There will be a lovely village wedding in July. Kim and I are doing what we envision an old Tuscan style wedding by way of a Provence celebration held in Corrales would be like. A long table in the garden, for a hundred people, bread and wines in carafes on the table, Moroccan candlelit lanterns in the trees for dancing under. One of the dinner choices will be roasted salmon with North African spices and pickled lemons. I've already had dinner tonight-but just thinking about that salmon makes my mouth want it! I'm going to cook it over coals because I love the smokiness and I've already begun the pickled lemons.
Siddig's beautiful mother Gloria first showed me how to do these. What an interesting accomplished woman she was, and I was always slightly in awe of this woman who left England in the 60's to go to the Sudan on a vacation that ended up as a life. Or one of her cat lives, anyway. Once she saw Siddig's father on the dock, as she described it to me, she was done. In love. Not so easy in those times, marrying a black man and folding into a lifestyle that has a built in distrust for outsiders. But she lived there in love and left with love and had all the experiences from that time dancing around her at all times like fairy lights. I got to learn all sorts of things- the proper names of things in the garden, North African cooking techniques, and how to gluttonously eat the first asparagus of the year-a whole plate of it- as lunch with ice cold wine and nothing else.
So, in case you want to do these lemons, wash about 3 lemons that will fit snugly in a jar. Run the jar through a dish washer to sterilize it [or boil it]. Fill the bottom of the jar with course salt and make two cuts in the lemons, but leave them in tack at one end. Fill this opening in the lemon with salt, at least a tablespoon full, and stuff it into the jar. Repeat with the lemons till you have a tight fit, and cover them with lemon juice. Screw the top on and leave in a dark place for at least 6 weeks. The lemons will last about a year, and of course if you use one out of a jar, refrigerate the rest. When you use the lemon in a dish you rinse the salt off of it and you can use just the rind or both the fruit and the rind. Chicken with olives and pickled lemons is a wonderful use for these as well. Gloria would be very pleased.