Monday 26 June 2017

Talking Lemons

Yesterday we made a start on some Elder flower champagne,

 4 lemons were needed, didnt have any of ours left so we had to buy some, 6 for £1 no biggy but I do often think about the wax coating on them and why do they do it, quick google search and this is the answer why 
wax is applied to lemons and other fruit for a couple of simple reasons. Firstly so that they look good on the shop shelves, but more importantly to preserve them and give a longer shelf life.  
Then the question what is the wax another google search 
Some are based on polyethylene, a type of plastic, and some on shellac or beeswax. The latter both have implications for vegans (shellac is derived from the secretions of an insect). 
I think in future it will be unwaxed fruit if we buy any.
Back to the Elder Flower Champagne  
 After washing and scrubbing the lemons they were zested
 Juiced within an inch of there lives
 all the above was added to the Elder Flower mixture, I have posted before how the Champagne is done Champagne Link 
The pips that were left over will be set to germinate into hopefully some new lemon trees 
 That just left the lemon peel and pulp,
Another quick google search and I came across Lemon Vinegar cleaner.

 The peel and pulp was put into a jar top up with white vinegar, it needs to sit for 2 weeks, then strained the lemon leftover will then go on the compost heap, the liquid is diluted 50/50 with water and can decanted into spray bottles to use as a general all round cleaner.
No waste and few questions answered what could be better.


  1. Great post Dawn. I have spotted something at the bottom of the garden which looks like elderflowers so will have to check and make sure.

  2. I could only get waxed lemons and like you we scrubbed them. The elderflowers are nearly all gone here due to the hot weather and lack of water! Google is fantastic I use it all the time.

  3. oh Dawn - i can't wait to see the end result of your elderflower champagne - deelish! thanks for all of the info on the waxing whys and hows. and another thing to do with lemon leftovers is put them in your dishwasher - it keeps the inside of the dishwasher clean and the dishes come out smelling lemony. but i also use lemons and white vinegar for a general cleaner - i really enjoy the smell.

    sending love. your friend,

  4. I tasted some elderflower champagne the other day - it was an interesting flavour experience! I love elderflower cordial and always make some but have never made the champagne. Maybe next year. We usually buy unwaxed lemons. I never thought about what the wax actually is! Glad we have no vegans in the family, this new to me information would make shopping very complicated indeed.

  5. I love how you've used every part of the lemons, how resourceful you are xx

  6. I bought two bottles of elderflower presse in our local supermarket last week - it was a delicious drink.

  7. My lemon tree is coming back, I read on the tinternet to feed citrus liquid grass feed, it killed my lime plant and almost did my lemon. It will be a few years before I see lemons, but I'm ever hopeful.

  8. I use lemons this way too at this time of year. The other week I ended up with some whopping great big lemons never seen anything like it. Mind you they were pricy at 50p a throw (were unwaxed) and I used them for lemoncello 2 litres of. They have not had any in although I keep asking. You can also dry the lemon peel or zest it and dry it and use it in cakes (particularly fruit cakes) and buns etc. and make lemon sugar as well. I particularly like the lemon cleaner its a very good natural degreaser. We don't have any elderflowers left all the flowers have set into berries due to the really hot weather. Although in saying that it looks as though it is going to be a bumper crop on the elderberry front. I am thinking Elderberry jelly and pontack sauce here. The elderberry jelly I use in home made barbecue style ribs and also a little every so often in stir fries its particularly good in the home made barbecue sauce though.All good additions to the pantry and the kitchen. Hope you are keeping well. Kind regards. Pattypan x

  9. If you can't get organic lemons, remove the coating (and pesticide residue on any bought fruit) using 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in half pint water. I think it works out something like 10% vinegar to 90% water. Leave the fruit in this mixture for about half an hour, and then rinse/wipe.

    I haven't done anything Elderflower this year - will save it for the berries instead (allergic to the pollen and have had to have tests at the Hospital so didn't want to jeopardise the readings).

  10. Organic fruit should be all unwaxed, so that's an option. You can also start asking the big supermarkets to leave the wax off. One of our main chains here is Australia has started doing just this at customer pressure. They now proudly advertise unwaxed apples...there is potential for more to follow. Another option is buy from local folk or farmers markets.

  11. Sounds as though it is going to be delicious. Hope you enjoy it!

  12. Hi Dawn :) What a nice drink to make! I used to make wine, but the supplies aren't too quality around here, I had to use boxed grape juice and never got good results. One day I'd like to grow my own grapes. I hope the champagne turns out nice!

    We recently read about the wax coating on citrus fruits too and were quite disgusted as we used to use the zests in drinks and food. Basically we were consuming plastic, gosh, it never ends. We looked around and couldn't find unwaxed fruits so we opt not to buy them unless it's for the inside of the fruit.

  13. Oh the alpacas look so cute now they have been sheared.

    I use a similar peel steeped in white vinegar and use it neat with bicarb sprinkled over to clean my oven. It's better than any commercial cleaner out there-x-

  14. Perfect timimg for me as we used a load of lemons in the preserving we've done recently and I didn't have time at the time, to figure out what to do with the skins so I just bunged them in the freezer until I researched it! Perfect, thanks for sharing this Dawn.

  15. Very interesting about the wax. All of my elders are now in the small green berry stage, so I'm too late to try elder flower champagne! Maybe next year. I will try the lemon peel cleaner (although I usually chop my lemon peels to feed to the goats!)

  16. Greetings! I've been following your weblog for a long time now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!


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