Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lemon Shred inspired by The Practice House #FoodiesRead

The Practice House was one of the deals of the week offered by Kindle.  I find that I normally enjoy the selections they make and this time was no exception.

The Practice House by [McNeal, Laura]

It is the story of  Aldine McKenna from Australia.  It begins in 1929 when Aldine comes to America seeking to find a husband and make a life for herself. 

Aldine answers an ad for a teacher in a one room school house in rural Kansas.  Aldine arrives expecting this place to be like New York, the only other location she has been in the United States.
She finds herself in the middle of the great drought.  Funds have dried up and the school has no money with which to pay or house her.  Having no money herself and too proud to ask her family for help, she finds refuge at the home of Ansel Price, the man who placed the ad.  

The Price family are dirt poor themselves and a family divided.  His wife and eldest daughter hate the farm living and wish to move to California to be with the wife's family, who are successful and wealthy. The middle and youngest child, love the farm and can't begin to imagine ever leaving their father's childhood home and his dream of making the farm successful again.

Aldine finds herself thrust into the middle of all this drama.  She is met with cautious kindness that turns into disdain by some of the family and deep love by others.  It is the story of love, sacrifice and humanness.  

There is a lot of food in this novel.  Mrs. Price is a wonderful cook, even in rural Kansas where food is scarce and much of the time is spent daydreaming about the foods they used to eat and enjoy.  The family does end up moving to California where Mrs. Price opens a restaurant.

I didn't make any of Mrs. Price's wonderful dishes.  I was touched by the longing that Aldine had for a taste of home, specifically lemon shred.

I had to look up lemon shred to find that it is a lemon marmalade popular in the UK and founded in 1864 by James Robertson.  I found this recipe for Lemon Shred at Canadian Living website.

Foodies Read is a great group ran by Heather of Based on a True Story.  The members love to cook and love to read.  Nearly every book you read can inspire some kind of dish. When it does, we create and share that recipe on the monthly linkup.  You will find a lot of great books even if you don't want to cook and lots of great recipes even if you don't want to read.  If, like us, you love doing both then please don't hesitate to join us.
This marmalade is easy to make, looks gorgeous and tastes amazing. I zested my lemons rather than peeling and thinly slicing the rind.  This was a mistake as mine looks more like jelly and doesn't have the shreds for which this dish is named.  I will rectify this when I make the next batch and there will be a next batch. I will make it and get a headstart  on my handcrafted gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

Scrub your lemons and cut off both ends.  Thinly peel the rind, leaving the white pith, and cut into thin slices.  This is where I messed up by using a zester.  All of my rind just disintegrated into the jelly. Juice the lemons, reserving all pieces including the seeds. 

Wrap the squeezed lemon and seeds in a double thickness of cheesecloth and tie shut with kitchen twine.  Place the lemon juice and rind into a large dutch oven along with the cheesecloth and bring to a simmer.  Cook, occasionally stirring and pressing on the cheesecloth, until the rinds are mushy, about one hour.  This releases pectin into the liquid.

Remove the bag and allow to cool.  Once cool squeeze any liquid from the bag into the dutch oven. You should have 4 cups of liquid.  If too little add water to make 4 cups in too much boil until reduced to 4 cups.

Add 4 cups of sugar to the liquid in the dutch oven.  Cook and stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling. Continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars, seal and process for 10 minutes using the water bath method.  

Lemon Shred 
adapted from Canadian Living

5 large lemons
4 c. sugar
5 cups water

Scrub lemons and trim off the stem and blossom ends.  Peel off the rind, leaving the white pith.  Cut rind into thin strips and set aside.

Juice the lemons over a strainer into a large pot or dutch oven, retaining the seed and the squeezed lemons.

Add the reserved rind to the pan with the juices.  Place the squeezed lemons and seeds onto a 15" square of double thickness cheesecloth.  Gather together the ends in the middle and tie it shut.  Add to the juice in the pan along with 4 cups of water.  

Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and pressing on the lemons occasionally, for about 1 hour.  The lemons and rinds will soften and be mushy.  Remove the bag and let cool, then squeeze juice from the bag back into the pan.

You should have 4 cups of juice, add water or boil to reduce as necessary.  Add sugar to the mixture and bring to a rolling boil.  Cook and stir for about 10 minutes, until free of foam and thickened. Pour into sterilized jars, seal and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Print Recipe


  1. I always get inspired to try to can and make jams and then I remember that I don't like to eat jam.

    1. Well, they make great holiday gifts for friends and coworkers.


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