Preserved Rangpur Limes, Two Ways

by autumn on February 25, 2012

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.)

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christina February 26, 2012 at 2:06 am

What a beautiful post Autumn. Thanks for sharing ….and enjoy those limes. What a treat. Your blog friend, Chris

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2 autumn February 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

You’re so sweet, Chris. Thanks!

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3 meg- grow and resist February 26, 2012 at 4:31 am

Oh, you are so spot on! I find it took a long time to meet people I would consider friends when I moved to Seattle after college. It felt so much harder than meeting people in school. Many years later, once I was settled, my 2 very best friends moved away. That was years ago now and it does feel hard. Still. Shortly after they moved, we moved toward having a baby. And, like it or not, friendships do change when you are the only one of your friends to have a child.
I think it is part of the reason I do this too– I value the connections I’ve made with people all over and what they bring to my life. (That Shae is awesome!)
The limes look perfect!

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4 val February 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I can relate. Though in a way opposite from Meg, for me it is when everyone else has kids. Even when I don’t make direct connections, I find it gratifying to be part of something like this kooky online community of people who grow their own food and share ways to prepare it.

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5 autumn February 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Meg and Val,
Thanks for your kinds words and commiseration. I am now 27 and many of my good friends from grad school were a bit older, in their early 30s. I think in my head, I associate the sadness of friends moving wit childhood, but that’s completely not so. I think, though, that this is the first time it’s been as acute for me since I was much younger.

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6 The Cozy Herbivore March 3, 2012 at 12:22 am

Oh, you’re such a cutie! I love your glasses.

I can completely relate about how hard it is to lose friends when you’re “of a certain age”– I had two reallyreally close friends leave within a few months of each other. And not within visiting distance, either– one to London, the other to Indonesia! I miss them so much and I really miss the casual closeness we had. BUT I also have been making some really wonderful Internet friends– perhaps it’s the next frontier for us? Let’s hope so.

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7 Shae March 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I was just fussing about not knowing what’s next in my work life and saying to a good friend (who I met through our blogs) that I wish I could have a career as a fruit fairy — just sending citrus fruits around the country to make people happy. (We were actually talking on the phone.) It pleases me so much to see the care you’ve lavished on your Rangpurs. But maybe it pleases me even more that you posted that accidental photo of yourself. I love that.

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8 Elle January 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Hi Autumn,

I cured some of the Rangpur from my next door neighbor’s tree using your recipe so thanks! I am looking forward to seeing what happens! L

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9 autumn January 15, 2013 at 11:23 pm

What a lucky spot you’re in. Thanks, Elle.

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10 kelly @ kellybakes March 15, 2013 at 3:54 am

The universe has funny ways of working itself out; I hated foodblogging events because they made me feel painful and shy and IMMENSELY INADEQUATE and that beast comparison would come and beat every last bit of joy out of blogging. But going to BSP was a huge blessing and not at all like that. I got to connect with people, just as they are, and laugh and shed a few tears too. And best of all, it let me meet you and become friends and podcast with you, which is a delightful spot in my week–sometimes it feels like the only time I *really* laugh all week. (that in itself says a lot about adulthood–how seriously we start to take ourselves, the dumb stuff we let ruin our outlook, how much we forget to let go so we can laugh until we get red-faced and noiseless and breathless all at once). If you were in my kindergarten class and you were shy, I’d totally come over, introduce myself, plunk myself next to you and share my cookies. I was that kid. I still am, I just forget sometimes.

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