Love & Lemons

lemonade mason jar04


The Saturday started with a gentle reminder that the harvest needed to be completed that day. Our lemon tree was heavy with fruit. The bounty was ready to be brought into the kitchen. Each morning I enjoyed seeing the fruit, from my kitchen window, dipping the branch; checking on the ripening by gauging the optimal color and size.

Okay, I’m getting carried away, so before you start picturing a lush lemon orchard…something out of Under the Tuscan Sun. The photos on the page illustrate my entire harvest. Yep, that’s right. We got two lemons from our tree and we couldn’t be happier. You see, we have this very aggressive guava tree that is the bully of the side yard. And, according to a neighbor who took some guavas for jelly making, we have the bad kind of guava. It’s pulpy and hard to press the flesh out. The big bad guava tree is the bain of my Sweet Sugar’s landscaping plans. I am the Tree Gov’ner, giving the stay of execution. Only because the birds love to sing and flit around the branches and I have the show right in front of my window. But the reality is, the guava fruit is of no use to us. It falls along the stone path and the birds eat out little wedges then leave the fruit. The lemon tree struggles to grab some sunlight from the guava tree. But luckily, it persuaded some sun to feed it so that we were rewarded with these two glorious fruit.

Lemon on Tree

As I had written about previously, homegrown fruit has to be treated like royalty. You have to give special thought to how, what, why and where you will cut into these glorious precious globes. It wouldn’t be meaningful to just slice into wedges to adorn steamed shrimp or squeeze into iced tea. And the Buttermilk Lemon Poundcake had been done (and devoured).

Sometimes simple is really the best. When life (ahem, your tree) gives you two lemons, make lemonade. Speaking of simple, you start with making a simple syrup.

1 cup water and 1 Cup sugar heated until sugar is dissolved and thickens.
Squeeze 1 cup lemon juice. Stir together and adder to make 1 quart of water. Chill and serve with thin wheels of lemon.

Bright Blueberry Morning…a Linda’s dozen

Blueberry Morning…a Linda’s Dozen

Blueberry Muffins

These, bursting with blueberries, home baked muffins are calling out to be made for your weekend.  They patiently wait on the pedestal cake plate. Mister Sweet Sugar is bustling about.  As an early riser, he is already through with most of his weekend catch-up efforts.  As it gets too hot under the noon sun, here on the island; you gotta get your outdoor chores done. He’s trimming the jungle of our yard, fixing the door of his truck and lots of other guy things.  He’s not much of a breakfast guy so having these muffins ready on his schedule make me feel like a might have done a good wifey thing.   The muffins just sit under the dome and wait to be snatched on the run.

Here’s a Linda’s dozen of muffins. A Linda’s dozen?  Well, it’s the opposite of a baker’s dozen which gives you the bonus muffin; thirteen rather than twelve.  My dozen is eleven because how could you not  sample one while they are still warm from the oven?

The first time I made them, I had that uh-oh feeling… after I had preheated the oven, made sure I had plenty of blueberries and had whisked all the dry ingredients.  Then I realized I had no milk, no buttermilk or even cream.  Groan. And being a southern girl meant going to the store would entail hair brushing & probably a quick curl, running an iron over something and putting some color on my face. C’mon, it was a lazy Sunday…I just wanted to nestle in my kitchen.  So, I searched my fridge for something and there it was. Sour cream.  I watered it down a bit to make it pourable.  It worked beautifully and I’ve been using it in my muffin recipe ever since.  Don’t you love when that happens?

Here’s the crazy good recipe:

Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins

2 eggs

1 c. sugar

½ c. sour cream

1 tsp water

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

½ c. oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

2 c. flour

1 c. blueberries, frozen

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, whip eggs and sugar; adding sour cream and one teaspoon water. Stir in vanilla extract and oil.  Add wet ingredients into the dry. Gently fold in blueberries.  Topping: In small bowl, mix together 2 teaspoons sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon.  Line muffin tins with paper baking cups. Fill cups two-thirds full. Top with cinnamon-sugar and nuts; evenly distributed. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 15 more minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes on rack.  Move muffins to a cooling rack. Makes one dozen.

Eleven Blueberry Muffins