Creative Uses for Citrus

We’re in the thick of it this summer, and the citrus fruits at the Farmer’s Market are calling my name.  I love visiting the stands that give you a taste before handing over your hard-earned cash so you can sample the sweet and sour goodness to come.

I use citrus fruits in many different ways at home – some practical and some very tasty.  Check out some of my favorite uses!


1. Brightening up the flavor of other fruits

….especially watermelon during the summer!  Throw together a watermelon salad with cubed watermelon, feta cheese, fresh mint, and a dressing of olive oil, honey, lemon, salt and pepper.  Adding lemon to the dressing really helps to liven up the flavors of an already delicious fruit salad.  We’ve been eating this constantly at our house in Montauk this summer.

2. Make Your Sink Smell Nice

If it’s smelling a little….weird, cut up a lemon and grind it up into the disposal of your sink.  The sound it makes me be frightening but the result will be a fresh smelling sink and kitchen.  If you live in NYC, unfortunately this tip doesn’t apply to you.  I wish we had disposal in this smelly place.


3. Clean Kitchen Stains

Lemon juice gets out cranberry and blueberry juice stains and other dark marks left in the kitchen.  I frequently have blueberries for breakfast and scrubbing a little lemon juice into my wooden cutting board, then rinsing with soap and agua makes the purple marks go bye-bye!


4. Light a Fire (This Winter)

Yes, it’s August so chances are high you aren’t using a fireplace – but, the dried out rind of a lemon or orange works well to get a fire started.  Toss ’em into your fireplace along with a wooden log.  You’ll get a fire going quickly along with a fancy smell.  Side-note – I’m thinking about applying this when cooking on a stand-alone BBQ with charcoal.  Do y’all think the burning citrus would actually make whatever I’m cooking – salmon, for example, tastier?  I wonder….


5. Clean Your Gross Bathroom

Yep, lemon again to the cleaning rescue.  I like taking half of a lemon and rubbing it onto fixtures (like faucets or a porcelain tub) to help get rid of lime stains, hard water stains, and general funk.  If you happen to have brass fixtures, don’t use lemon.  You won’t be happy.