Tuesday, May 27, 2008

While we are on the subject of Lemons...

I made lemonade for Ian's birthday party. It is super good. I wanted to share. I know I am not big on the amounts for stuff so I have to apologize for that, but I really think all .06518 people who read this per month should try it out.

Step One: Go to the store and buy some lemons. You need at least 6.
Step Two: Wash your lemons with soap. They come from a foreign country and who knows what has been sprayed on it.
Step Three: Grate the rind of one or two of the lemons into a jug. Or use a lemon zester. Whatever.
Step Four: Juice those lemons! I have a really cheap plastic citrus juicer that I love, but you can use your fancy electric model, or just a fork works good. Try not to get any seeds in. But that is nigh impossible.
Step Five: Add about half the amount of sugar as you have in lemon juice. You usually need more, but it is easier to add more sugar than to take some out.
Here is the part where I begin Taste Testing for Quality Control:
Step Six: Add water. Start with about twice as much water as you have in lemon juice/sugar. Then stir it up good and have a small taste. Too tart? Add more sugar. Too strong? Add more water. Keep going until you have it slightly stronger than you want, and then chuck in some ice cubes. If you want to be all decorative, you can garnish with some thin slices of lemon.
Step Seven: Drink the delicious nectar of the Gods. (Vodka optional)

(There was no vodka in Ian's lemonade.)
(Nor mine. Alas)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A note about lemon pie

As some of you know, I have had a little bit of lemon pie drama over the last few days. To sum it up, I baked two lemon merengue pies for a potluck thing I went to and NOBODY ate any. To be fair, as I have mentioned previously, presentation is not my strong suit. And there was about 80 million tons of cookies there as well as two other lemon pies, which were clearly prettier. (although I had a piece, mine was yummier. Tarter and lemonier. Is that a word?)

Anyhoo, so I had almost two whole pies at home in the fridge. The next day, Monday, we went for dinner and I brought potato salad, and I thought I better bring the one whole pie as well. So I put it at the top of the stairs and went back to get my purse, and Ian had squashed the whole pie. It looked awful. So I left it at home.

I had a good run at it, but by today, there was still half a pie left, and the merengue was all melted and the whole thing was a runny mess, so I just chucked it.

Anyhoo, some of you have had this pie, and it is actually my most requested item. Sadly, I can't take credit for the sweet lemony perfection. I even tried to make one for Easter, but didn't have the recipe, and the pie I made was a sorry shadow of my usual ray of sunshine.

So I will hereby provide one and all with my deep dark secret: I got it from Company's Coming. Yep, Holiday Entertaining, page 57. Plus I use Tenderflake crust. (It's not that I CAN'T make my own pie crust, I just CHOOSE not to.) It is the most ridiculously easy recipe on the planet, it is easier and less time consuming than using a mix, and it always turns out. I barely even modify it; the only thing I do differently is I add some grated lemon zest. Oh and I always add some extra egg whites to the merengue. I love merengue. It only takes 3 lemons (about; it depends on their size and juicyness) and 3-5 eggs. and a pie crust. (obviously there are other ingredients, but I have them on hand all the time, and I don't have to run out and buy them specially) So it is a cheap dessert when I am low on cash but still want to make a good impression.

So there you have it folks. My deep dark secret!