Monday, February 8, 2016

Lemon Week: Storing Lemons and Lemon Juice

When life gives you lemons...TONS of them...what do you do?

Okay, now that we have that infectious and awesome song going, let's get on with the rest of this with the proper mood...

If you live in Arizona or have connections to the Phoenix valley, it's likely that you know that it's full on lemon season there! 

Last week a friend and her sister picked over 500 lemons and she brought a bunch home for our church women's group for a lemon night. We all got to take home bags and bags of lemons and have been thoroughly enjoying them. 

So this week I thought I would do 3 posts all about lemons. Today, how to store lemons and the juice to use. Wednesday, 3 recipes with lemons that I LOVE. And Friday, cleaning with lemons. I've learned some new tricks this past week, and am loving all them lemony goodness around the house. 

So first off, storing the lemons. 

At the meeting, it was suggested with the excess whole lemons that you can't use right away to put them in freezer bags and store frozen. Then when you need one, you pull it out and either let it thaw on the counter or microwave it for 20 seconds or so (more or less depending on your microwave). One of the presenters even swears that she gets more juice out of her lemons after they have been frozen than she does with a lemon that hasn't been frozen. I haven't tested this out thoroughly, but the lemons she used in her demonstrations (which had all been frozen) were insanely juicy. Lemons in the freezer generally last 3-4 months. 

Don't have the freezer space, but want your lemons to last longer than a week on the counter or 2-3 weeks in the fridge? 

Before freezers were a common household item, lemons were sometimes stored in jars of water for use within a month. The water helps "seal" the rinds and pores so that the lemon can't dry out or go bad as fast. I've done this before and it really does work! And they look so pretty on your counter. 

If all you're wanting is the juice though, and aren't going to be using the lemon rinds for anything, a quick and easy method is to freeze the lemon juice. Now, you can freeze it in freezer bags, but then you  have to thaw out the whole bag when you need some. I've seen the idea of freezing the juice in ice cube trays and then transferring the cubes to a freezer bag. Inevitably though the cubes end up sticking and you still have to hack off cube chunks. 

One idea that was shared that I thought was genius and used this past week was to get small disposable cups to freeze your lemon juice in. I couldn't find the little paper cups (condiment size or toddler drinking size), but I did find these great plastic storage cups with lids! I poured 2 TBS of juice into each container, put the lid on, and stuck them in the freezer overnight. In the morning they were ready to throw into a freezer bag and now I have "fresh" and real lemon juice ready to pull out for anything that needs it! Super easy and efficient! 

I'm pretty excited about the lemons and lemon juice in my freezer! The lemon flavor and smell is such a perfect pick me up this time of year when we're all starting to get tired of winter and looking forward to the warmth again! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Pinstrosity: Dress Dyeing Day

Just in case you thought we didn't have Pinstrosities happen still...

A while back I bought a dress online thinking I could maybe use it as a maternity dress (and if I got the guts up, for maternity pictures) and then later as a nice dressy dress. I fell in love with it online and couldn't wait to get it in my hands!
At the time there were no customer photos to show what it looked like "in real life", so I decided to go for it. It was only $13 after all. 

Well, it came, I opened it and I was quite disappointed. The lace and the skirt were two different colors of white! And this isn't a dress made for bosoms or a long torso. The waist sat right under my bust line, making it look more empire waist-ish than it was supposed to. And the skirt...see through, with a tiny little mid thigh built in slip. And I'm pretty sure the skirt isn't as full as the one pictured. It's flowy, but not that flowy. 

But it wasn't bad. So I put it in the closet and figured I pull it out in a few months and see if maybe I was just being overly picky. 

So I pulled it out this week and my reaction is still similar. Not as disappointed, but still not in love with it. 

And then I had an idea. 

I've been searching for a classy orange dress. Something with sleeves, and bosom coverage. Orange is not a color most think of as classy, and it's hard to make look classy. Mostly all I was finding were dresses designed to be bright, eye catching, and provocative. 

But, what if I took this dress and dyed it orange and added a built in slip?! It wouldn't help the waistline issue, but maybe it'd help make the rest look a little better. I was sure I had a solution. 

So I bought two bottles of Rit Dye and followed the instructions to a T. I couldn't wait to open the washer and see my gorgeous dress, all dyed....


The splashes on the washer lid were definitely orange, but the dress definitely was not. I'd even call this coral. But not orange.

Now I'm not against pink, and this was a lovely shade of pink. But it was like thinking you were getting a big gulp of water only to find out it was clear Kool Aid. Not what you were geared up for or wanted. I wanted orange.

So, I bought a bottle of Yellow Rit Dye and this time did a sink dye, hoping that would turn my pink dress into a lovely shade of orange. 

Well, I now am the owner of a

PINK dress. Which is a lovely shade. But it's not orange. :(

In's still basically the exact same shade as it was when it came out of the orange dye (below left is after the orange dye and below right is after the additional yellow dye bath).

The yellow dye didn't take at all! 

I'm still going to see what I can do as far as alterations and adding a slip, but this is one project that definitely didn't go how I wanted it to.

Luckily the dye did take evenly and it's not splotchy or weirdly colored. This could have been worse. But I'm still on the lookout for a classy orange dress.