When I was growing up, there was always a big bag of lemons in the fridge. I used to cut them in half, put them facedown in a saucer filled with white sugar, microwave them, then lick and dip the warm, sugary lemon halves over and over until the saucer was empty. These days, I live for the moment when, in a restaurant, I take a sip out of an ordinary-looking glass of water and realize there's lemon in it—no slice, just the faint, unmistakable whisper of it.

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I love lemons and always keep them on hand. For the last month, my local co-op/corner grocery store, Madison Market, has been out of lemons. They even resorted to placing those yellow plastic ReaLemon juice containers next to the limes in the produce section; it's been a long, cruel summer. Though other grocery stores have had lemons all month, I abstained from buying them (even resisting those adorable baby lemons that are only four for $1 at QFC). While I have no particular commitment to organic produce, it seemed so ridiculous and wrong that the Market couldn't get them, so I wanted to support them. (My suspicious mind couldn't help but think that my little co-op was somehow losing lemons to some giant, greedy organic grocer.) I recently learned—thank you, Slog readers!—that, due to a harsh freeze, lemon crops in California and Arizona were destroyed, causing a lemon shortage, and that Madison Market was unable to obtain lemons that were up to their standards.

I can talk about this all now because, thankfully, the lemons are back. recommended