Confession Wednesday- Preparation Anxiety

You may have noticed that there was no confession Wednesday last Wednesday. That was not on purpose. My goal was to finish the post before I left for my week long in the tropics where I was not to write, not to work, not to worry about a thing, but rather relax, catch some sun, chase toddlers, read three books. I didn’t finish last week’s blog on time for departure but I did manage to fulfill the relaxing, toddler-chasing, etc part.

But wait, you say, that isn’t right; you posted some stuff this past week. Technically, I didn’t. I prepared two little posts, the one on homemade pasta and the one on the asparagus soup before I left; then the vacation-friendly blogspot software posted them for me. I was not posting anything…I was making fresh lime margaritas down in Mexico (recipe to follow).

The confession today is kind of related to limes and kind of related to the blogspot auto-post software and kind of related to my quirky nature and kind of related to making these fantastic lamb meatballs.

Without further bush-beating – I have serious anxiety issues about being prepared- for everything. Maybe it is just my nature, maybe it is the lawyer thing, the mom thing, the woman thing…whatever it is, nothing makes me more nervous than thinking of a scenario I am not prepared for. The contents of my purse can demonstrate that no matter what comes my way, I can handle it.

I am naturally not the most talented, not the smartest, not the most gifted but whatever I lack in any area I vow to make up with hard work and preparation. I have the stamina and the foresight and the drive to work myself into getting wherever I need to get. Generally, that is, last confession Wednesday post excepted. I won’t bore you with the details of my preparation angst – suffice it to say I am a little high-strong about being ready for stuff, all kinds of stuff.

And when I say ready I mean it took one month to preserve lemons only because I was dying to make the aforementioned lamb meatballs and the recipe called for preserved lemons and I am also high-strong about actually following certain recipes- Thomas Keller ones for example- so I couldn’t do without. One month later, the lemons were ready and I was prepared for the lamb meatballs.

Preserved Lemons – adapted from Thomas Keller‘s AdHoc at Home Cookbook

Ingredients: 6 lemons (small ones are better), washed and dried; 1 teaspoon peppercorns; 1 ½ cup kosher salt; 4 bay leaves; juice of 2 lemons or as needed, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil.

Plus, two 1 pint canning jars.

Pour a ¼ inch of salt in each of the canning jars.

Cut each lemon into quarters stopping almost a half an inch before the stem. You want the lemon wedges to stay attached.

Spread the lemons open and salt the inside of the lemons generously.

Three lemons will go in each jar.

Close the lemons back together and start placing one lemon in each jar. Place down slightly and add another lemon, some peppercorns, a bay leaf, half of the remaining salt, add the last lemon, more peppercorns, another bay leaf and salt.

The lemons released some juice from the pressing down. Add more lemon juice to each jar to come to almost the very top of the lemons. Top with olive oil and cover the jar.

Store in a cool dark spot for at least a month and up to 6 months (this is where that second jar is useful!). Refrigerate after opening and use the opened jar within one month.

P.S. The preserved lemons don’t actually take one month to make- they take at most 20 minutes. They need that month (or up to 6 months) to marinate, macerate, cure or whatever they are doing to turn those lamb meatballs into the most amazing little piece of ground lamb I have ever tasted.

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