Lemons Galore



The English name cabbage comes from the French word caboche, meaning head. It has been cultivated for over 4,000 years and domesticated for perhaps 2,500 years. The Celts brought cabbage to Europe from Asia in about 600 BC and as it grows well in cool climates, it soon became a major crop. It’s prolific and can be stored through the winter as sauerkraut, thus fending off scurvy. Interestingly, kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the same species, altered by selective propagation.

If your children won’t eat cabbage, this delicious recipe will change their minds.


Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium heat

Slice an onion and add to the saucepan

Finely slice a Savoy cabbage and add

Sprinkle over lemon juice and salt, and toss

Put the lid on to steam rather than cook. It will take only a few minutes – the vegetables need to be crisp, not limp.


Here’s another way lemon juice uplifts a dish. Peel potatoes and cut them lengthways. Boil them briefly in water. Before they are fully cooked, take them out, discard the water, and put the potatoes into a frying pan with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and oregano. Turn regularly to cook on each side and create a crispy brown exterior. Alternative: you can omit the boiling and put the potatoes straight into a baking tray in the oven with all the above ingredients plus a cup of water. It takes longer; don’t forget to turn the potatoes.


Aunt Theo was a dear old lady who lived in an immaculate Victorian house, full of original furniture, in Auckland. Time had been on hold for many years. Luckily, her recipes were good and traditional too.

Lemon curd can be spread on bread, scones, muffins or tarts. It’s the filling for lemon meringue pie. Note: it keeps for a month in the fridge.

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons lemon juice

Lemon essence

2 oz (1/4 lb) butter

Grated rind (zest) of 1 lemon (Meyer lemons are recommended)

Beat eggs. Add sugar. Add melted butter, lemon rind, juice and essence of lemon. In a double boiler, cook until thick (30-40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Put into sterilized jars, store in the fridge and use quickly.

For orange curd, use 2 oranges with rind and juice; omit lemons. Variations: limes, tangerines, passion fruit, mangoes, berries, lemon and lime, pineapple with Malibu, orange with Cointreau, or cherry with cherry brandy.


1 1/2 cup whipping cream

3/4 cup lemon curd to mix with cream

3/4 cup lemon curd to layer

1 box of vanilla or lemon wafers

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup lemon curd to the cream and fold in gently.

In 8” x 8” square baking dish put one-third of the cream and spread. Put a layer of wafers and cover with lemon curd. Repeat, finishing with a layer of cream. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.


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