Wash your lemons thoroughly & set them in a colander in the sink to drain. You will need 8-10 lemons for each 1 quart canning jar that you use.
Place your canning mat in the bottom of a deep pot. If you don’t have a canning mat, line the bottom of the pot with a clean cloth dishtowel. This will keep the jars from bumping against each other when you sterilize them.
Stand the quart jars in the pot with their open ends facing up.
Fill the pot with water so that the jars are completely covered. Bring the water to a boil. Lower it to a rolling simmer & cover the pot. Let the jars sterilize for 10 minutes without disturbing them.
Lay a folded dishtowel on the counter. Remove the jars from the water with your canning tongs & place them on the towel, open side up. Never put hot jars directly onto a cool surface like a bare counter because they may shatter.
Drop the lids and rings into the boiling water & turn off the heat.
Slice both ends off of each lemon & cut the lemons into 4-6 wedges each.
Lay the wedges out on a platter or a length of waxed paper & lightly salt them with the Kosher salt.
Fill the bottom of the jars, once they have cooled enough to touch, with ½ c. Kosher salt.
Fish the lids & rings out of the hot water with the canning tongs & set them on the dishtowel with the jars to cool.
Squeeze each lemon wedge gently as you pack them snugly into the jars.
Fill the jars with lemon juice so that the lemons are just covered. Sprinkle another layer of salt on top.
Wipe any excess salt or lemon juice off of the mouths of the jars with a clean dishtowel. Seal the jars with the sterilized lids & rings.
Let the jars sit at room temperature for 24 hours & then turn them upside down. Let them sit for another 24 hours, then turn them right-side up & place them in the refrigerator.
Leave the jars in the refrigerator for three weeks, occasionally turning them upside down for a day or two.
To use the lemons, pick one out & wash off all of the salt. Discard the seeds & pulp & grate or finely chop the lemon rind.
Add visual interest as well as flavor by adding mint sprigs, rosemary, sage, thyme, peppercorns, whole cloves, whole coriander seeds, or cinnamon sticks to your preserved lemons when you pack them into the jars. Experiment by adding different combinations of herbs & spices.
Prepare the steamed crabs for garlic crabs. Place your hand over the backfin leg and pull away the top shell & discard it. Remove & discard the six gills, which look like spongy fingers, & then remove their entrails, using your fingers or a knife. Once clean, tear off the crab’s mouth & any sharp shells that might be protruding. Finally, break the crab in half or leave it whole (you decide). Repeat with the remaining crabs.
When all the crabs are cleaned, place the crabs in the pot along with the cabbage & white wine. You can add the optional salt, pepper, butter, & parsley.
Cover the stockpot & place it on a burner. Raise the heat to medium & cook the crabs until the cabbage & garlic is tender or, about 15 minutes.
Occasionally check the level of liquid, which should increase as the crabs release their juices (but if this does not happen, just make sure there is enough water to continue to cook the crabs). Stir the pot well halfway through so all the crabs get a chance to cook directly in the liquid. Serve immediately in a large bowl with fresh bread to sop up the juices.
Chef’s Note: I love Garlic Crabs & prefer to prepare them with already steamed crabs. You can prepare this recipe with live crabs, but removing the shell is a bit cumbersome. For a tangy, sharp flavor, use raw garlic, however if you like it mild use roasted garlic instead. This is a block party favorite: hot or cold, the crabs & juices maintain their wonderful flavor.
For the onion marmellata, place a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil & the onions. Stir to combine & cook until starting to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot & cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring ever 30 minutes to scrape up any brown bits. The onions should be a soft, jam-like consistency & a deep mahogany color.
Meanwhile, for the pork chops, combine the rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, & pepper in a small bowl. Using your fingers, work all the ingredients together until well combined. Rub the herb mixture over the pork chops. Cover with plastic wrap & reserve in the refrigerator.
About 20 minutes before the onions are finished, remove the pork chops from the refrigerator. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Grill the pork chops to medium, about 7 minutes a side depending on thickness. To serve, spoon the onion marmellata over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.