Now we live in California, which is not like The Land of My Birth (New York City). One way in which we are daily reminded of ths is by looking at the lemon tree in our back yard (another way is by the actual possession of a back yard, but that's another story). Our lemon tree is relatively small, in robust health, and wildly productive. There had been a good deal of discussion about what kind of lemon tree it is, because the lemons produced on it vary in size from garden-variety supermarket lemon size to something closing in on the size of a grapefruit. Further, these lemons are frequently oddly shaped, with folds and tumorous lumps. They are very thick skinned (more than half an inch of peel) and sweet fleshed, and wonderfully fragrant. The Little Old Lady who used to own this house was famed for her lemon meringue pies. A visitor a week or so ago suggested that they were Ponderosa, or near-Ponderosa lemons (I'm flashing back to Lorne Greene here, and showing my age once again).
Regardless of their nametag, I have lemons, and thus have undertaken all manner of lemon-related cooking. Yesterday I made a dozen half-pints of lemon marmalade. Since a friend had commented that his wife has now ordered her fourth copy of PETTY TREASON, and that this seemed to qualify her for a part-time position in my aggressive yet charming marketing staff, I offered to send her a jar of lemon marmalade. Lemons are plentiful; money (as with most writers) a little less so. So I wasted half an hour making up labels for the marmalade: "Miss Tolerance's Best Lemon Marmalade • Sweet • Tart • Not too Bitter.
" I have decided to send some to various people around the country (as soon as I can find suitable boxes and bubble wrap. Perhaps there is marmalade in your future!