Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Just When You Thought You'd Seen It All

I freely admit that I am a very frugal person. I religiously clip coupons from the Sunday paper (which I normally forget in the car with my reusable shopping bags) to help fuel my foodie lifestyle. I love the bargain bin at my local grocery store which is thankfully located not far from the reduced meat section where I buy my market aged beef. Being a power bargain shopper, I am careful about what I buy in these areas, no dented cans, no expired items and only aged beef, no poultry, pork or fish. I am usually content to stay within the familiar confines of my local King Soopers, but like Tiger Woods, I sometimes get bored with the same old thing and occasionally stray. My husband will be glad to know that the extent of my infidelity is leaving my local market and heading over to the more exotic Whole Foods. There is no expectation of a bargain here. No red reduced labels anywhere to be found just pretty high prices on pretty much everything, but like the aforementioned celebrity golfer, the seduction is usually too much for me, I throw caution to the wind and grab a shopping cart. Since I have no willpower when it comes to this place, I have chosen to just stay away so I am not tempted to go crazy until the memories of all the spending I did during the holidays fade a bit.

Last Saturday, Grace and I decided to go to one of the little artsy movie houses across town to see An Education. Since I am such an anglophile and she loves Peter Sarsgaard, we decided that this would be the perfect afternoon outing for us. Now we have already established how thrifty I am, so it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I am one of the legions of cinema goers who smuggles their own snacks into the theater. I mean why pay $3.00 for a bottle of water when I can bring one from home that only costs $.40? Since we were running a bit short on time and there wasn’t a Walgreen’s (my favorite pre-show snack shop) around, we pulled into Whole Foods for a slice of Fresh Berry Chantilly Cake and a couple of forks for our snacking pleasure. As soon as we walked into the entrance of the produce department, I felt the earth move. There, right in front of us was a bin filled with the most beautifully exotic looking things I have ever seen. Another shopper, who was standing close by overheard our conversation about these alien looking pieces of fruit and nonchalantly said, “Oh, those are Buddha Hand Lemons.” Why didn’t I know what they were? I mean, I’ve won cooking contests and write a blog about food. I search the web for ideas and read countless cookbooks. How did this escape my attention while this woman obviously has known about them for sometime?! Humbling, to say the least. Just to tell you how taken I was by this new discovery, I paid $5.00 for one and was happy to do it so I could share it here with those of you who may be as stupid as I. I was so taken in fact by my Buddha Hand Citron as it is properly known (take that Ms. Know It All) that Grace and I left the store forgetting what we came for, our Chantilly Cake.

Once home I carefully placed it in the vegetable crisper and threatened my son with slow painful torture if he broke off any of its appendages or harmed it in any way. The next afternoon, I waited until the lighting was just right and set it up for its close up. I placed it in front of the window to take the photo I show you here today. I only wish that I could share with you the wonderful lemony smell that it emits. After snapping a few photos I couldn’t wait to cut it open and see what’s inside. Let me tell you, when you decided to cut your own, you’ll need to eat your spinach and get a VERY sharp knife because these things are the armadillo of the fruit world. Once cut in half, the clean lemony smell filled my kitchen. I have to say that I was disappointed to find nothing inside but soft white pith. No seeds, no lovely little sacks of tart juice, nothing but the one thing that is in abundance, lots and lots of peel. If you plan on making tons of lemony flavored somethings, head to your nearest Whole Foods and invest in one of these beautiful creations of nature and get zesting.


Jessica said...

But what did you do with it? You left the blog with a cliffhanger!!

I love King Soopers and are far less discerning when it comes to the discount bin :)

Karen Harris said...

Hi Jessica, well, I hated to leave you hanging. After much exhaustive research, I decided to zest my Buddha Hand Citron and make some Limoncello. I had close to a cup of zest off of this beautiful miracle of nature, put it in a large glass pitcher with a tight fitting lid, poured 1.75 liter of vodka over it and I will let it sit for a couple of months, strain it and add a couple cups of simple syrup, let it sit another month and voila! Homemade Limoncello. I will blog about my results in a couple of months. It ought to be ready just in time for lemonade season.