Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lemons, Lemons Everywhere

Dana and I spent the whole entire day in the kitchen. We did not intend for this to happen-but one thing led to another.

We began the day planning to make Lemon Drop Cookies. I found the recipe through a blog I read and have been planning to make them for close to a week. So today we finally had the time and energy.

To give the cookies an intense lemon flavor, you take the zest of three lemons and pulse it in the food processor with three cups of sugar. Doesn't this look pretty? We thought so. And ooh did it smell good!

Dana was in charge of the food processing. Well, the pulsing anyway. I wasn't about to let a 3 year-old loose with my Cuisinart for countless reasons. This is what the sugar looked like after pulsing it a few times. It was fragrant, a beautiful pale yellow flecked with bright yellow zest, and sort of soft.

So you use most of this sugar to make the dough, but you save some to roll the dough in before baking it. Dana was in charge of coating the dough balls in lemon sugar. But you know what? She loves lemons. I mean, she loves them. She ate two lemon slices when we were done. I swear. So she could not possibly be expected to keep her lemony, sugary fingers out of her mouth. In fact, she helped herself to a spoonful when my back was turned. I normally would be freaked out by this, but the sugar looked and smelled so heavenly that I totally understood where she was coming from.

The sugar sort of clumped on the cookies, but I think this is because the preschooler was in charge of them. She did a bit of squeezing, which made the sugar stick extra special thick in spots. Which is just fine by me. These cookies are phenomenal: super lemony, yet still soft and chewy. I do not care for crunchy cookies.

So that was all a lot of fun, but now I had three zestless lemons, and since my New Year's resolution is to use stuff up, I was not about to toss them. So we made lemonade. I actually got an entire cup of juice out of these three lemons!

To make the lemonade, I made a simple syrup by mixing one cup of water with one cup of sugar. I brought it to a boil and immediately removed it from the heat. It cooled while I pressed the juice out of the lemons. Once cool, I mixed it with the lemon juice and added enough cold water to fill my 2 liter pitcher.

Delicious AND refreshing! That flower has had a long day of being photographed. It came off of a flowering maple that I got for free the year I was pregnant with Nora. My mom, sister and I have an annual tradition of going to greenhouses on Mother's Day, and the Petunia Patch was giving away flowering maples to all mothers that year. Sweet memories.

So you would think that was enough, but the cookie recipe calls for three egg yolks. And I couldn't possibly toss the whites! So I saved them and made my most favorite bread recipe: Garlic French from this cookbook. It calls for two stiffly beaten egg whites. And I was OK with throwing out one egg white. Because I spent enough time in the kitchen for one day, and I hadn't even made dinner yet. I ended up making "Stone Soup," which is basically chicken noodle soup without the chicken. Served with the garlic french, it was mighty tasty on a cold, -5 degree night. I mean, what else can you serve when it is that cold? Other than ice cold lemonade, of course...

I hope that you make the cookies. They are really lovely. But maybe you don't need to go as nuts as I did. It is 6:15 and I am ready for bed. Wait though-wouldn't that fresh lemonade mix well with some of my leftover vodka from the vanilla making yesterday? Hmmmm......maybe after the kids go to sleep.

1 comment:

Angie said...

I gave my egg whites to my neighbor's dog. Does that count as not thowing out? I've heard that its great for dog's fur. Next time I'll try to bake bread. Yours looks delicious. and I do love garlic with a passion.