“Sooo what do you do to relax then?”
I paused and thought about it for a moment.
“I guess I make stuff.”
Surprised to hear that I had never gone for a facial and only had one massage under my belt, a friend of mine wondered how I had made it to this point in my life without bursting into a ball of fiery stress.
For me, I just get a lot of satisfaction out of making things whether it be crafts, baked goods or a meal.
There is just something about spending an hour – or an afternoon – producing something from start to finish that makes me feel good. There is a sense of peace, calm and satisfaction that results. Not to mention pride when I receive kudos for a particularly tasty cupcake recipe. I can’t deny I love a little pat on my baker’s back 😉
So yes, I make to relax.
My HR manager, whose family has a tree in their yard, gave me a bag of Meyer lemons last week and since we didn’t have any major plans for the weekend I had a some time to relax.
I really didn’t know much about how Meyer lemons differed from regular lemons and was pleased to find out a local connection to the popularity of the fruit.
The Meyer lemon is commonly grown in China, but became popular as a food item in the United States after being rediscovered by chefs such as Alice Waters at Chez Panisse during the California Cuisine revolution. Although I’ve never been to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Alice Waters has had a profound effect on food in San Francisco and we’ve all benefitted from her leadership in terms of eating fresh, local food.
I wanted to make a couple different consumables from the lemons and try something different from the typical muffins or cupcakes, so I made a Meyer Lemon Sugar Scrub and Lemon Bars.
And here we go…
Meyer Lemon Sugar Scrub
This was super easy and made a great gift! My godmother loves consumables, so I mailed her a jar for Mother’s Day.
- Zest of 2 Meyer Lemons (you can substitute regular lemon as well)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil (I got mine at Trader Joes)
- 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
In a medium mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together with a fork until well blended. The coconut will incorporate itself. Do not heat it up to melt it, as the heat might melt the sugar.
Makes 1 (1 cup) jar
Meyer Lemon Bars
Taken directly from The Barefoot Contessa.
For the crust:
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
- 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.