Kitchen memory of something lemony


My dear friend Mrs A has, over the years that I have known her, mentioned her Mother’s Lemon Butter recipe on several occasions.  In my world it is called Lemon Curd but who cares what it is called when it tastes this good.  A long time ago, I fell in love with lemon curd, served on hot buttered toast, probably made by my Mummy.  The toast, not the curd, Mummy was far too busy bringing up three children ( I include my father in this category) and having a very successful full time career to make lemon curd.  She pretty much made everything else from scratch so we’ll let her off on this one…

Anyway, this is not my story, nor my mother’s story.  It is Mrs A’s mothers story.  I’m not going to pretend to know a lot about her but I know that her daughter loved/loves her dearly and misses her terribly and that every year she makes her Mum’s lemon butter recipe and enters it into the local country show and I’m pretty sure that it wins every time.  And now I have tasted it, I can see why.  It truly is the recipe I have been searching for, after making a crappy lemon curd last week where I had just grabbed a recipe from the internet, I was feeling disenchanted and slightly lost.  Lemon curd has a dizzying effect on me…  After procuring some lemons grown on a friends farm and some eggs laid by some friends chooks, I was ready.  I had asked Mrs A for the recipe and being the ‘just do it’ kind of lady that she is, I arrived home that night to find an email from her which was a scanned copy of her mother’s recipe, complete with elegant handwriting from yesteryear, splotches from leaving the recipe too near the stove and measurements in pounds and ounces.  It was like opening somebody elses mail, I felt like I was intruding somehow.  But a message from Mrs A reassured me, ‘cook it with love, she said’ and when I thanked her for giving me the recipe she said ‘special recipes for special people’. 

I enjoy the process of standing at my stove and stirring and stirring, I turn up the music (normally something heartfelt that I can sing loudly to) put a glass of wine within easy reach and stir and stir contentedly.  The first taste of the silky, buttery smooth yellow curd was lovely, just the right balance of sharp and sweet.  It seemed rude not to make an event of it so I baked two little sponges and made a version of Victoria Sponge but the filling was lemon buttercream and lemon curd.  However, the curd splurged out all over the place when I put the top of the cake on, which was my fault as I was rushing to get to the pub with Mr T.  I think next time I will make little butterfly cakes and pipe the curd in them… 

This recipe is a keeper, it went straight into my own, handwritten recipe book and I know I will make it many, many times.  For me, it represents everything that cooking is, it is about knowledge learnt from loved ones, knowledge learnt from wiser ones and using good, honest ingredients.  I don’t care how much butter and sugar it has in it, I know where the eggs came from, I know where the lemons came from and I know where the recipe came from.  From a mother.  And there’s not much, more honest thing in the world than maternal love. 




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3 responses to “Kitchen memory of something lemony

  1. First of all, I love the title of this post.

    Secondly, this is my favorite post of yours so far. I love a story behind a recipe and you told this one well.


    • Thanks Gill. I was trying to think of a kooky title and this one just popped into my head. This recipe is dear to me and my friend so it was written from a very good place in my heart. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Little chef x

  2. Suzie Parker

    I love this blog entry, it’s written so beautifully and its given me a real hunger for lemon curd! Thanks Meals xx

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