is not inclusive - just a few creative ideas, and staying away from the obvious no brainers like lemon bars, lemonade, lemon juice, lemon water, etc...

1. y'all know I love B&B applications so the first has to deal with EXFOLIATION!  You can mix lemon pulp and brown sugar to exfoliate and clean your feet.  After rubbing the pulp and brown sugar on your tootsies, rinse and follow up with your favorite moisturizer.  A nice variation on this is to soak your feet in a bowl of milk, and then use lemon wedges on the calluses and rough patches.  The lactic acid of the milk, followed by the citric acid in the lemons will exfoliate your feet and whiten yellowed toenails.  How's that for a two-fer?
2. Kill bad breath.  Squeeze a lemon for the juice.  gargle with it and say good bye to halitosis (temporarily).  If you're at a restaurant, you can put the lemon wedge from your water or iced tea in your mouth and rub it on your tongue and teeth. 
3. Speaking of odors, you can also get rid of fish, garlic and onion smells from your hand by soaking your hands in lemon juice for a few minutes, or cutting a lemon open and rubbing it in your hands.
4. Brighten your white laundry by adding 1/2 Cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle of a normal laundry load.
5. Soothe a sore throat - my favorite combo involves ginger, water, lemon, and honey.  This hot drink will soothe your throat, provide vitamin C, and clears up some of the congestion.
6. Minimize food oxidation - don't know what to do when your apples, pears, or gaucamole turns brown?  Prevent or minimize the browning by sprinkling with lemon juice before serving.  Also works with potatoes and cauliflower (i.e., keeps them white).
7. Clean your microwave - Squeeze your lemon to obtain the juice and place the juice in a bowl with 1 cup of water.  Microwave for a five to ten minutes.  The condensation from the lemon water makes the microwave easier to wipe down and also deodorizes it.
8. Garbage disposal  cleaner- Take the lemon from #7 and cut it up into smaller pieces.  Run those pieces in your garbage disposal to clean and freshen it. 
Image from Penny Sanford Sikes, 2009
9. Air Freshener - This one is a bit more crafty: You'll need a lemon, cloves, ribbon, a nail, and thumbtack.  Use the nail to poke holes in the lemon.  Then stick the cloves into those holes to bring out its fragrance. Fold the ribbon over and tack its ends to the end of the lemon to make a loop You can hang your new air freshener or pomander.  This can also be done with an orange or a lime.  Visit Penny's blog for a step by step tutorial.  
10. Refresh your cutting board - To get rid of the smell and help sanitize the cutting board, rub it all over with the cut side of half a lemon or wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle.

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