Friday, March 29, 2013

..rites of spring..

Spring is finally in the air. We have (hopefully) turned a corner weather-wise, and are enjoying some milder temperatures and a bit more sunshine. I love the promise of spring....the budding flowers and trees, the sweet songs of birds chirping...always a welcome change.

A few weeks back, I made some lemon curd. I love lemons. Their fresh, sour taste has always appealed to me. It was a desperate attempt at bringing some early sunshine into our home. However, my recipe made two jars of curd and after awhile I realized I needed to try to find something besides toast and scones to put my lemon curd on/in. Enter: the tart.

I was inspired by one of my favorite photos from my childhood (see above). Isn't it lovely? Yes, it is in a cookbook. McCall's Cookbook, circa 1963 to be exact. Most of our family recipes came from this cookbook, and I recall spending long periods of time just staring at this photo. It is of the lemon meringue pie....another of my favorites. I love the simplicity of the photo...a lemon, an egg, and a pie. Perhaps it remains one of my favorite pies because of this photo.

Anyway, I decided that perhaps making little lemon meringue tarts was in order. Admittedly, I had also thought of making meringue because of the 3 egg whites I had sitting in my fridge. I wasn't sure about making one whole pie, as I had a questionable amount of curd leftover....approximately a jar and a half.

Everything came together quite nicely, with the hardest part being the tart crust. I am still learning the fine art of pie/tart crust making (thankfully they are forgiving). I used up all of my curd, all of the meringue, and they turned out just right. Tart and sweet, like sunshine on a plate.

Mmmmmmm.....happy spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oh hello.

What a year 2013 is shaping up to be. I think I have mentioned before that my dear, sweet hubby works quite a ways from where we live. We are on our 3rd year now of living separately during approximately half the week, and it's wearing on all of us.

There have been numerous discussions, countless hours looking for properties, and lists and lists of what is important to us as a family when it comes to homes and moving. Mind you, we have taken our own sweet time in deciding what to do about this job situation with the hubby. When he started this position, my mother was still living, and my responsibilities here weighed heavily on us. Now in year 3, we are anxiously awaiting a time when we can be together every night. How sweet that sounds.

We are moving to an area that consists of communities no larger than 5,000 people. There is that inner "farm gal" in me that is so excited about the possibilities of living in such a rural setting, but then the "city gal" in me gets nervous about the impending culture shock. I suppose all one can really do is dive head-first into the change, and embrace the loveliness of it instead of dwell on the frustration and pain of it.

With the decision to make the move, we have been searching for homes. Tirelessly searching. Asking all the questions...taking all the tours...trying to envision all the possibilities. In weighing all these options, we discovered that finding the "just right" home in such a small market was proving to be a sincere challenge.

Our solution to this predicament?

On Thursday, February 21st, we became the proud owners of 1 1/2 acres of land. We have finally taken the plunge, and we are currently deciding upon the layout of our new home. The nice thing about our land is that it is in a small neighborhood, and we have some dear friends living right across the way. That will certainly help to make our transition to the rural life go a little more smoothly.

I don't know about this whole "building" thing, however. Just thinking about the decision-making overwhelms me.

Right now we are still in the early planning stages, but with a "move-in" date that falls right about mid-summer, once these plans are finalized, these decisions will come at us non-stop. I tend to be a bit of a dreamer, and feel fortunate that my dear hubby gently (yet at times, sarcastically), brings me back to reality. This process should be an interesting one, and when appropriate, something to share with you, as well.

Wish us luck.