There are things that are easier as a grown-up. Not writing the letter “S” backwards is totally doable now. Not wearing half your lunch after eating it—I’ve mostly got that covered. I still tie my shoes in bows and have a gnarly callus on my finger betraying the fact that I never learned to hold my pencil right, but I’m basically rocking the rest of the important stuff.
But, let’s be real, there are a lot of things that are so much harder to do as a grown-up. Like crying when you’re sad instead of, say, taking it out on your fellow commuters: way harder! Screaming out in joy at the top of your lungs? Next to impossible. And—the one that really gets me—making friends gets exponentially more difficult as you grow up.
I’m the tiniest bit fixated on this right now because in the past few months, my two closest friends have moved away and in the months before that even more picked up and left. The last couple years of my life have been a slow-burning friend exodus and now, I’m stuck in a perpetual first day of kindergarten: wanting to make friends, but not quite knowing how.
Sometimes, in my quiet moments, I question the value of this space. I take pictures of food and put them on the internet? Really? However, the connections—the friendships—that I’ve made through my blog are invaluable to me. That’s some serious talk, which I think also gets harder as you grow up.
Do you know Shae over at Hitchiking to Heaven? Shae and I have never met. We know each other from the internet. She lives in California, an enchanted land where citrus grows on trees in people’s yards (!). She sent me a box of rangpur limes that she picked herself, off of her mom’s tree, just because she knew they’d bring me joy. That’s a friend. I was floored, grateful, touched.
Courtesy of Shae, they’ll be some rangpur lime recipes coming your way. The more I worked with these little gems, the more I fell in love. They’re pectin-packed and make marmalading a breeze. I can only describe their flavor as “super-lime” (that’s a Nicki Minaj parody waiting to happen, btw). I couldn’t help but think that their slightly musky scent would be ideal for savory applications, so I preserved some in salt.
I use Marisa’s method as a guide for salt-preserving citrus and it really is as easy as it sounds. I sterilized two quart jars (although it’s my understanding that it’s not 100% necessary to sterilize, I usually do) and let them dry completely. I made two smaller batches, of about 5-6 limes each. What I love about this method is that it’s totally versatile. For one little batch, I followed Marissa’s instructions and preserved them plain with just kosher salt. For my second little batch, I was inspired by this fancy product and mixed some aromatics throughout—a bay leaf, 1 T juniper berries, and 1 t dried lavender buds.
Of course, I am sharing this with you before having tasted the results. I am nothing if not impatient. They need about a month in the fridge at this point, but their smell after a few days on the counter was unbelievable. I’ll report back in a month or so (if I can manage to wait that long) with the final verdict.
(PS: There was a sale on instant film recently that I couldn’t pass up, so I’ve been giving my Polaroid some love. The first two photos in the post were taken with this Impossible Project film. Read more about what they’re doing here and, yes, I did accidentally take that photo of myself while loading the film. You’re welcome.)