When Life Gives You Lemons…

…make lemon upside-down cake!!  Oh yes. One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a lovely package of 13 amazing little orbs of sunshine, aka home-grown lemons, from the always-fabulous Roxy. They arrived a couple of days after Christmas and after simply eating one right out of the box, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them.  It had to be something special, memorable and worthy of those beautiful little gems.

Yesterday, I strolled through the cookbook section in the library and found this book:

As soon as I picked it up, it fell open to the above recipe and I knew I had my answer.  Lemon upside-down cake??  Oh yes, most definitely.

I was busy today. I got up early, and by 9 a.m., I had put together a package and sent off a query letter, synopsis, brief bio and first 30 pages of my novel to a recommended agent AND applied for an MT job with another company online.  Then we had to take a stray cat that we’d trapped to the pound. The stray/feral cat population is burgeoning, so we’re having to take drastic measures again. When we got back from that, I was ready to bake.  I used my new mandoline to slice the lemons. It’s wonderful to have the right tool for the right job. This cake cooks in a skillet, so the lemon slices went right in with butter and brown sugar.  Are you drooling yet?  You should be!

While that cooled, I made the batter in my stand mixer, then transferred it to another bowl while I whipped egg whites and folded them in, making the batter much lighter.  Then the whole thing spreads over the lemons and into the oven.

About an hour later:

Sweet, tangy lemon perfection.  I took a big piece over to next door neighbor Steve so he could be one guinea pig, had a piece myself and was happy to serve another piece to friend Peggy who came to visit and happened to show up at a moment of crisis and helped me get through an otherwise awful event just by her sweet presence.  Good friends are absolutely priceless.

The bright sweetness of this cake in combination with the tart mouth-tweaking flavor of lemon is a bit like life–joy, love, sorrow and bitterness all rolled into one big banquet. Sometimes the flavors may be a bit overwhelming but without those amazing high and low notes, the overall meal would be quite boring.  Nothing boring here, folks.  Life lived and food cooked and eaten to the fullest.  The only way to do it.


2 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Lemons…

  1. OK, first of all, that is making my mouth water just looking at it! I love, love, love lemon! I’m sure you have made a Shaker lemon pie, and this reminds me of that by using the whole lemon.

    Second, what a lovely gift from Roxy!

    Third, yes, the bitter and the sweet ~ might as well appreciate both because there will always be some of each in life.


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