This is the view from my writing studio window — when there is snow on Cucamonga Peak. Lately there hasn’t been too much of the cold powder topping any of the peaks in Southern California. *sigh* With temperatures predicted to be in the upper 80’s this week, it’s a rather discouraging midwinter’s reality that chilly, blustery days here last, if I’m lucky, a few days. It’s probably not a coincidence that Hollywood, the land of make-believe, is nestled here, because one has to have an awfully vivid imagination to grasp that any season besides summer actually exists.
“when life gives you lemons, keep them because, hey, free lemons!:)”
― luke hemmings
Lemons, like warm weather, are in abundance right now. Several of our neighbors own Lisbon (the most widely found) lemon trees and have gifted us with a few dozen. Our eldest daughter has a Meyers ( the most fragrant) lemon tree in her backyard and generously gave me a bag full. You can read her blog post on the ways she is finding to use them here. If you want your home to smell fresh and summery in the winter, zest some Meyers lemons and do some baking.
Although I am not a lover of the color yellow, even I have to admit that I enjoy the way a bowl of lemons looks, and makes me feel, when I enter the kitchen.
I often find my mind racing with so many things that I want to write about in this space: to share, to ponder, to explore, to question. There are days though when I need downtime from an unusually busy week both at home and at work. On such days, I find that working with my hands away from the keyboard helps: write letters, knit, read, cook, or bake. So while I’m attempting to keep Sundays for the baking of cookies, I veered towards baking mini-loaves of lemon bread this past weekend — sharing with a few neighbors and a coworker.
Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love’s
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree’s yellow
from the tree’s planetarium
~ excerpt from A LEMON, Pablo Neruda
Grandma’s Lemon Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (5 ounce can) Evaporated Milk
1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
- Preheat oven to 350°F 175°C). Grease and flour 8x4x2-inch baking pan.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat eggs, evaporated milk, oil and lemon zest together in medium bowl. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Using the skewer, poke numerous holes in the hot bread, piercing all the way to the bottom. Slowly drizzle the hot Lemon Syrup over the bread (Syrup will soak into the bread). Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes; run knife around edge of bread. Remove bread to wire rack to cool completely.
- Lemon Syrup: Combine sugar and lemon juice in small, heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and a light syrup is formed.
Makes 10 servings (one 8x4x2-inch loaf).
Note: To make four smaller loaves, double the recipe above.