If there is only one thing you do for yourself this month, it is to buy a lemon—better yet, buy an entire lemon tree if you can. I know its sounds extreme, especially for those living in the snow belt—but there are so many uses for lemons that it boggles the mind. Besides being a health aide, cleaning agent, beauty enhancer, natural insect repellent and food accent, lemons are possibly the most beautiful fruit on the planet. Google the hundreds of uses and be delighted—l'm only going to mention a few favorites here.
1. CLEAN A COPPER PAN
Of all the pans I have, my one copper beauty is my favorite because food cooks so evenly every time. It doesn't matter if I use a gas stove or electric, butter melts perfectly, gravies are smooth and puddings thicken just the way they are intended. It doesn't matter to the food if copper is tarnished—but the pan is even more gorgeous when it is not. A simple trick to get your copper pan back to its original glow is to cut lemon in half, dip it in Kosher salt, and rub the pan. In moments, it looks like new again.
2. BUILD A VILLAGE OF ORANGES AND LEMONS
From the middle of February to March each year, there is a town in the south of France that throws the most extraordinary Citrus Party. It is the only festival of its kind in the world. Artists build giant sculptures built entirely of lemons and oranges. Parades roll by with enormous figures that are taller than local buildings—it's a little bit like our version of the Rose Parade—only everything is yellow and orange. Music fills the air for hours on end, every kind of food and drink made of lemons and oranges is available and people from all over the world gather to celebrate the beauty of lemons and oranges. It's a sight worth adding to any bucket list.
3. EAT LEMONS AND LIVE TO BE 100 YEARS OLD
There are 5 "Blue Zones" in the world where people live to be more than a healthy 100 years old: Sardinia, Italy, The Islands of Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica and Ikaria, Greece.
It was determined that people in these regions shared 9 fundamental lifestyle traits that included:
Moderate, constant physical activity.
Having a life purpose.
Moderate calories intake.
Having a plant-based diet.
Moderate alcohol intake.
Engagement in spirituality or religion.
Involvement in an active family life.
An active social life.
In Ikaria, Greece, lemons were listed as one of their "top longevity foods" along with potatoes, feta cheese, goat's milk, honey, legumes (especially garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils), wild greens, some fruit and relatively small amounts of fish.
4. HONOR A CIVIL WAR HERO
Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was an American Confederate general during the Civil War—and the best-known Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee. Military historians consider General Jackson to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in US history and has a fascinating education and story.
He had a particular interest in health and followed a strict diet of fruits and vegetables. Although he loved all kinds of fresh fruit, history has recorded that lemons were his personal favorites. Stories have been written about how he often rode into battle with a lemon in his mouth. President Zachary Taylor once wrote a passage in his war memoirs about General Jackson eating lemons: "Where Jackson got his lemons 'no fellow could find out,' but he was rarely without one."
To this day, when tourists visit Jackson's grave in Lexington, Kentucky and leave lemons as a tribute.
5. ENCOURAGE A FRIEND WITH LEMONS TO LEMONADE
The phrase "making lemonade from lemons" has been around for more than 100 years. It became a popular way to encourage people experiencing a run of bad luck into using the situation to change the outcome. Symbolically, lemons represent the sour part of life, but by adding sugar, the juice of the lemon becomes lemonade—something sweet.
Modern authors have given credit to Dale Carnegie for crystallizing the idea, but the first time the phrase was ever used was by Elbert Hubbard when he referred to actor, Marshall Wilder, a man who cashed in on his severe disabilities with an optimistic attitude and was met with a lifetime of success. Mr, Hubbard wrote: "He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand."
To celebrate the idea that optimism has a certain power over adversity, CAREBOX designed a gift called: Lemons to Lemonade—for all those people who are having a less than perfect experience, but are able to turn it around.