There’s a song where a father teaches his son about love, using lemons as an analogy:
“I fear you’ll find that love is like the lovely lemon tree.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.”
Impossible, shmossible! It’s an old song by Peter, Paul and Mary, but the chorus sticks in my mind. It’s quite a cynical, pragmatic view of love. I can’t give advice about loving someone others think is a ‘lemon’. I can only defend my favourite citrus fruit. One sniff of this humble flower’s marvellous scent is never enough for me.
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1fAowg3
Lemons also prevent scurvy and offer many health and cosmetic benefits; mixed with sugar, the juice tastes divine. When life (or a lovely neighbour or friend) gives you lemons, I suggest you make lemon pudding. Why?
Before motherhood and when I was thin, I whipped up and consumed a lot of desserts. It is a mystery to me now how my metabolism coped with all those golden syrup dumplings, chocolate puddings, lemon meringue pies, and combinations of lemon juice and condensed milk in a tart. One of my favourites was lemon delicious pudding.
Around the time I acquired a heavier post-baby body (my mother kindly called it ‘a woman’s figure, not a girl’s’ ) came the craving for a heavier self-saucing lemon pudding, one that didn’t require the extra fuss of beating eggs whites separately and adding only a few meagre tablespoons of flour. I think my long flirtation with lemon comfort food has ended with the following recipe. I’ve adapted it from Nestle – it has a respectable, stodgy amount of flour and very little butter, so it doesn’t feel tooooo naughty. I have it with cream, the extra sugar hit of vanilla ice cream spoils the tartness for me.
Easy lemon self-saucing pudding
- 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour (or plain flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder)
- 3/4 cup (165g) sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp (40g) butter or margarine, melted
- 1/2 cup (125mL) skim or full-fat milk
- grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 2 Tbsp or 40g melted butter
- 2T cornflour
How to make
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Grease or spray a 6 cup (1.5L) ovenproof dish.
2. Combine flour and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a bowl. Add egg, butter, milk and lemon zest; beat with wooden spoon to combine. Pour into prepared dish.
3. Combine cornflour, and the remaining sugar and sprinkle over top of pudding.
4. Combine lemon juice with 1 1/2 cups (375mL) boiling water and pour over pudding. Don’t panic, this makes the lovely sauce and goes to the bottom during cooking. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with cream (or ice cream, for those who aren’t sweet enough).
Quickly back to love and lemons. The father in the song, like most fathers, would have warned Kat about Adam, “That guy’s a lemon. Don’t touch him with a ten-foot pole.” But not Kat’s father, Sam, in Arafura.
Sometimes mixing sweet with the sour can give a more satisfying result. Cooking may not be so complicated, but life and love are, and CAN be bittersweet!
Any random thoughts on lemons?