Bitter Secret About Lemons

lemonsThis is a story of how I ALMOST messed up my portion of Christmas dinner…

For Thanksgiving I really wanted to make homemade stuffing and gravy. Since I wasn’t going to be with my parents, I went with Jared’s family. They really liked everything I made so they asked if I would just do a repeat for Christmas. I did a couple of things differently because I didn’t need to roast a turkey this time around.

All I really wanted for my gravy was homemade chicken stock. So I bought myself a whole chicken and was just going to boil it. I accidentally grabbed a lemon so I thought I’d juice it and I ended up thinking, eh I’ll just throw the whole thing in there.

I went along my merry way and strained my stock and put it into my jars for the night. While I was canning my stock Jared was eating and taking the chicken off of the bone. One dark piece was very bitter but we didn’t think anything of it, we just thought oh it was close to the bone that must be why it tasted a little different.

Christmas morning I wake up, get started on the rest of my cooking and by this time Jared has come over and started on his dish. I’m adding stuff to my stock to make it into gravy and I thought I’d just try it out. Oh my word, worst thing ever. With an hour and a half before leaving I panicked for a second and thought everything was ruined because I even put the stock in with my dressing/stuffing. It was so bitter and it wasn’t even a bit tolerable. Jared assured me I was a good cook after I didn’t start screaming and crying but I quickly made vegetable stock instead. Whew thank goodness for cooking alternatives.

So the point of this post is not to tell you how I messed up big time, it’s to warn you about lemon rinds! ha! Boiling a lemon is awful, it leaves everything so bitter! I thought this was something I just didn’t know because I wasn’t experienced but I told my 66 year old mother what had happened and she had never known of such a thing. So I thought I’d let you guys know and warn you! Lemon Juice is good, lemon zest is good, lemon rinds is bitter.

(The dressing/stuffing turned out fine the bitterness baked out of it and I had only used a cup of stock in it. Also no one at dinner knew and everyone said everything tasted great! Success!)


  1. The only dish I ever had to throw out was a blood orange cream pie. I unfortunately followed the recipe and used the rind. Disaster. So bitter not even one bite could be swallowed. Since then, I leave out the rind, no matter how small the amount!

    • oh man. I know it is the worst taste! Blood Orange Cream Pie, eh.. go on. Do you have pictures or perhaps a recipe to follow ha.

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