Lemon preserves vs preserved lemons

I made this amazing chickpea stew on Thursday. It was a Moroccan recipe that called for preserved lemons, and the second of recent recipes to require this. I know you can buy them at specialty stores, but that doesn't give me the experience of finding out what it means and how to do it. So I did.

Preserved lemons are just quartered lemons stuffed with salt and spices if you want to add them.



I did Jaime Oliver's recipe, which doesn't call for cloves (pictured above), but does call for fennel seeds (not pictured) and cinnamon sticks (also, not above). But I didn't have those things and I certainly didn't want to go out and get them. So I made due. Also not listed on ingredients: ground coriander (pictured above). This is one of those get-what-you-get things and I'm ok with that.

Hey, an aside, did you know that O.K. comes from the misspelling of oll korrect in old English?


This may be the most important, exciting part of my whole preserved lemon journey. A canning jar from Pryde's in Old Westport. Isn't it darling?



Lemons. But this obvious.


Wait, maybe this is the most exciting part-- new Martha Stewart cutting board from Macy's. It's bamboo and oh, so beautiful. And round!



Hello, smiley. This is another Pryde's find-super excited about. I will use it for dipping poached eggs gently from simmering broth. Yummmm.



And here's what the lemons looked like, packed with salt, covered in lemon juice and boiled water and then miraculously sealed in the cutest-derned canning jar I've ever seen in my whole life. So when these are done (one month) you pick out what you want, rinse off the salt and then add it to your recipe. It is NOT the same as lemon preserves-- I can't imagine your horror if you mistakenly spread this on your breakfast toast and took a bite after a sip of tea. There would be preserved lemons all over your table. It would be a rude awakening.

But if you do that on accident, please tell me about it.