Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Citrusy tweaks for you & your kitchen (+ a seafood tip!)

(c) Beth Galton http://bethgalton.blogspot.com/2010/06/lemons-and-limes.html

We tend to use lots of lemons and limes in the summer for slicing over fish before popping it in the oven and squeezing over avocado salads (or, to mix up a good Margarita). But rather than tossing those spent halves away, I keep a little crystal dish in the fridge to collect my used citrus bits and every few days I recycle them in the bathroom or kitchen. (Yes, crystal, because doing the mundane is so much easier—and fun!—if you do it with pretty things. Fact.)

Interested in how?

Freshening up your skin:
When I've got a nice collection of citrus in my dish, I take a few halves right into the shower with me and use them to invigorate my skin. After soaping up and rinsing off, I vigorously rub them into my elbows and knees and then a little more gently into my face and neck. Even when squeezed dry, there's still some juice (and vitamins) left in them, especially after they rest in the fridge and then gently steam in the bathroom. When all that's done, if they're not completely demolished, I sometimes run them around the edge of the tub at the grout line for a little natural bleaching power (although at that point, I think any benefits I can dredge from them is just in my head). Once I'm all done I let the water rinse any citrus-y bits off of me, but I try not to "scrub" too hard, as I want some of the oils to stay on my skin.

Freshening up your sink: 
The other way I recycle my leftover halves happens in our kitchen. I try as hard as possible to use natural cleaners in our house, so when the sink gets a little funky I don't reach for the bleach (which I don't have anyway). Instead, I use the spray nozzle to drench every inch of it with hot water, run a lemon or lime half around the entire warmed-up surface and drop it into the sink drain (sadly, no garbage disposals in NYC sinks, so it just hangs out in the drainer basket while I do the next step). Then I pour some baking soda into the drain and around the edge and top it off with white vinegar and step back to watch the gurgling and foaming of the highly deodorizing chem-lab-like interaction begin! Once all the bubbles and fizz subside, I run hot water again to rinse out the sink and then I can toss the lemon/lime wedge into the trash.

Before summer goes completely away and we trade lemons and limes for pumpkin and squash, I thought I'd pass these along to y'all! Happy scrubbing!

+ + +

Bonus seafood tip: olive-oil poached fish!
I  read somewhere about how tasty and easy it is to poach fish in olive oil, so I decided to try this method out last weekend to make dinner (and lots of lunches for work). This is even simpler than poaching eggs (because no shells to peel!).

All you do is:
  • Warm up some olive oil in a pot on the stove—it should be cool enough that you can comfortably slip a fingertip in. If you'd like to infuse the oil, add herbs or garlic or chilies or whathaveyou. I used about 2 tablespoons of olive oil per serving of fish (~3.5 ounces) and sliced in some fresh chilies.
  • Once your olive oil is at the right temperature, and has had time to soak up your flavorings if you use any, slide your fish in flesh side up. I used a medium-sized pot and had room for 4 servings at a time.
  • It shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes per side, depending on how much fish you use.

The fish develops an amazing texture—firm yet soft, and subtly flavored by the oil and your add-ins. I used olive oil, but you could just as easily use coconut oil. Simple, right?

Squeeze some lemon on top (and pop your lemon half in the fridge instead of the trash) and enjoy!

{ image via }


  1. we are SO otsp - I'm just finishing up a post about lemons ;) I love the tip about crystal bowl for the lemons!

    1. Crystal, champagne flutes, caviar...these are all everyday things! :) And, hell yes to being OTSP!

  2. yea those lemon peels usually end up on my counter top (because i just can't bare to throw it away yet) but don't really know what to do with them. NOW I KNOW! :) thanks! -M


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