As you probably know, lemons are an endless inspiration to me. I use them in many different ways in my cooking, from soups to desserts. In today’s recipe I use lemons for a sweet; please enjoy these sugared lemon slices with chocolate! They go nicely with a cup of coffee and tea or on top of your favorite cake!
As well as many lemons in my cooking, I always have many lemon stories. Let me tell you about my grandmother Katerina from my father’s side. She was born on Methana, a volcanic peninsula close to Poros. A dry land full of rocks and people of Albanian descent. It’s one of my favourite places around here that I love to visit with friends on a day out! I especially like going to the volcano near the village of Kameni Hora.
When my grandmother was born on Methana, the area was poor and the people worked hard in the fields that they had created on the harsh mountains. They had made different terraces. To be able to water their fields, they had to bring water from afar and carry it all the way there. Everybody participated: young and old, men and woman.
My grandmother Katerina was my favourite grandmother, not only because we have the same name, but because she was a very nice person that had time for us grandchildren (like all grandparents). Her hair was fair and every morning she covered it under a scarf after she had combed it a hundred times. She told me that combing it a hundred times was her secret to having nice long hair and she advised me to do the same.
One of the things I remember the most about my grandmother where her hands. When she died at the age of 82 her hands where still very soft, white and beautiful. The other day I asked my mother how it was possible that my grandmother had such nice hands with all the hard work that she did. My mother told me that she always had half a lemon next to the sink. She used it every day to wash the dishes and especially her hands. It was a brief moment of luxury during her day. A moment that made her hands look the way they did!
Coming from Methana, lemons were not locally available, they had to get them from the lemon grove of Poros. Back then it was quite a journey, while we now think of Poros and Methana as close. It was a luxury for the people of Methana to have the lemons. I think after squeezing them on top of her food, my grandmother kept the lemon cup for a few days next to the sink. I am using the lemons today in a different way, and from a luxurious item they become a sweet in this recipe; sorry grandma!
Sugared Lemon Slices With Chocolate
I have made the recipe for the sugared lemon slices with chocolate together with Argiroula, who works at Odyssey. We make this sweet in the winter and put it in jars for the summer. Every time our intention is to use the lemons for decoration in the summer, but we end up using them for recipes and eating them way before the summer arrives!
Argiroula and I also make this sweet with oranges, mandarins and even grapefruit. So try it with lemons and let me know what you think!
Food photography Annette Spaan
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