Posted by: viewfromtheriva | January 7, 2014

Sunny Split January lemons!

Our small but fabulous balcony/garden features this wild lemon tree

Our small but fabulous balcony garden features this wild lemon tree (the potted cactus plants were both originally the size of a pencil!)

We really look forward to January here in Split because it’s time to harvest our wild lemon tree.  But since last summer was a scorcher, I was really worried that there would be a lot less fruit and most of it would be small.

It was so hot that sometimes I would come out on the balcony and ALL the leaves were so droopy, they literally looked like they would fall off–so I would quickly grab the hose and let the water trickle down to the roots for hours.

The next day the leaves were saluting the sun!  So I think my judicious pruning and all that water made a big difference (one year I even threw some mesh netting over the tree to protect it).  By the end of the month I think we will have picked 100 lemons or more. And we don’t waste a single one.  After giving some to friends, Natasha takes the rest and turns them into spectacular marmalade using the whole lemon–peel, chunks and all!

For some wonderful reason, the lemons from this tree are only slightly tart, so they require VERY little sugar.  The recipe? Wash ’em, cut ’em up, cook in their own juice til soft and then pack away in jars to enjoy all year long!

you can see the peel and chunks in Natasha's lemon jam!

you can see the peel and chunks in Natasha’s lemon marmalade!

We even make a simple open-faced pastry by rolling out some dough, plopping some lemon marmalade on top, cut into squares, into the oven– dee-lectable!

Living on the coast, where summer temperatures easily reaches 30+C with just a sprinkle of rain, it’s hard to believe that Croatia grows such gorgeous fruits and vegetables–from amazing potatoes and celery root to sweet, juicy cherries!

We can’t wait until we finally get our old stone house to plant some peach, lemon and apple trees along with veggies we like.  Although we have our own lemons, pomegranates and figs (Natasha’s fig jam is sinfully delicious!) and grow some tomatoes, zucchini, etc. we love peaches….so we buy them in the Green Market.  They are so amazingly sweet, we just cook them down in their own juice and freeze them.

Enjoying lemon marmalade and peaches in January…..heaven.

At last!  Our newly-designed website is finally done:

enjoy! and send your comments!



  1. The lemons look wonderful ! And the marmalade scrumptious – crying out for toast !
    We do the same with Seville Oranges just coming into our shops from Spain.

    Greetings from rain-lashed, gale-swept, gigantic wave pounded, flooded, sodden and economically challenged UK – Oh for a coffee on Riva !



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