It's Citrus Season: Get the Kids Involved

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If you live in East Sacramento you’ve probably seen me shamelessly knocking on doors begging for neighbors’ unpicked Meyer lemons. I adore this fragrant, sunshine-yellow citrus fruit, and from December through February I regularly haul bulging bags of them home after scouting missions in the neighborhood. Today my daughter and her three cousins (aged six to eight) decided to tackle a particularly large bowl of Meyer lemons that had been languishing prettily on our pastry table, and together they managed to zest and juice every one of them, with minimal help from the adults. I froze both the zest and the strained juice, and will use them throughout the year for savory recipes like braised lamb shanks and risotto; and will incorporate them into many different kinds of sweets (such as cakes, pies, citrus curds, and biscotti). After a solid hour and a half of enthusiastic labor, the kids got their well-deserved reward: big glasses of luscious, sweet-sour homemade lemonade.