Monday, April 11, 2011

Luck be a Lemon

Lemon curd.  It is one of lifes pleasures.  Well, it's one of my pleasures.  I can quite happily sit in front of the television with a spoon, and old movie and a jar of lemon curd.  There has been many a jar of lemon curd that I have consumed on its own, without the slightest whiff of bread, tart shell or pavlova.

I love the sweetness and tartness.  I love the smooth, creamy texture.  I love how my eyes sometimes cross with the overwhelming lemon hit that makes my jaw spasm and my saliva glands go crazy. 

Today, I decided to make my own lemon curd.  I don't know why I have never tried making it before because it is really easy.  I think I have been too wary of the custard principle - over cook and you get scrambled eggs; undercook, you get that unpleasant 'eggy' taste.  I had no need to fear.  Lemon curd is simple.  It takes only an hour (if that) to make and this recipe gives you two nice little jars.  (Plus a little to snack on for 'Quality Control').

Lemon Curd (Recipe from

2 large whole eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
165g white sugar
80g unsalted butter
Zest and juice from 2 lemons (I used small lemons)

In a saucepan, over low heat, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth.  Add butter, zest and lemon juice and whisk continually until the curd thickens.  (This takes about 15 minutes). 

Don't be tempted to play around with the heat, just keep it low and slow and most of all, be patient.  Be sure to keep whisking or else the mixture will catch at the bottom of the pan and will end up lumpy.  When thick, pour into sterilized jars and seal. 
Makes about 500g

A word about jars

When looking for jars, I buy mine from thrift shops.  I try to get ones that have lids with the button that 'pops' when the seal is broken.  That way when you are preserving and re-seal the jars, you know you have a proper seal when the jars cool and the button indents.  (I always get excited when this happens!)

I also like to make my jars pretty, because preserving is such a lost art, it is nice to give them a little love.

Until next time...

Kitty xx

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Be Very, Very, Quiet - I'm Hunting Vintage!

I love old kitchenware.  I get deep pleasure wandering around Op Shops and Junk Stores and finding pieces to fill my kitchen with.  Vintage things are so full of history and were really made to last.  I enjoy digging around and finding old collectible pieces, imagining where they came from, and what stories they could tell.

I was in a bit of a stinky mood today, so I decided the tonic would be to take myself Op shopping.  I was feeling lucky and I always like to follow my instincts.

It was a busy Thursday.  There were people everywhere.  I giggled to myself as I watched a lady in the car park attempting to stuff a large wooden toy trunk into the boot of her car without success.  I was thinking out aloud, 'Should have thought that one out a little better lady' and then thought that if it were me, I would have done whatever I could to get that trunk home, come hell or high water.

When Op shopping, my usual modus operandi is to go to the clothing section first, but today I went straight to Bric-a-brac.  I am glad I did because it was there I found this wonderful old Nelly Ware cake canister.

Isn't it delicious!  OK, maybe I am a little over zealous, but for $5 I knew I absolutely had to have it. I mean, being a self-styled baker, how could I not get excited?

As I continued browsing, a lady rushed up to me saying 'WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT?  ARE THERE MORE?  I COLLECT RETRO!  I MUST HAVE IT!' to which I felt like replying 'You can prise it off my cold, dead fingers lady' (I told you I was in a stinky mood!).  Instead I smiled sweetly and said 'Bric-a-brac, I guess today is my lucky day!' and I merrily skipped away.  (Well, in my head that's what I did).

I went to the cashier to pay and then she was all over me like a rash, wanting to know if I knew what it was, how valuable Nelly Ware is these days, how hard it is to come by, and that her Nanna had one just the same that she wished she had kept and was disappointed that she didn't.  At this point I couldn't wait to get out of the store!

I am so happy I bought it, it really made my day and dissolved my crummy mood! I am certain it will be quite at home with all of the other retro and eclectic pieces in my kitchen that all have their own stories to tell.

Until next time...

Kitty xx