I’m sitting here, toes freezing in this drafty house that’s been encased with this unseasonably cold weather that came in over the weekend. I’ve been multitasking, holding a heat pack over my face and trying to clean/pick up the house a bit so I can regain a useful, productive feeling. Since Friday, I have been on a very uninspiring, depressing diet (apple sauce, broth, pudding) and have been confined to the couch and bed, due to the removal of 4 pesky little teeth – one of which was particularly ornery and kept rearing its little tooth head and causing me problems. So out they finally went. And even though it’s only been a few days, it feels like a week already since I’ve had real food, or even cooked and oh how I miss it so. I basically checked out mentally a couple days before the supposed surgery date (which was last Wednesday) but there was a mix up and unfortunately I had to wait until Friday morning (but I had still checked out), so I haven’t cooked or cleaned in just about a week. So after copious episodes of bad reality TV, Etsy browsing and pain pill sedated naps, my swollen chipmunk cheeks and I have officially grown stir-crazy. Ciphering through food blogs and dreaming of pasta with bolognese, carnitas and oatmeal cake with broiled icing has turned me into a salivating, envious invalid. I never thought I’d miss the mere act of chewing so much! It has been nice to have a genuine excuse to be lazy all weekend and it was nice being taken care of which I was so fully and selflessly but my inherent ambitious nature is itching to get back to my usual routine.
Alas, I am eagerly awaiting cooking hopefully by Friday or Saturday and easing back into everything soon!
In the meantime, I am dreaming of 1970s sundresses, pistachio poundcake and the next episode of Downton Abbey (yes, I finally saw it and after just 2 episodes I’m already hooked). My mother is so proud.
I’ve decided that April has been a pretty perfect month, so much so that it has even swayed me to allow spring to trump fall in my opinion. Also, I have decided lazy spring Sundays were meant for laying under the sun on the grass in your yard, listening to music with good friends. Beer and hair braiding are essential as well. And if April were a color I think that color would be yellow, like daffodils or sunshine or lemon curd or my new favorite black-eyed susan flower ring. So naturally today was a lovely day for making lavender lemon bars.
I had been wanting to play with the lavender-lemon combo lately and have already done lavender lemonade. Lavender lemon bars and a fluffy vanilla layer-cake with lemon curd and lavender buttercream were what I had a hankering for. Seeing as how I couldn’t pick both for one day and I have been a little caked out lately, I opted for the former. For some reason, I drew the rationalization that baking lemon bars with a lemon curd filling would be a genius idea (instead of a traditional lemon filling). In theory this would have worked out beautifully because lemon curd is richer and I don’t like making mistakes. What I didn’t realize until after my endeavor was that my “genius idea” had produced an overcooked filling since lemon curd is cooked over the stove first. So instead of a 2:1 filling/crust ratio and a traditional lemon bar filling consistency, I had 1:1 ratio bars that were chewier. They were still good and the lavender shortbread crust was just what I was aiming for but next time I will not tinker with the lemon filling recipe.
I know I still have some NYC trip recapping to do but right now I’d rather share some of the things that are making me happiest this month (since I’m quite smitten with April anyway).
- This beautiful cover of an already beautiful song. Can’t stop listening to it.
- Homemade ice cream – right now, maple walnut, courtesy of David Lebovitz
- Mumford & Sons covering “Wagon Wheel.” There’s just something endearing about those talented Brits singing about North Cackalacky.
- This blog. This is the most gorgeous, well-dressed, genuinely happy and loving looking family I think I’ve ever seen and I am living vicariously through their pretty pictures.
- The aforementioned black-eyed susan flower ring, purchased at one of my favorite local antique shops, Adelaide’s Cottage.
- My job, my job, my job! I am loving getting to know some of the sweet girlies I work with. I love what I’m learning and being able to create such fun, tasty things at work, and getting to wear my favorite aprons every day. It’s such fun!
- Alabama Shakes. Brittany Howard’s distinctive soulful voice reminds me of a cross between Janis Joplin and Etta James and I love the band’s mo-town feel.
- Our Easter. There were beautiful flowers, the weather was PERFECT – I seriously couldn’t get over how flawless that day was and we had such a wonderful gathering of people in our home. I made hot cross buns and my mom made a quiche and later we cooked carrots in fresh orange juice and rosemary, a ham with stoneground mustard and riesling, potato gratin, asparagus and had lots of other yummy food from our sweet guests. For dessert, Jay’s mom made a lemon meringue pie and a sour cherry pie and I made a strawberry shortcake layer cake with pastry cream in between the layers. It was a beautiful day and its been nice to reflect on since.