Sunday, April 17, 2011

Snowbirds and Lemons....a sure sign of Spring

Every year, Spring heralds the return of many species that migrated south to flee the cold, damp and dreary Canadian winters. The re-appearance of song birds and sparrows, bats, and insects confirm that those of us who stayed have survived another season. Here at the homestead we are especially blessed to welcome the return of that most gregarious of seasonal returnees, the Canadian Snowbird. These inveterate travelers, lured by the strong scent of lush Canadian flora bursting out of hibernation, flock in droves across the Canada/US border late March or Early April. Our particular mated pair of Snowbirds arrived first week of April, bringing with all kinds of glorious citrus from California.

So lemons and oranges are currently in abundance here and it only seemed fitting that I celebrate these fruits. One summer, a neighbour and I, who shared a love of all things lemon, spent the season ferreting out the "best" lemon dessert we could find. Pies, tarts, hard candies, preserves all were sampled, collectively scored on their lemony-ness and that peculiar combination, most important in a lemon dessert, their balance between sweet and sour. I decided then and there that lemon curd, properly made, was likely the most heavenly thing I had ever stumbled on. I've loved it ever since.

So this morning, armed with a bumper crop of gorgeous California lemons (picked from a neighbour's tree by Gerry's Mom and Dad) I made my first ever batch of this yellow miracle. I used a recipe from the Lifestyle section of the UK's Guardian newspaper. I love the way their food writers write....very enticing. Here is the link for the particular recipe I used.

While this delightfully perky conserve was cooking, I quickly popped 12 tart cups into the oven. I know, I know. I didn't make them. But they were leftovers from Christmas when the tart count rises higher than any human can deliver so I buy the shells.

After the tart shells cooled a little, and the curd was well cooked, I ladled a small globule of golden curd into each shell and then poured the remaining curd into a well sterilized glass jar. Nigel says it should last two weeks in the refrigerator. Judging by the reaction of the quality control crew (Gerry, James and Jessica) I doubt that it will last that long.

For me, it heralds the new season and celebrates the return of our own two Snowbirds. After their visit, they headed farther up north where they will open their nest, build a summer garden and prepare to enjoy the glorious Canadian summer...not too hot, not too cold, but as Goldilocks says....just right. At least for us.


No comments:

Post a Comment