I know what’s going on. Your path to life has taken a sour turn. Your mojo is running out of juice. Food has lost its a-peel. And my pith-y jokes…well, they lack a certain zest today. But it’s okay. I’ve got the cure for what ails ya. Because, my dear friend, when life has given you lemons, sometimes you wonder…”What the hell am I going to do with this? Make lemonade? Uh hello, that is so 1956. Laaaame.” Well today, we are going to save your relationship with the lemon.
Because after all, the lemon is a little culinary powerhouse. There is nothing it can’t make better. Not only is it full of vitamin C, and not only is it an awesome little addition to homemade cleaning solutions, and not only does it bring out the delicious flavors of foods it’s paired with, but its own flavor is bright and tart and yummy. To steal a line from Genie, the lemon is “phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty living space.” Continue reading
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: real desserts have chocolate in them. But sometimes, sometimes it’s nice to have an “after diner snack” that is light and fruity instead. And I adore fruit for breakfast, snacks…basically any meal of the day. And fruit is more than welcome to dip itself into some melted chocolate and march itself into my mouth. By all means, please do.
Having said that though, I do have a soft spot for lemony sweets as well. Lemon is an amazing flavor when treated right. Sometimes it can be too sweet, or too harsh and sour. But sometimes it can be just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of tart, just the right level of flavor and then it’s amazing. It’s bright and light and interesting and to be honest, makes me feel like a kid again. As a kid, my favorite (non-chocolate) dessert sweet snack was lemon meringue pie, a favorite I shared with my dad. But mostly lemon makes me think of my grandmother. For two reasons.
One, when I was young–and occasionally still these days–my grandmother would make us lemonade from scratch. As in, from real lemons. Not from packets of Kool-Aid like I know some of you think of when you hear the words “make lemonade.” No, this is the real deal. She hand-squeezed lemons (a juicer? Pshaw) and strained out the seeds and mixed in just the right amount of sugar, water and ice to make a perfect icy cold tart-with-a-hint-of-sweetness treat, especially great during the hot summer days when my sister and I would come over and catch butterflies in the fields by their house, or to make me feel better after their chickens chased me around the yard. Continue reading