A Thing for Lemons
The View from Mrs. Sundberg’s Window
Made a loaf of lemon bread Saturday and it was not bad. Seems when spring rolls around I get a thing for lemons. They’re fresh and tangy. They’re bright and they splash. And they bring to mind lemonade, picnics, groves of trees and life.
Lemons bring to mind Easter, too, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was all those lemon cakes and breads and desserts my mother made around Easter time when I was young. We looked forward to all of it, and we were never disappointed. The rituals of that holiday run deep in me and the food I make is its greatest manifestation.
This year’s menu will include a ham, of course. A lovely spiraled ham with a spicy glaze. And cheesy potatoes for sure, and green bean hotdish, some corn casserole and a pan of fresh rolls. I think, too, cranberries. I’ve some left in the freezer and why not? For dessert I am thinking of a lemon cheesecake, complete with lemon curd all over the top. And of course some frosted sugar cookies and a pan of crème de menthe bars. Just for variety.
There will, inevitably, be a bowl of jellybeans on the counter. I have always liked ‘em, and have gone through two bags already since they appeared on the store shelves. Because they taste like spring, and Easter, and my childhood, and they remind me you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a treat now and then. No, you don’t, and remember that. Life offers us all kinds of ways to be a kid again, just for a while. Which reminds me I still need to dig the Easter baskets out and fill ‘em up. And pick up a few coloring books even though my granddaughter isn’t quite there yet. Who knows? I’ve a mind to do some coloring myself. It makes the world feel simpler, if only for a while. And we all need that, and rituals, and whatever it is Easter brings home.
This recipe is quite similar to the lemon loaf you’ll find at Starbucks. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. And it’s pretty dang good.
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 T butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
1 cup plus 1 T powdered sugar
2 T whole milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice (or lemon extract)
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in one bowl, and blend together the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice in another medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add oil and mix well. Pour batter into a well greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into center of the cake comes out clean.
Make the lemon icing by combining all the icing ingredients in a small bowl.
When the loaf is cool, remove it from the pan and drizzle with icing.
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