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......

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ABC Wednesday

August 21st

The Letter is F, for Robert Frost

The Flower Boat
Robert Frost
The fisherman's swapping a yarn for a yarn
Under the hand of the village barber,
And there in the angle of house and barn
His deep sea dory has found a harbor.
At anchor she rides the sunny sod
As full to the gunnel of flowers growing
As ever she turned her home with cod
From George's bank when winds were blowing.
And I judge from that elysian freight
That all they ask is rougher weather,
And dory and master will sail by fate
To seek the Happy Isles together.
For more happy F's sail on over to ABC Wednesday here, with thanks
to Denise, to Roger and to all Fair helpers.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Early morning in the garden

A lovely cool breeze this morning, carrying with it that first faint scent of autumn.

I take my first cup of coffee into the back garden, with Callie following, and the night fragrance of the nicotinia still lingers in the air as I brush past the pure white blooms. 

And the one stalk of evening primrose that grew in the pot where a great clump were meant to be!

We take what we gets and be grateful!

The clouds along the rim of the hills are long and low and the sun shines bright on the willows
that grow in the length of the underground stream that runs along the bottom of the benchland.

It is Sunflower time again - a gay portend of September and the opening of the
Sunflower Breakfast Bar for the small birds that remain in the valley.


The clouds above radiate from the East

 and a particularly ambitious sunflower towers above it's neighbours, thinking to reach into the clouds, I do believe!
The Mountain Ash is turning autumn orange

 Mister Lincoln is well into his second flush,
and bears a few more buds, as does the Abraham Darby

I gather a few second crop raspberries, just enough to make the breakfast cereal a treat
And Callie and I go in to start the day in earnest, - Monday, in what promises to be a busy week, and being busy is good for my grateful soul.