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Lemons

Martha Stewart Living Television

A lemon serves all sorts of culinary purposes: Its essence is captured in preserves and condiments, both savory and sweet; candied lemon zest is used to flavor desserts; and its tart juice can brighten virtually any fish or chicken dish. But simplify its use, and you can create your own lemon Good Things.

To garnish a glass of iced tea or a plate of broiled fish with a "lemon flower," simply score a lemon from top to bottom with a lemon stripper. Slice the lemon vertically to the desired thickness, and use slices as garnish.

If you're serving a course of fish, a lemon can serve as both a condiment and a place-card holder: Wrap half of a lemon in a cheesecloth square. Tie securely with a ribbon, then attach a slip of paper with the guest's name.

The fragrant oils in lemon zest add a distinctive aroma and flavor to foods. Combine lemon zest with sugar, and keep it on hand for use in baking recipes that call for sugar, to sprinkle over sugar cookies, or stir into hot tea for a lemony treat.

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