One night last week I made lemon bars, not because I really wanted them, or because I am especially good at making them, but because when I am being pulled in too many different directions, and am feeling overwhelmed beyond hope, taking an hour to spend with my girls, and my grandmother, is the right thing to do.
There are three things I can bake that are edible: lemon bars, apple pie, and chocolate mayo cake. All three I learned while sitting at the counter in my grandmother's kitchen, watching her fly around in a flurry of flour, waiting to get my just washed fingers in the pie dough, or shortbread crust. Everything got one more pat of butter, one more squeeze of lemon, one more shake of cocoa powder, just the extra ingredient to make it hers, and mine to learn not from the notes in her book but from the time spent together. And now, as an adult with both a parent and children who require my attention, sometimes I need an hour to squeeze some extra lemon and make something that is, almost, all mine.
The last two lemon bars found their way into the lunch boxes on the first day of school, nestled next to a few fresh picked blueberries. Sometimes lemon bars can comfort in being made, and sometimes in being found, on the first day when a reminder of home might be just what you need as you find a seat in the crowded lunchroom.
Mimi's Lemon Bars
1/2 cup butter, softened a bit but still cold
1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus a bit more for dusting)
1 cup flour
Mix pastry and spread in 8x8 pan, bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
1 cup sugar
2 T. flour
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. baking powder
Mix and pour over baked crust. Bake once again at 350 for 15 minutes (but I find it always takes a bit longer). Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut once cooled.
*Image courtesy of whatscookingamerica.net, with my thanks. I forgot to take a picture, primarily because most things I bake are just so bad.