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When Life Gives You Lemons…….be Decadent!

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I know, that’s not how the standard saying goes, but life is too short to be just ordinarily optimistic. I suggest that you amp up your response and make people wonder about your sly smile. Do something out of the ordinary when life gives you lemons….maybe, step out and do something decadent!
Life did give me lemons, some wonderful Meyer Lemons from my dwarf tree in the backyard. My wife left for Orlando yesterday with my daughter and on her way out the door she pointed to the bag of lemons and said, “Do something with those lemons!”
She wasn’t smiling and I wasn’t sure if the tone in her voice had any latitude or hint of humor!

I figured I just better give the standard Texas husband’s response and said, “ Yes dear,”
I had intended to deal with them on my own time and schedule but I never found one of those handy “ round to it’s” lying around …..Until her comment. That was a genuine “round to it” handed to me!
I had some errands to run and decided that if I am getting a “round to it”, I may as well be decadent and enjoy the thrill. I knew that if I was to be really, really decadent with the lemons I needed lots of eggs and lots of butter. Decadent Lemon Curd was going to my afternoon plan! The recipe to make one single pint of this luscious, sensual and decadent curd requires one stick of butter, six egg yolks, one cup of sugar and of course fresh squeezed lemon juice with zest.
I took a risk and made double batches, two to be precise. The yield was about 4.75 pints. I am licking my lips right now…..there was a trace of this Lemon curd from the toast I just consumed before starting the post! Oh my, yes a bit of a cliché, but, Oh My…..it is so good!

The recipe;
Ingredients
• 6 egg yolks
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 meyer lemons, juiced (you should get a generous 1/2 cup. Make sure to strain it, to ensure you get all the seeds out)
• 1 stick of butter, cut into chunks
• zest from the juiced lemons
Instructions
1. In a small, heavy bottom pot over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the lemon juice and switch to stirring with a wooden spoon, so as not to aerate the curd. Stir continually for 10-15 minutes, adjusting the heat as you go to ensure that it does not boil. Your curd is done when it has thickened and coats the back of the spoon. (my research finds that about 170 deg F is good).Drop in the butter and stir until melted.
2. Position a fine mesh sieve over a glass or stainless steel bowl and pour the curd through it, to remove any bits of cooked egg. Whisk in the zest.
3. Pour the curd (a single batch will make one pint of curd) into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. If you want to process them for shelf stability, process them in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes (start the time when the water returns to a boil). According to So Easy to Preserve, it is best to process only in half-pint jars or smaller, as they allow better heat infiltration.
4. Eat on toast, stirred into plain yogurt or straight from the jar with a spoon.
Notes
Adapted from “The Martha Stewart Cookbook”
Step 4 is well stated – several years ago when I made my first batch of this decadent concoction, I made a comment about the uses for such a treat. One of my readers and author of the wonderful blog, “Promenade Plantings” suggested that the best way to use it is by the spoonful, straight out of the jar! She is spot on!
Give her blog a look….great stuff, stories and recipes. http://promenadeplantings.com/

I put three of the pints into pint jars....A bit much but once a jar is opened it doesn't last long!

I put three of the pints into pint jars….A bit much but once a jar is opened it doesn’t last long!

TTFN

Bishop

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Bee Keeping Class

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I made use of the Christmas gift my daughter Lisa purchased for me. She gave me a three hour bee keeping class for two! Yesterday we took the short drive out of Kingwood to East Knox Drive about 10 minutes from my house. We were with a group of 12 or so other souls looking to learn a little bit about bees and bee keeping. The young man teaching the class under the umbrella of Round Rock Honey was top notch. He is a petroleum engineer cum bee keeper for a little over 2 years….being an engineer he has learned a lot by reading but it is backed up by his practical experience.

The best part….He lives in the Kingwood development where I live on probably a little smaller residential lot than I have…..along with more than a dozen hives in his backyard. We may be kindred spirits – he got permission from his wife for one hive….but as luck would have it his hive spun off some new queens and at the end of season “one” he had 4 more hives….My buddy John L will certainly see the connection!

The class was pretty interesting but there was a gentleman in attendance that must have been a “Geek” type engineer…. he had some close to on topic questions as well as TOO many off topic questions. We got into sugar molecule discussions, solar and electromagnetic disruptions to bee navigation and several other inane deeply trivial blather! He became fascinated with the frame base material, a thin plastic sheet imprinted with hexagonal patterns. The bees will build upon these sheets in the frames with beeswax and put to use as they see fit, pollen storage, honey storage, brood chambers of the various types. He spent a good chunk of time holding a sheet of the material up in front of sunlight and wondering out loud how he could add some LED lights for some cool light patterns! Hmmmmmm reminds me a little of my college days and altered states of consciousness…. I don’t think he emerged from those days fully intact. Our instructor is an engineer by education but seems to have his feet on the ground as a good ole Missouri boy graduating out of the University of Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla, MO! Very practical young man.

Daughter Lisa geared up and ready to play with the bees.

Daughter Lisa geared up and ready to play with the bees.

Honey....being added to a frame.

Honey….being added to a frame.

The Queen....her life is not as wonderful as we may have thought!

The Queen….her life is not as wonderful as we may have thought!

Standing in the way of the landing pattern. The returning bees were blocked on landed early on some class mates

Standing in the way of the landing pattern. The returning bees were blocked and landed early on some class mates

Drone Bee - the one with the big eyes!

Drone Bee – the one with the big eyes!

Pygmay goats in the feed store yard along with peacocks, pot belly pigs, miniature horses and burros....fun place to visit.

Pygmy goats in the feed store yard along with peacocks, pot belly pigs, miniature horses and burros….fun place to visit.

 

Wish me well folks as I go to the CFO for expenditure approval and the subsequent site request!

 

TTFN

Bishop

 

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