Lemons and lace

Hi, hello. Whoever is reading this: I’m sorry! Do you remember me? I apologize for a lapse in posts. It’s been a busy couple of months.

NYE was mellow. A fancy pajama party in an apartment overlooking the city. There was much champagne, curry, tropical fruit, conversation, old timey music, and a doll house that we decorated with tiny toy pigs, miniature furniture and various little accessories. I wore all white – a 1940s nightgown.

What do I want from 2010?

Clarity. Focus. Stability. Comfort. Ample time to recharge my batteries and then tackle projects. To be less anxious, and more free-flowing. To follow my own rules and expectations instead of measuring up against others’ seeming happiness. Really, these are things I want any year, any day. I just hope 2010 doesn’t end up being the year where I have to really push up stream with all my strength to get what I want.

On the first Sunday of the year, I scored some really neat stuff at a flea market. Ended up getting four delphite teacups & saucers, a red velvet swing coat, a 1920s tablecloth in very good condition, a faux seed pearl bracelet, an Art Nouveau-looking green pendant, a rhinestone necklace, a white skirt for summer picnics, a pretty striped scarf and green velvet ribbon & tiny mushroom millinery stamens to decorate a hat.

Here are a few of the items:

To help send off a couple of friends who were in town visiting from Europe, we went out for a lovely dinner & some cocktails. As a parting gift, my friend gave me a bag of straight-from-the-farm lemons & fresh rosemary. (Her folks have a lovely stretch of farmland, which they tend to lovingly and grow amazing produce).

After digging around for a bunch of recipes, I assumed, over-ambitiously, that I’d be able to use a dozen lemons to make a dozen different things. Ultimately, I ended up just making two. I started on the process of making a bottle of my own limoncello, following the excellent suggestions outlined here.

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Rosemary for the cookies & lemon zest for both recipes

The beginning of a batch of limoncello

I also baked lemon-rosemary shortbread cookies, using a fantastic recipe from Vegetarian Times.

Freshly baked lemon-rosemary butter cookies, one with a dollop of lemon curd and one with red currant preserves

In following the recipe I linked above, bear a few things in mind:
* If you don’t use jumbo sized eggs for the egg yolks, you may find you don’t have enough liquid to keep the dough from being too crumbly. I ended up adding a little bit of rice milk when I’d pulled the dough out of the fridge after it cooled for two hours. It was still too crumbly to shape into cookies, but adding little bits of rice milk until it gained consistency that I needed did the trick. (I used rice milk because I don’t keep regular milk at home, as I’m lactose intolerant. Milk, or water, would probably do the trick just as well).
* If you follow the recipe exactly, the cookies don’t come out too sweet. I personally like that, but if you like them extra sweet, bear that in mind
* Next time, I plan on using a bit more lemon zest and a bit less rosemary