Good supply of lemons available now

Fresh lemons provide a special zest and flavor lift for almost any dish, and there is an excellent supply of lemons from California and Arizona in the market right now. The quality is good, and there is a good range of sizes available. Here are some ideas for using fresh lemons:

Lemons keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for as long as 6 weeks and at room temperature for about a week to 10 days.

A lemon yields more juice when left at room temperature and rolled on the counter before squeezing.

Add your favorite fresh herb to lemon juice; cap tightly and leave for 24 to 48 hours. It's delightful and can be used in many recipes calling for flavored vinegars.

Ice cubes frozen with a twist of lemon peel add fresh flavor to beverages such as mineral water and even plain drinking water.

Keep lemon sugar on hand to serve over fruits or cereal. Just combine 1 cup sugar with grated peel of 1 fresh lemon; store in covered container.

Add grated peel to sauces, dressings, or wherever you need some extra zip. Lemon butter brings new sparkle to vegetables, especially asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green beans and carrots.

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