A new year always brings about ridiculous resolutions that never stick, and wild claims and accusations about becoming a "new you" - as if something was wrong with the person you were 30 seconds ago. While growth and knowledge increase our experience and understanding, our toxic culture encourages us to never be satisfied and constantly reach for something out of our grasp so that we never appreciate what we do have. We are losing the ability to find bliss and contentment amongst the abundant blessings of our lives.
I've recently been thumbing through my ancient version of my Better Homes and Garden's cookbook. I'm realizing how many of these recipes have been erased from our repertoires. I was recently reminded of a trip I took when I was about 10 years old to see my sister in Mississippi. I was flying standby, courtesy of my Aunt Becky who worked for Continental, and on the way home I got stuck in Boise, Idaho. My mother called an old childhood friend she went to high school with who welcomed me into her home and her family for the evening.
My memory may be skewed slightly by my perceptions as a young child, but I remember their home being a log cabin with no electricity (this is confirmed). I remember we carried around lanterns after the sun went down. All the furniture was hand made from beautiful wood and stained an incredible dark red shade of alder. She homeschooled all of her children who ranged from teenagers to young toddlers, and I became fast friends with her daughter who was my age.
What I remember most, however, was that she had the most exquisite disposition. I remember seeing her again, nine years later when my brother passed away, and all those warm, wonderful feelings came rushing back to me, just at the sight of her face.
I want those feelings to reign supreme in my home. I want to envelope my children and those in my life with a candor and love that is unceasing and unconditional. I want my home to be peaceful; homage to a simpler time when we worked for and appreciated the things we've been given. A place where we don't forget why we are here, and what we want to accomplish.
I've always believed that food creates your atmosphere; that food can change your mood and build bridges. This year, in 2013, I'm going to continue thumbing through the ancient recipes of our ancestors and refashion and revision them!
Lemon Pudding Cake (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens pg. 162)
This mildly tart treat is confection, pastry and cake all combined into one. It is sweet, scintillating and scrumptious. It's a multidimensional dish. The top is moist and cakey, but gradually turns into a custard pudding. Not to mention, they are simple!
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter with rind from two lemons
Add scant ½ cup lemon juice
Stir to combine
¼ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
Whisk together with lemon mixture
¾ cup water
¾ cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
Stir until incorporated
In a separate bowl, beat 3 egg whites
Fold into batter
Pour into 6 ungreased ramekins, placed inside a deep casserole or baking dishWhen I went to collect my pictures, my computer ate them. All the pictures shown above link to the sites where they were taken from.
Fill dish with a minimum of one inch hot water
Bake at F350° for 45 minutes
Remove from oven and enjoy either warm, or chilled and most definitely with whipped cream
One year ago: Surprise Treat, Apple Cream Cake
Two years ago: In A Rut, Boston Creme Pie
Three years ago: Sweet Comforts, Candy Bar Pizza
Four years ago: Creating Beauty, Cheesecake