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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sweet Lemon of Mine

It may seem like an odd time of year to be celebrating "The Lemon." I mean it isn't as if today is National Lemon Day or anything like that. I'm not even sure there is an actual day to celebrate lemons. Perhaps, there should be:) On this blog, I have celebrated National Lemon Juice Day which, btw, is August 29th. I may have even included a recipe for Lemonade Champagne Punch from the book The Best Summer Drinks by Ray Foley. Way, way back in 2007 I also celebrated the patent of the lemon squeezer by African American inventor John T. White. Just try to imagine lemonade punch without some sort of lemon juice extractor:)

The custom of serving a slice of lemon with fish originally had nothing to do with taste. It dates to the Middle Ages, when it was believed that if a fishbone was swallowed, the juice from the lemon would dissolve it.

On that post, not only did I discuss Mr. White but also the many health benefits of lemons and lemon juice. The post hasn't been updated since 2007, so I'll leave the link for it down below if you want to check it out. You just might, because, there is also a recipe for Lemon Cake Top Pudding that is simply divine:) The unusual recipe will produce a "magical" cake top with a layer of custard below. I was actually going to bake it for today's post but...I got a bit side tracked:) If you just want to see the done recipe, pop on over to Jady's blog. She actually baked it and loved it! (Unfortunately, Jady is no longer posting on her blogs)

You see, the day after Christmas is National Candy Cane Day! Well, that makes sense at least:) Since I won't be "seeing" you all for National Candy Cane Day, I just had to let you know about the day. What's the big deal you might ask? Well, first off, The Candy Cane is swirled in Christmas tradition.

And second of all, they're sweet! What better way to enhance that refreshing tart flavor of "Mr. Lemon" than to present "him" with some sweetness:)

Those tiny "packages" under the lemon bowl are actual Holiday cards that have been neatly folded into boxes. They are just adorable. I must have around 100 of them for all occasions. I bought them snuggled inside a huge antique candy jar eons ago. I've actually used them for gifts, especially jewelry:)

Candy Cane sweetness? Why of course!

Sorry about that candy cane flavored powdered sugar glowing on the glasses. These glasses are tall fluted glasses and I sprinkled some of the candy cane flavored powdered sugar in the bottom. Although it looked festive, what a pain cleaning those narrow stems! Not advisable:) However, the ambience of sipping a candy cane straw immersed in that cold pungent flavored lemon, is simply remarkable! You really should consider the Lemon Peppermint Stick one day:) And don't wait until summertime either.

They are so simple to make too. I even found an adult Peppermint Lemon Stick Cocktail recipe, should you be so inclined:)

The candy canes I used for today's Lemon Peppermint Sticks were bought at the local grocery store. They are called Bob's Old Fashioned Peppermint Sticks. When I flipped the box over, I spied The Tradition of the Candy Cane which I scanned above. Next, you just scrub the lemons with warm water. A quick roll is good too to loosen up that tangy juice:) I cut off the top of the lemon and made small slits at the top in the form of the letter X. Just enough to be able to stick the cane cane in the lemon. I snapped off the top and bottom of the candy canes because they were candied solid. After you do that, just give it a firm push and you're on your way to a Candy Cane Lemonade! It make take a while for your "sweet straw" to absorb the lemony goodness but be patient, the peppermint stick will begin to dissolve in the lemon juice and flow sweet, spicy lemony goodness:)

Did you notice those peppermint snowed cookies? I must admit, I did get a bit carried away with the whole peppermint and lemon flavor marriage. I figured if the tastes was so yummy in the lemon sticks, why not in the cookies too? I was right, think peppermint patty without the chocolate. Oh don't get me wrong, Peppermint Pattys are one of this "gals" favorite treats but let me tell you, these cookies are simply delectable and oh so festive!

I harvested and adapted this recipe for Russian Tea Cakes from the Betty Crocker Christmas Book published in 2006. Some of you may recognize the recipe as Butterballs, Snowballs or Mexican Wedding Cookies.

One thing is for sure, they are rich, buttery and oh so delectable when you add a bit of pulverized candy canes. (not too much though:) I actually combined these two variations and made them into one! I also candied some lemon peels and used just a tinge of the syrup in the mix. ooo, la, la. If I were to ever bake these again, I think I would add some pulverized candied lemon peel too:) I didn't have any lemon extract so I substituted with half as much lemon juice. A teaspoon of lemon juice probably would have worked too:)

I have to tell you though, I posted much the same recipe, (I didn't actually make them at that time,) for National Candy Cane Day a while back. That recipe, from The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas by Jeff Smith, has a cream cheese filling. I also considered baking them with a bit of lemon tang but when I saw these variations I just went with them. Those Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies are one of the most pinned recipes from my blog! Which reminds me, if you're of the notion of "playing" with Peppermint Sticks in the next weeks, just look at all the goodies you can create. I have my eye on that Candy Cane Vodka! (I'm thinking Peppermint White Russian:) But, hey, don't forget the lemon!

What's up next on my Peppermint Lemon repertoire? Hot Buttered Lemonade! My plan is to add some crushed candy canes to the sugar in the recipe and serve it with a Peppermint Stick. Chances are I'll be sipping while I do some blog hopping this evening:) Enjoy, Louise

Resources
1. Squeezing the Lemon (previous post)
2. Peppermint Cheesecake

47 comments:

  1. I love lemon and peppermint, but never thought of them as a couple!

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  2. Hi Louise,

    This is interesting... We never eat candy cane with lemons. Nevertheless... Cute!

    Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 to you and your family. Blog again and more??? next year :D Cheers!

    Zoe

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    1. I would never have thought to mix the two either, Zoe but it just seemed like the time. It really works rather well:) A very Merry Christmas to you and yours Zoe. enjoy your family this holiday season and we'll "see" you next Happy New Year!!! (I am planning on trying to add a day more of blogging, we'll see and thank you:)

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  3. Hot Buttered Lemonade sounds interesting. I love lemon and this sounds really intriguing - you know I'll be trying it at some point. And may add a bit of bourbon or rum to it. ;-) Fun post! Thanks. And if I don't have a chance to say it on Wednesday, Merry Christmas.

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    1. I was actually thinking bourbon for the Hot Buttered Lemonade, John. But, if I were to add the candy canes, I think rum would be a better choice. We'll have to give it a try and see:) I'll "see" you Wednesday because I know you have a yummy drink planned for Santa and Christmas Eve but, just in case, Merry Christmas to You and Mrs. K.R!

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  4. I never knew the symbolism behind the candy cane. That's awesome!

    It's me, Miranda, by the way.

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    1. I thought it was pretty awesome too Miranda. Perhaps it's time for a Candy Cane tale:)

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  5. My, such festivities! Where does one start? I had to chuckle - the lemon as "the Ladies Aid?" Too funny. I picture a whole bunch of lemons rolling into the kitchen just waiting to help out! On the Candy Cane front, I've been overdoing it on Candy Cane coffee from Target - so much so, that I am unlikely to have any left by Christmas Day! I'm going to have to track back and get a look at that Candy Cane Champagne Cocktail on Pinterest - now, THAT would make for a Merry Christmas!! Speaking of which, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours, Louise! I hope the new year is filled with fun, discovery and adventure!

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    1. I thought that Meet Mr. Lemon article was such a hoot, T.W. It did have some useful info though:) Candy Cane Toffee and Target??? How did I miss that? The Candy Cane Champagne Cocktail does sound intriguing with a touch of "retro." Thank you so much for your sweet Christmas wishes, T.W. A very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year to You and Yours!

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  6. I made preserved lemons this year and had never thought of lemon and salt as a match before, so maybe it's the year for new lemon pairings. Have a great Christmas Louise!

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    1. I totally agree Inger. Lemons are notoriously under rated!!!

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  7. Good morning my dear Louise , I love lemon and peppermint , anything lemony or chocolate , I am hooked , ... wonder how a chocolate - lemon pie would taste . :D ...love the post .... thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Good afternoon dear Nee:) Chocolate lemon Pie, now that's an intriguing thought. I say you bake one and I'll be the tester, with the children of course:)

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  8. My little sister and I used to make Russian Tea Cakes every year at Christmas time. Our family put together trays of treats as gifts on years when we couldn't afford much else. We'd make buckeyes, cream cheese mints, homemade marshmallows, and cutout sugar cookies too.

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    1. What a sweet tradition, Poppy. I sometimes think those days were priceless in retrospect:)

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  9. Dear Louise,
    Your page is so inviting all the time. I love to come here and see what goodies you have for the week. This post is so much fun to read, love lemons and peppermint. (candy canes) Love the idea of peppermint in the lemons, would have never thought about that...also love the Russian Teacakes, and the info on a candy cane. I love the idea of the little boxes under the lemons. Is there a way that you can tell us how you make them with the cards..would love to know how, they are so lovely. Thanks again for sharing, Blessings for a great day, Merry Christmas to you, Marion, and your family..Dottie :)

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoy your visits, Dottie. I never know what goodies I'll be concocting either sometimes:) I'm not too good at explaining how to transform greetings cards into cute little boxes but I did find a website herethat gives the directions with images. Have FUN! A Blessed and Merry Christmas to You and Yours Dottie!

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  10. I neve thought of candy cane's history but it was gorgeous :D
    I love lemons forever!
    Toasting you in lemonade for 2014!

    Happy Holidays!
    CCU

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  11. Lemons are the best, Uru! Candy Canes aren't too far behind! Happy Holidays to you also, Uru!

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  12. I love the sound of these lemons with candy canes!!! AND, I am definitely going to go check out that candy cane vodka!

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    1. They are so darn good, Pam. Who would have thought??? YOU are going to love that Vodka!

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  13. Hi Louise, Merry Christmas to you and family, so nice to meet you in blogland. Thanks the lemon goodies, one of my favorite ingredient. It's so versatile that we can use it for baking, cooking and garnishing....one of the wonderful fruit. :)
    Love your lemon with candy cane and snowed cookies. Awesome!

    Have a wonderful holiday. Regards.

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    1. It's been wonderful getting to know you and your delicious, informative blog, Amelia. You have a Merry Christmas also and Enjoy...

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  14. As usual, very nice and informative post...I love the twists on the tea cakes, lemon and peppermint...yum!
    Oh! I went to see the peppermint lemon stick cocktail...it sure looks fabulous...I need to look for the hollow peppermint sticks...
    Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year dear Louise :D

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    1. Let us know about that Peppermint Stick Cocktail, Juliana. It sounds intriguing:) Merry Christmas to You and Yours, Juliana...

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  15. We loved this changed flavors in traditional tea cakes...must taste sensational....but got hooked to the idea of hot buttered lemonade...will taste so comforting....glorious food and cute,adorable card boxes...they look so beautiful,thanks for the inspiration :-)

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    1. The Hot Buttered Lemonade does sound inviting, Kumar. We plan on trying it this evening. Thank you so much for dropping by...

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  16. I need to try the Hot Buttered Lemonade. The kids and I stick a peppermint stick in an orange. We must try a lemon. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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    1. You MUST try a lemon, Geraldine! It's delightful! Merry Christmas!

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  17. Hi Louise,
    I love lemons, they are an amazing fruit, wonderful in just about any bakes or cooking pot!
    Lemon tea cakes sounds good!
    Wishing both you and Marion "A Blessed and Wonderful Christmas"!!
    Happy Holidays!!

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    1. Lemons make everything taste better Joyce, well almost everything:) Marion and I are sending Christmas Wishes your way, Enjoy:)

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  18. Louise,
    When I was little, we made a hole in the top of an orange, that had been kneaded, put a soft peppermint stick in it for a straw. OMGoodness, it was so good you couldn't eat just one.
    Love the uses for "Mr. Lemon" but I think I'll pass on the prune barley soup and putting lemon in my milk. Might try to remove all the age spots. I'll let you know if it works.
    Merry Christmas dear friend,
    Ginger

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    1. I thought that Mr. Lemon article was such a hoot, Ginger! I just had to include some of it, (yes there's more:) I'm going to have to give an orange a try at least one time. It seems others enjoy it too!! I'm curious about that age spot remedy too. My sister would LOVE lemons forever!!!

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  19. Peppermint Staws for lemons.. what a great idea, and I have lots of Meyer lemons on my trees. Love this post, but then I'm a real lemon girl.. maybe even more than chocolate? Have a wonderful holiday. Hugs to everyone, especially Marian.

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    1. More than Chocolate, Now that's surprising! Oh Janet, you lucky "girl" I would LOVE to have a lemon tree in my backyard. Marion says thank you for the well wishes and the hugs:)

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  20. hi louise, i nvr thought of that shepherd's crook in the form of candy cane! how delighting to know that! i just saw the previous peppermint candy cane cookies that you posted, they look lovely! and regarding the fishbone, i wonder if it really works :))

    Merry Christmas to you and Marion! Cheers! going to check out the candy cane pinboard!

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    1. I thought th Candy Cane story was so cool too, Lena. As for that fishbone tale, hopefully, good Lord willing and the creek don't freeze, we'll never have to find out. But, I guess it could hurt to have a slice of lemon handy:) Cheers!

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  21. Hi Louise , a very Merry Christmas to you , Marion , and all your family , from my family to yours , Thanks for sharing and being a good friend :)

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    1. Thank You Nee, you are too sweet:) Wishing You and Your Family All of the Best this Holiday Season!

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  22. Hi Louise, I love anything with lemon. This sounds so good with candy.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

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  23. I'm with you about loving lemons…I use them every day in drinks or cooking. I will definitely try the tea cookies with lemon and what an intriguing idea of a peppermint straw in a lemon. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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  24. I'm intrigued. I love both flavors, so... neat!

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  25. Louise , I love lemon ( and lime ) but never peppermint :P Lemon is so versatile , from simple lemonade , for baking , ( for whitening those dark armpits lol ) for cleaning household thingies and etc :D ..... I would love some Russian tea cakes sans powdered peppermint , pretty please lol

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  26. Great lemon ideas! I love Russian tea cakes - so elegant and tasty.

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  27. Lindo post me encanta todo lo que veo,saludos y Felices Fiestas,abrazos.

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  28. I just love that idea for the peppermint lemonade and will be giving it a try later on today - beautiful!
    All the very best in the New Year!
    -Donalyn@The Creekside Cook
    http://thecreeksidecook.com

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came to early,
none returned to late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise