Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Juicing a lemon

I first heard this joke about juicing a lemon many years ago and it has stuck in my mind:
A local bar was so sure that its bartender was the strongest man around that they offered a standing $1,000 bet. The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and then give the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze another drop of juice out would win the money. Many people tried but nobody was able to do it.
One day a scrawny, little man came in, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit. He said in a squeaky voice, "I'd like to try the bet." After the laughter died down, the bartender grabbed a lemon and squeezed it. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man who clenched it in his small fist.
Soon the crowd's laughter turned to total silence as six drops of juice fell into the glass. As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1,000 and asked the little man, "What do you do for a living?"
The little man replied with a winning smile, "I work for the IRD!"

While making lemon meringue tarts recently, I learned a lot about juicing a lemon. It's not as rudimentary as it looks and there are some small things you can do to yield a lot more juice from the very same lemon. For example, prick lemons with a fork and put them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds - this could yield twice as much juice. Then, roll them back and forward along the bench top a few times to loosen the membranes. If you want to grate fresh zest, cover the grater with plastic wrap and it will stop the rind getting stuck in the holes. Sounds like a sensible way to exfoliate!

I can't help but draw comparison between juicing a lemon and 'encouraging' someone to do something for you. Squeezing harder and for longer isn't going to get the juice out (even if the squeezer works for IRD!), but a bit of warming up, a gentle massage and some exfoliating would work wonders and be almost twice as productive as if you'd just told them to do something while cold. What do you think? ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, very sage advice! Funnily enough I was just talking to the IRD this morning.