The commercial product in our orange grove is the navel orange, but we have a number of Myer lemon trees in the grove as well. These trees produce way more lemons than we can use. They just create costs taking care of the trees. Or do they?
Recently I picked a large batch of these lemons. We threw them in Purely Green to clean them up and tried two recipes for preserving lemons. One recipe was “Lemons in Salt and Oil”. The other was “Lemons in Brine” (1).
This required just a bit of cutting and cooking. They turned out great.
“What’s next?”, I thought. Now all we have to do is figure out what to do with them.
I asked the entire family.
Our son-in-law and webmaster, David Cross, is a fabulous chef and he sent a few quick suggestions about what to do with preserved lemons.
Moroccan Tagine with preserved lemons always works great, and you may use any meat and with a little tweaking, fish.
You could also use the preserved lemons in dhal, and there is a type of soup from India called Rasam that you could use preserved lemons, in place of tamarind, and possibly blended so you get only the salty/sour/bitter flavor rather than pieces.
Chopped finely and added to Tabbouleh you could serve that alongside grilled chicken or lake-caught bass.
I’d be willing to bet that a little with mint would make an interesting ice cream flavor too if you ignore the edict about not mixing sweet, sour, salty and milk all in one dish.
A decent salsa would benefit from a little added, and you could then stuff a chicken breast with that.
You could add some to Gremolata and use that to garnish a braised lamb, veal, or pork shank Osso Buco.
I immediately dug out our Moroccan tagine.
I picked a cauliflower from our greenhouse.
Merri threw in some venison from the farm, some sweet potatoes and squash and we slow cooked a stew.
Merri and I love puttering in the kitchen and enjoyed the meal, but this activity was more than knowing how to enjoy preparing a healthy meal. This activity was more than just about knowing how to preserve some extra tasty vitamin C for the food closet.
Yes, it is nice to know that if America’s food supply were to suffer, we know how to keep our larder stocked. In this case, I am thinking ahead about an expansion of business as well as survival and fun.
Pruppies know how to have fun, eating well and protecting their food supply but they also know how to use modern technology to turn their passions into profit.
As we preserved the lemons, as we cooked the meal, we were thinking about a New York Times article “How to Have a Dinner Party: Friends Not Required (2)”.
The article said: “Long a major organizing principle of urban social life, the dinner party has taken a hit in recent years as restaurant culture has thrived, raising the bar for culinary accomplishment intolerably high.”
The article explained how the website platform, Feastly, is like Airbnb for foodies. The program connects diners with chefs. Feastly has hundreds of thousands of users across 60-odd cities worldwide. “There’s a growing awareness of the personal disconnection between people. The internet leaves many social interactions online, by computer or smart phone. A person can have thousands of friends and followers online but they have to dine alone.
People want to have off-line interactions and research shows that personal connections are important parts of happiness.
Organized dinner parties help people find like-minded souls because meals can help define common interests. A quick look at Feastly’s site, eatfeastly.com (3) showed 43 different food types one can choose from. A few of these choices include: Asian Noodle Soup, Burmese, Ecuadorian, Filipino, Gastropub Food, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Nordic, North African, Portuguese, Russian, Sri Lankan, Soul Food, Taiwanese, Vegetarian and Vietnamese.
There are a number of emerging versions of the meal sharing platforms at this time. “EatWith” and “OneTable” are examples as well as “Feastly”.
Keys to success include a rating systems like Uber and airbnb use. These services also urge their chefs to have a theme for each meal. Many people have empty places in their social lives but they don’t like to gamble with social experiences. The more they know about the meal, what to expect and who might attend, the more people will show up.
I immediately contacted Feastly and asked about being a chef in the Orlando or Charlotte areas. My thoughts gravitated to meals served Al fresco in our North Carolina woods or on our Florida lake in the grove. The idea that guests who came to eat might also stay in our rental units also popped into my mind.
Feastly is not active yet in either state, but this is okay. I am not ready either. In fact I might never do this, but getting enthused and finding out about the idea are steps one through three of the Seven Step Evolutionary Business Cycle. This cycle can help us all take small steps in creating and growing small businesses that turn our passions into profit. The cycle is:
#1: Get an idea.
#2: See if the idea leads to enthusiasm.
#3: Let the enthusiasm lead to an education.
#4: Let the education lead to action.
#5: The action will lead to profit or loss.
#6: The profits or loss will create experience.
#7: The experiences lead to bigger and better ideas.
Pruppies look at ways to enjoy peak living, everlasting wealth and natural health with Pruppie strategies that unite new technology and the wisdom of old ways.
There you have it, food!
We have enjoyed learning how to grow, harvest, preserve and prepare in the oldest of ways, but look at selling it at a themed dinner party that collects new friends who are like-minded souls. We earn a bit (or a lot), meet new friends in an enjoyable, fulfilling process. That’s Pruppie thinking.
I am not sure we will ever host a meal through such a platform. The idea might not make any sense at all for us, but I’m testing and learning having fun in the process.
I never forget the line in the movie “Babe” (4) “Farmer Hoggitt knew that little ideas that tickled and nagged and refused to go away should never be ignored, for in them lie the seeds of destiny.”
Most important, I hope that seeing how I spotted that this idea might mean something for us and have moved it forward, will help you spot and take advantage of ideas that make your life richer and happier as well.
Learn more how to start businesses small and grow.