There is no better ingredient in cooking than a little lemon juice or shavings of the peel. It adds depth of flavor and character. It charges the meal with a zing that would otherwise be lacking. Mixed with butter in just the right combination and it becomes a sauce that is perfect for fish or chicken.
In the right proportion, with the right combination of ingredients, in the right dishes, lemons are bright and perky.
But grab a lemon and suck on it raw. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Are you done? Unless you have a habit of drinking pickle juice from a jar, it was probably pretty strong, wasn’t it? Overpowering? Bitter? Tart? Puckery?
That’s what I love about the lemon: Straight up is just too much. However, a little here, a little there and you have the perfect addition to many a meal.
It’s a reminder of life. Something that might be hard to experience in full force doesn’t always have to be bad: A little critical analysis of your work isn’t bad. In fact, it can make you a better employee. A little self-reflection from time to time could make you a better person, even when your findings are less than pleasant. A negative and annoying neighbor reminds you how good you have it in your own home. A really hot day reminds you that autumn is just around the corner, and a really cold day is a reminder that summer won’t be too far off.
A little sour can be a good balance from time to time. After all, you make lemonade out of lemons. Don’t you?