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Dwarf Citrus & Southern-style Greens

January 19, 2011


Dwarf Citrus

I raise dwarf citrus trees. I know, what in the world is someone in middle Tennessee doing with citrus trees! Well, I wanted to grow my own lemons; DH gave me a Meyer Lemon Tree for Christmas a few years ago & I have expanded my orchard. I have 3 lemon trees, 3 lime trees & 2 orange trees. The first year with the original Meyer Lemon Tree, I got 1 lemon. I was so proud of my little tree. After summering on the driveway, the only full-sun location around my home, I brought the little tree inside for the winter. Along comes Spring, I moved the tree outside, repotted & waited. Nothing. No blooms, nothing. All Summer long it grew in height, added branches, had lovely leaves but no blooms. Before frost I brought it back into the house for the winter. It looked awful; leaves were dropping & no matter what I did, it didn’t improve. Then I found that the pot had leaked on my Oriental rug & mold had formed. I was furious! I blamed the little tree for a lousy season of no lemons & the final straw, damaging my rug. It was time for some tough love – I moved the tree to the garage. (The temperature in our garage never goes below 40 degrees even on the coldest day in January.) Here comes Spring again & the not-so-little tree is once again moved to the driveway. Oh my word – the blooms! The Meyer Lemon had gone dormant over the winter in the cool, dry of the garage & repaid the kindness with over 3 dozen lemons that season! Needless to say, all the dwarf trees spend the winter in the garage.
The original Meyer has 3 lemons ripening now & bloomed like crazy through the Christmas holiday, which means lots of lemons in the summer. I did get 3 limes & 1 orange off new trees last month & one of the smaller trees is blooming right now for the very first time. Oh, & the leaves off the Kaffir Lime Tree are fabulous in Thai recipes.

T’s Southern Style Collard/Mixed Greens

We are always told to eat more dark, leafy greens – here’s a recipe that fills the bill & today you get a twofer – 2 recipes for the price of one.

  • 2 quarts water
  • 3/4 pound ham hock, rinsed or 1/2 pound smoked meat, chopped
  • 4 pounds small collard greens or mixed greens: collard, turnip & beet
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon T’s House Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Sea Salt to taste
  1. Bring water with ham hock to boil in very large pot, uncovered, skimming any froth. (If you are using smoked meat, skip the first 2 steps.)
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, covered 1 hour.
  3. While hocks simmer (or while water heats if using smoked meat), discard coarse stems & center ribs of greens, then wash & drain. The easiest way to accomplish this: fold the leaf in half, lengthwise & break away the center stem.
  4. Coarsely chop greens.
  5. Add collards & seasonings to water, then simmer, partially covered, about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove hock from cooking liquid & let stand 15 minutes.
  7. Discard skin & bones; coarsely chop meat.
  8. Stir meat into collards; add sea salt to taste.
  • Note: you can always omit the meat for a purely vegetarian dish.
  • T’s House Seasoning

    • 8 Tablespoons sea salt
    • 2 Tablespoons black pepper
    • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
    • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1. Mix ingredients together & store in glass jar with a screw top.
    1. Pam permalink
      January 21, 2011 3:58 pm

      You won’t believe that I only today finished off the fabulous lime you gave me weeks ago by turning it into ginger-lime hot tea for my cold. It was still flavorful and delicious!


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