10lbs of Lemons

Awhile ago I was reading the internet as I often do and a preserved lemon recipe was linked in a blog completely unrelated to what I was reading. I was sidetracked remembering the absolute powerhouse of flavor I tasted the first time I had preserved lemon and cheese on a cracker. So I poked around looking at recipes and asked my friend for her recipe. She sent me a link which led me to the Lemon Ladies, which led me to buying 10lbs of Meyer Lemons. It was the glasses chain that sent me over the top I think. I got an email from the Lemon Ladies that said the lemons would be picked that weekend and in the mail that Sunday. Thursday I had this glory.

My bounty

I invited some friends over and started on Sunday. 8hrs of lemon love. I have preserved lemons started. It needs a few days of shaking before it’s submerged in it’s own juices and can go in the fridge to become amazing (hopefully). What is amazing definitely is Lemon Caramel sauce and Lemon Curd. I made two batches of each, the first was 95% Jess’s tutelage, but the second time I did ok on my own. I’m not a baker so I’m not sure how I’m going to consume them but I’m hoping it’s not just me and Joe and a spoon, but that is highly likely if I don’t find the solution soon. We also dehydrated some peels and slices. Here’s what was left after some lemons and lemony things were shared or consumed.

dehydrated skins, lemon curd, lemon caramel, lemon preserves, lemons, blood oranges, oh my

Today I have a 3 fruit marmalade to finish. The picture below may look like sangria vomit, but is actually a grapefruit, a blood orange and a meyer lemon softening over the course of 24hrs.

not sangria vomit

my transcription of 3 Fruit Marmalade recipe

This is from the book, Marmalade, which has a wonderful use of spot varnish and thermography to highlight the great photography which pleases this print production manager very much. The recipes and writing aren’t bad either.

I still have quite a few blood oranges and lemons. I’m not sure I have the energy to make more than one marmalade over the work week, so I think I’ll have more preserved lemons and perhaps more dehydrated lemon slices. If the blood oranges keep I may make blood orange marmalade over the weekend. Or give it to Joe to make add to a mead that has a beautiful storage solution in it’s future.


Maybe I could do a whole artist book on people and their “smart” devices

Saturday night I was on the #8 bus (Halsted) for a long long time trying to get across town. Once we went past Greektown I had a moment of bemusement as I mentally took in the scene of personal security. Several people were immersed in their phones causally placed loosely at their knees and another person was counting the money in his wallet, taking out the bills and organizing them. A  part of me was glad they all felt safe to have their private affects so open, but most of me was incredulous.

Anyway. I nailed this guys hair. It had such planes and angles. He was irresistible in the hair’s plasticity. I am happy that smartphones make the cta riders better models for me when I can manage to draw.



My Topiary

Often I’ll look at something I wrote and see a gross repeat of a turn of phrase or word. I need an editor on my shoulder, a very small one.

Subconscious Surveillance

I remember making this drawing. I was in the end seats facing to the center of the car. A guy came in at Roosevelt and began his sad story. As I started to feel more and more embarrassed for the him I drew this surveillance camera. It sort of surprised me. Why is that my subconscious response?

I guess I was trying to avoid eye contact. I always feel so conflicted. It takes such guts to do such a performance so it’s hard to believe it’s a scam, but it’s probably a scam? Also it’s an agressive thing to do to people trapped in a steal box moving several stories up in the sky, all collectively trying to keep some semblance of peace until we can get out and breathe a little easier with a wider circle of personal space.


This is my interpretation of the loudspeaker message that the brown and red line riders across from me had a puzzle through. It was like seeing bumper-to-bumper on the other side of the highway – a heady mixture of survivor guilt & glee.

Remember the terrible heat wave in July?

I left out man in my missive….middle age dorky asian man, I don’t usually correct my omissions/misspellings/grammar faux pas, but that one is important to point out.

Under the Stevenson Expressway

Yesterday I saw a man wearing a comically large sombrero under the Stevenson expressway overpass. I added this siting to my mental list of things enjoyable sightings in that particular locale. Including man running in a cow suit and a woman behind him with a lantern. Graphitti that says “Your boss needs you”

Me and Tina at the Cermak

I was at the grocery story tonight, picking out some canned tomatoes listening to Tina Turner. I heard two men behind me and picked up that they were speaking Italian and then in English “Good To Me“. It always amuses me to hear a foreign language and then in the middle hear something secular and particularly American in English. I turned and it was one of the managers who is always friendly, chatty and likes to cook. One time he was pleased Joe and I were buying a two liter can of olive oil.  I turned back to my tomato choices and re-appreciated how I can get good canned tomatoes from Italy.


 Lately when I see a woman in a headscarf, I think about how the weather is or isn’t compatible with this look. Some ladies really do a great job though. I guess if you do something every day and you’ve lived in this sort of climate, you figure out how to own it and they do. The guy I drew in blue just looked like a goof with his forehead and hair triumphantly expanding over his fleece headband. I guess he sort of owned that too in a way.

Coming home on a late Friday night

There was a typical mix of young revelers and tired working class sustaining a resigned dignity among the drunken revelers.