This was to be the last day of our ‘lockdown’ and we were to celebrate our victory over COVID19 in style. However… this has not come to be and we continue to stay in isolation for a while longer. Let us not lose heart but take strength in being given more time to indulge in what really matters most – our families, our humanity and our environment. Let us appreciate them all and celebrate the hopeful coming of a new dawn!

You know the saying:        When life gives you lemons…. Make Lemonade!

Now is the time and the season…let’s see what we can do with our lemons!

The menu for today:

Cucumber and Lemon / Lime Smash

Lamb Shanks with Lemon and Greek Herbs

Lemon Sorbet

Cucumber and Lemon or Lime Smash:  (Serves 2)

You will need:

¼ Cucumber, finely sliced

2 Lemons or large Limes

2 Tblsp Sugar

50ml Vodka (Gin can be substituted)

1 Handful Mint Leaves

Mint to garnish

Crushed ice

Tonic water

What to do:

Cut Lemons or Limes into quarters and pound to a pulp with sugar in a mortar.

(you can also blitz them very briefly in a blender).

Divide this sugary liquid between two tall glasses, and add Vodka or Gin, Cucumber, Mint and crushed ice. Top up with Tonic. Garnish and Enjoy!

Lamb Shanks with Lemon and Greek Herbs:  (Serves 2)

You will need:

2 Lamb shanks

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

2 cloves Garlic, crushed

6 large sprigs Oreganum roughly chopped

6 long sprigs Thyme

½ -1 tin chopped Tomatoes

1 Cup good quality red Wine

Rind of 1 Lemon, peeled into strips

Olive oil for frying

What to do:

Preheat oven to 140°C.

Heat a large oven-proof pot on the stove and add a glug of olive oil.

Season the shanks with salt and pepper, then brown in the hot pan, remove and set aside.

Add the onions to the pot and cook for 5–10 minutes until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the herbs.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, red wine and return the shanks to the dish. Add the lemon rind.

Place a lid on the pot and cook in the oven for at least two and a half hours. The lamb shanks should be tender and falling off the bone.  Check on the pot occasionally to make sure it doesn’t dry out.

When done, remove the meat, set aside, and add a little liquid to the pot to make a gravy.

Serve with a mash of potatoes or sweet potatoes or polenta and a side vegetable or salad.

Lemon Sorbet

You will need:

2 lemons, zested
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice

2 egg whites (from large size eggs)

¼ cup sugar
Strips of lemon zest or mint for garnishing

What to do:

Place the water and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon zest. Stir to mix, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Once cool place the lemon-y syrup, juice and sparkling mineral water into a bowl. Stir to combine.

Freeze the mixture in a tall canister for 1½ hours. Whisk the egg whites till soft peaks stage, add I the ¼ cup of sugar and whisk till stiff.

Remove sorbet from the freezer whisk in the egg whites till well combined.

Return it back to the freezer and stir once every hour for about 4 hours. The more times you stir, the smoother and better the end product will be.

Serve garnished with a strip of lemon peel and /or a sprig of mint.