Thursday, April 15, 2010

When life gives you... Lemon Pudding

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. You know the saying and forgive the banality. It is advice both trite and sage. Those words came to mind today when I returned to Grandma's cookbook and to my own kitchen where I often seek to soothe my soul. Cooking these recipes has become respite and refuge for me.

Stirring is centering, baking is believing, and beating egg whites is like claiming a strength that you thought was out of reach. And then the eating... well, that is loving and also the affirming that all shall, eventually, be well. And it will. And I've got lemon pudding to prove it.

In my memories of Grandma, she had a ready smile and contented eyes. She seemed always to be at peace. I would say the same is true of her daughter, my mother. It is a legacy I treasure. That is also why I return to my culinary history, to draw from the well of deep peace and true joy. And sometimes, to beat the heck out of a few eggs.

Here is the recipe for Lemon Pudding adapted from the Mennonite Community Cookbook
(1950). Even if life hasn't given you lemons lately, I suggest you try it! It is light and sweetly delicious.

1/4 cup lemon juice
grated rind of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup whipping cream
combine fruit juice and rind,sugar, salt, and beaten egg whites.
Cook mixture until thickened.
Cool slightly and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
then add whipped cream and blend into mixture.
Put 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs in a shallow pan (8 X 11)
Pour in filling and sprinkle remaining crumbs on top.
Freeze until set.

The grated lemon rind gives this an energetic zesty taste. It made me smile.

Peace and joy,

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