Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March is holding its breath

March is doing its usual thing. On again, off again. Snow, warm spell, slush, freeze, sun, rain. I like it.

And when there is a sale on daffodils, you jump on it. Buy them in tight bud. They do not last long.

Behind the daffodils, now very scented,  is my multi-stage, work-in-progress lemon syrup. Meyer lemons and sugar in equal weight. No water. The sugar draws the juice out. And then I added fir twigs, still green and fresh and fragrant, and after that, foraged juniper berries and juniper flowers. When it seems right I will strain it and bottle it.

The juniper in question is Juniperus virginiana, commonly known as eastern red cedar, and I found these trees along the Hudson, on a drive upstate. Some carried last year's fruit, some were in bud, with pollen about to burst - it is very aromatic.

Update: You can see the bubbly fermentation a few days later on Instagram.


  1. March is always a funny month weather wise. We had an unexpected light dusting of snow last night and it's freezing and very windy today, but we are forecasted to be in the sixties tomorrow. Your daffodils are so pretty - makes me want to go out and buy myself a bunch!

  2. No freeze and thaw here...just snow, snow, and more snow - it's been snowing pretty much every day for the past few weeks and I'm tired of shoveling!!

  3. You've captured March - adore your blog. Can you tell us how to make the meyer lemon syrup? I have juniper berries and 3 fat meyers on my dwarf tree and the promising sight of half a dozen buds! My yard in northern New Jersey is covered in snow but we have the pleasure of cardinals pecking nervously at seeds while the downy woodpecker enjoys a block of suet clamped to the rose arch.

  4. PS I know you said lemons and sugar in equal weight- do you mean mass or equal on the scale? Does it matter?

  5. Hi Hallie - thank you! Weigh the lemons. Weight out the same amount of sugar. Combine in a jar, in layers. Leave for 4 days. Add your juniper and fir (if you have). Leave until the mixture is quite bubbly with fermentation - 3 - 6 days - stirring daily. Strain and bottle.

  6. Could honey be used in place of the sugar? I’m tempted...

    1. I don't see why not. More or less the same, health wise, but the flavor would be different...

    2. Does Honey have natural fermentation inhibitors?


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