Picking Bush Lemons with Bear
Before moving to Australia, I’d never heard of bush lemons, but now I’m a big fan.
They are a marvelous lemon that grows wild in sub-tropical Australia, and our friend Oma has a huge tree. She gave us a couple of cuttings last year that are growing well but not bearing fruit yet, so we were delighted when she invited us over to pick our fill from her bumper crop.
I love these beauties with their knobbly skins and wonky shapes. They smell absolutely divine and after picking them, so do your hands.
The branches have some rather lethal thorns on them that grow 1-2 inches long, so you have to be careful when picking or you’ll suddenly find yourself ensnared by your hair (me) or snagged by your britches (Bear).
My sundress came in handy for gathering bush lemons as I carefully crept between prickly branches to grasp the big ones that like to hide in difficult-to-reach spots.
Bear dove straight into the heart of the tree, finding a treasure trove of fat lemons in the shady recesses.
Bush lemons have a very thick skin that ranges in color from light yellow to rich orange. While not as juicy as their thin-skinned counterparts, they still have juicy pulp and the oh-so-fragrant skins impart a wonderful zest for flavoring baked goods or cups of tea.
It didn’t take long to start filling our buckets, and we only suffered minor wounds on our hands and arms. It was truly pleasant work as cooling breezes came in over the mountains, birds twittered all around us, and Oma’s and Opa’s dogs came trotting over regularly to say hello.
Soon we had two red buckets filled to overflowing and we hugged Oma tightly for sharing her bounty.
I’m excited to make Whole Lemon Marmalade this weekend and perhaps a Lemon Cream Tart or Danish citronfromage, a delectably light and zesty lemon mousse.
What is your favorite thing to make with lemons? xo