Thursday, August 22, 2013

A problem with the Ego

I have this little problem with my Ego - not my personal Ego.  This is a generational Ego, and it can be just as bothersome as the personal kind, which I try very hard to keep under control.

It happened this way.....

I am in the Bargain Centre yesterday, helping in my own small way which usually consists of straightening racks, clearing off empty hangers and trying to make things look less like a Bargain Centre and more like the 7th Avenue Boutique  (which is how it is advertised).

The volunteers are chatting as they work, and the subject is Food, which is a nice change from politics, church and otherwise.

One lady declares 'Betty Boop' makes the very best lemon tarts of anybody in this town!!!!

My ears perk up.  I know this is not true!!!  Joan, my dearest friend, makes the best lemon tarts of anybody in this town, with her wonderful shortbread pastry and the sweet-tart creamy filling that melts in your mouth.  Everybody know she starts in November to fill the demand for Christmas gifts, Bazaars, thank you presents to the postman, teachers and anyone else who has done her a kindness during the year.  My children compare the delight of her lemon tarts to the beauty of her rendition of O Holy Night each Christmas Eve, when they were small.

But Joan died a year ago in April.  So then I go farther back in my memory, to the years when we were first married and Lucille Beecroft made the most amazing lemon tarts in her tiny farm kitchen.

I am thinking about all of this while I have my first cup of coffee, and I am shamefaced that I had considered making lemon tarts for a tea we are having to say farewell to another old timer using Shirriffs'  Original Lemon Pie Mix!!!

My conscience and my generational pride get the better of me, and I determine to go all the way back and use Lucille's recipe.

I reach for the Church cookbook that we put together for a fundraiser, and turn to the Nostalgia section.

I decide to do this the old fashioned way, and find my double boiler and my hand beater, just as Lucille would have done.

I check the egg supply, - there are six in the carton.  I had planned to poach one for breakfast, but I have a leftover piece of quiche, instead, so I won't take the chance of jinxing the lemon curd.

 And yes, there are enough lemons........


It is such a simple recipe - you just mix all the ingredients well in the double boiler, heat them gently and stir religiously until this lovely lemony liquid begins to thicken.


When it is done I pour it into jars, being careful
not to be too circumspect in getting all the delicate curd out of the pan......

I anticipate licking the spoon and cleaning out the pan myself, with the stirring spoon!!!

I go and find my nicest jar, which Lucille and Joan's best ever lemon curd deserves, and I feel
satisfied and content with having remembered their kitchen talents, and ready to acknowledge that 'Betty Boop' might be the best current lemon tart maker in this whole town...but she has high standards that will stretch her culinary accomplishments.....that's my Generational Ego talking!


Here is Lucille's recipe, as written in 'The Secrets of a Small Town'.  Simple and spare, but absolutely delicious......




3 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

There's no problem here at all. You are honoring your friends' memories in the best way possible and it's not egotistical to take pride in a job beautifully done.

Well actually there is one definite problem with this beautiful post...and that is that I am now desperately craving some lemon tarts!

I'm away on a camping trip right now, but when we get back home I'll be transcribing that recipe (I used to make lemon curd for Christmas gifts long ago, not even sure where my recipe is any more; I'd forgotten about it...thank you for the memories and the lovely post.). .....

The Weaver of Grass said...

My mother made the most wonderful lemon cheese Hildred - just as your recipe says - I can smell it and taste it as I write. Served up in tiny pastry tarts I could eat a tin full when I was a growing girl. Happy memories.

Jennifer said...

Hildred,
I have just run across your blog. I followed a link from a Gladys Taber page (one of my most favorite authors and people!) All I can say is that I wish I'd discovered daybyday sooner! what a treasure your writings are! I look forward to going back to the beginning and reading all of your posts. Thank you so much for sharing your life. What an inspiration. :-)