Beginning, Delicious Middles and Never Ending Friendships

Making preserved lemons

I am reveling in the bounty of my summer travels. I have been {literally} around the world, to old homes, to new homes, to sweet hugs of long time friends, and I’ve felt the delicious excitement of discovering new friendships.

Since my “retirement” in January I have been indulging in so many wonderful things that I am starting to feel just a bit guilty about it. You know that “list” you have? The one titled- Someday when I have the time…  ? well, I’ve been given the gift of that time, and I am here to say that ticking off bits of that list has been sheer delight.

My last post was a long 11 days ago, the longest hiatus I have taken thus far. I purposely did not try to post while away this past week so that I could fully enjoy my time. This last trip took me to Portland, OR for the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC), which turned out to be one of the best experiences of my blogging life. {After Portland I went on to visit with my dearest friend, Marie in Walla Walla, but more on that another time}

IFBC had approximately 300 people in attendance, which gave me ample opportunity to interact and get to know some amazing people. The weekend started out with a lovely party at the Barhyte residence, who produce the Saucy Mama collection of mustards, marinades, and sauces. There I met Cathy Pollack from Noble Pig Winery, who became an instant best friend, along with Tiffany Haugen, Kelly Mooney from This Just In, Kristy from The Wicked Noodle, JJ from 84th & 3rd, Marisa from Margaritas in the rain, and some other crazy friend of the Barhyte’s named Steve (what can I say? people can be really interesting when drinking delicious Oregonian wine), but seriously- I was amongst some incredible women who inspired me beyond measure.

That evening set the stage for a weekend of flow and intensity of meeting some wonderful people hand over fist. Some of the other incredible bloggers I met were:  Rodney Blackwell, (the burger junkie), Tara Mayberry, Sunita Budhrani from Serendipitously Sunita, Kathleen Flinn and Eliza Larson from Eliza Domestica.

I was astounded to be amongst by so many people equally passionate about food, AND so incredibly talented. I was simultaneously humbled and gleeful, like a kid in an adult version of Willy Wonka. There was delicious foods coming from all direction, long tables groaning with gifts for us to pick from, and Pinot Noir at every turn. Can you imagine it?

Now this laden and weary traveller is finally home. So weary that I have just woken from my second 2 hour nap of the day. The traveling has ground me to a halt finally, but it has also left me with so much more to tell and share. It will come, over the next few weeks I promise you, it will come. My travels has filled me with ideas from all the love and new friendships that I’ve shared- and now that will get passed on to you.

The recipe today is for making Preserved Lemons, which I put together earlier this summer. I am sharing this post now because it is a lovely symbol of these past weeks. The process of making the lemons requires an incubation time. The ingredients are combined, and then left to relax to meld and transform. After a few weeks you have something delicious that adds a brightness to your meals, and adds a different dimension. Preserved Lemons are an ingredient which is better than the sum of it’s parts developed over time.

That’s me. I am better for all my travels, conversations and shifts in perspective. As the calendar clicks past Labor Day weekend, heralding the end of “summer”, I am filled with new thoughts and recipes to share with you. Ideas, thoughts and inspiration has been filling me up, and I promise it will come spilling out onto these pages.

Preserved Lemons
approximated 4 cups
12 small fresh lemons
1 c coarse salt
Sterile quart size jar with lid
Wash the lemons thoroughly and cut into quarters. 
Sterilize jar and lid by either boiling in hot water for a few minutes, then draining face down, placing in a hot oven for 10 minutes, or running through a dishwasher with a sterilizing setting. Allow to cool.
Rub the lemons all over with the salt and pack into the jar as tightly as possible. Add plenty of salt to cover and allow some to sink to bottom of the jar.
Not all the lemons will fit. Juice the rest of the lemons and fill the jar to the top with the juice to cover.
Sprinkle any remaining salt over the top, then secure lid.
Store on the counter atop a plate for approximately a week. Each day flipping over the jar. After a week move to the fridge and allow to continue to marinate for another few weeks. 
After approximately a month your lemons will be ready. Rinse before using.


  1. A lovely post..miss you! We did have fun…too bad it had to end. So glad u are enjoying your freedom.

  2. I love how you tie in preserved lemons with your fabulous trip. Indeed, we’re all better for it. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you at IFBC – glad your weekend was so fruitful!

  3. Thank you both- IFBC was such a blast- Looking forward to next year!

  4. Beautiful shots, these preserved lemons looks amazing. It was so great to meet you, Gail! Thanks for the shout-out and look forward to seeing you at next year’s event!


  1. […] last the unveiling! I present to you the preserved lemons I put up this past summer. They’ve been patiently marinating in the back of my fridge all […]