Sunday, April 25, 2010

pretty little tea party

It's been years since I've attended a proper tea party, but today I've remedied that sad state as I had the opportunity to join four utterly sweet and adorable girls for a tea party. Honestly, I enjoyed this cheerful little tea party so much that it makes me wonder to myself why these sorts of things don't happen as often as they should.

For the tea party, I made a batch of my favorite, but extremely fattening (naturally), cookies: Lemon and poppy seed cookies. Of course, I altered the recipe this time, but in my defense I made the recipe exactly as it is written, a few years ago; this time, I just added a pinch of ultra finely ground lavender to the batter and sprinkled whole flowers on the top for decoration. I must admit, I really like my alteration. And I know that the Lemon Lavender combination is beyond passe, but I haven't really had the chance to use it yet. This is probably the first time I've made anything with those two ingredients as the main flavor profiles and I'd happily make the same change to these cookies in the future.

Along with the cookies, I threw together a silly little tartish treat. Store bought tart shells with a dab of clotted cream spread on the bottom and a few blackberries squished into the cream. I really enjoyed these tiny creatures; they were just so petite and fun to eat.

I wasn't able to get any pictures of the extra nummy sandwiches that Jessica made, but that was mostly because I couldn't stop wolfing them down in time to get a nice photo of them. I'd wager I ate more tiny sandwiches than anyone, except the dog(who loves to nick food).

My favorite goodies at the tea party were Jessica's lovely lemon lavender scones(yes, you'd think it was pre planned, but we aren't organized enough for that) with dollops of clotted cream and freshly defrosted* limequat curd.

The best part of the whole tea party was getting to wear a corsage and I must say, it is probably one of the most elegant corsages I've ever worn. Thank you Julie!

*Note: My failed canning of the curd meant that I had to freeze it, against my own silly wishes. Of course, Ball Blue of canning and everyone else in the world recommends freezing Lemon curd and they are correct that it unfreezes beautifully, but for my part, I think I'll attempt canning it once more before I allow myself to become a die hard citrus curd freezer (it was just an itty bitty touch watery).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

a darling little springtime gift

I know this beautiful Lily of the Valley won't last long. In fact, I'm surprised that it actually bloomed for me, since most plants refuse to grow flowers once I touch them with my grubby little grey thumbs.

The first individual blossom opened on Easter Sunday, but only one seemed very small, so I waited to photograph the stalks until more flowers had blossomed.

It seems like each day a few more individual flowers open up.

I just adore the petite look of the flowers.

Thank you Mother for such a sweet gift.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

cutest dinner

Yes, yes, I fully realize that everybody got over their slider/baby burger phase about 6 months ago, but I still can't help but adore these tiny creatures. They are just so lovably small and fun to eat.

I couldn't resist posting a photo of them since they looked(and tasted) so much better than the tofu burger sliders that I made a couple months ago.

This is just what we had for dinner tonight: Baby lamb burgers with Alexis crinkle cut fries. Nummy, yummy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The sad story of the limequat curd

It's Limequat season again in Southern California and I have dutifully bought my season's worth of these wee yellow creatures from Farmer Steve at the Farmer's market. These precious little babies really make the best curd, as I discovered last year.

I decided to show off this year. Not sure who I would be showing off to, myself? But, my plan was to make the curd and can it in darling little jars that I'd purchased on impulse many months ago. Well, I gave it a really good effort, really I did, but due to my absentmindedness I had to settle for a less than perfect product: uncanned limequat curd.

So pretty in the small jar

The happy little curd looked so beautiful, unusually yellow and bright, as I packed it in jars and gently placed it in a pot of boiling water. I cheerfully set the timer for 15 minutes, thinking about what a splendid and resourceful girl I am, when suddenly I looked down at the massive chunk of butter than still needed to be worked into the curd. I had just placed jars of butterless curd into that hot water bath. Oh dear! up came the jars, off came the lids, out came the curd and in went the butter. Once I had finally managed to stir in most of the butter(it wouldn't all fit) I decided that I just didn't want to chance poisoning myself and everyone I know by canning limequat curd with partially used lids. I am not comfortable enough with canning anymore to know what I can and can't get away with, so I decided to just eat the gorgeous curd fresh. No saving it for years on end, waiting for that special enough opportunity to open the jar and use it. I will just have to give some away and eat the rest of it every single day for the next week.

I suspect that the curd will taste very good on hot cross buns left over from my Easter snack fest.

Note: The curd will actually save beautifully in the freezer but this completely negates the use of the darling little jars which are not freezer safe. Perhaps, after a week of eating limequat curd, when I still have so much left to eat, I'll put it in a tupperware and freeze it.