Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mary's Feast of Feasts and Non-Dairy Lemon Lusciousness!

Ave Maria!

Last year we had a tea party in honor of our Lady's Assumption- this year, we had a pot-luck dinner! Mostly the reason was that I wanted families to come- I love spending time with my friends, but their families are so cool that I can't stand to leave them out.
I had three men at my service the entire day (not to mention our Blessed Mother...) and we accomplished a great deal. Though we weren't exactly done by the time the party started the lawn was mowed, the cakes were baked, 9 loaves of french bread were made, 24 egg-shells were washed and crushed for the compost pile, the lights were up, the side walks and driveway were immaculate, vespers was prayed and the tater-tot hot dish was in the oven. I am heartily grateful for the service of these men- besides there's something so satisfying about serving soup and biscuits to hungry men that work for you. Pope John Paul II says that all of mankind is entrusted to women- it is our vocation! And of course the best kind of ruler is humble and rich in love that is strong as death- like...hmm... Mary?
The highlighted dessert was the Assumption cake- it is a double decker angel food cake (I'll explain how to stack angel food cakes without fancy equipment if anyone wants to know) with a cloud of whipped cream and of course, Blessed Mother being taken up on top. Legions of angels bearing up Our Lady on the clouds of heaven!

The little pastries next to the Assumption cake are filled with non-dairy lemon curd (2 angel food cakes=24 egg whites= 24 lonely egg yolks!) which is delicious- who needs butter? This is a single recipe and maybe makes a cup or so- I, of course, octupled (is that a word?) the recipe and ended up with- a lot.

6 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
Zest of half a lemon
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice (don't use the yucky store-bought kind! SQUEEZE YOUR OWN LEMONS!)

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and whisk it so there are no cornstarch clumps. Add zest and egg yolks and whisk until everything is wet and yellow. Stir in your lemon juice and fire up the stove to medium heat. Cook until the mixture starts to get thick like yogurt (it will get thicker as it cools don't worry) making sure you're stirring pretty much all the time so that it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove it from the heat and cool! Experiment by adding some soy or rice milk to try to bulk out the recipe (in the original butter filled recipe it makes more because there's a whole stick of butter in it...) and just cook it a little longer. I would NOT recommend using margarine or shortening of any kind. Not only is it horrible for your health but it will make an absolute mess of your luscious lemon curd. Butter can do things that margarine just will never be able to do- that's the way it is. Some things are simply inferior to others.

So at the end of the day, Mary is body and soul in heaven, and we await the joyful day of our death and the reunion of our souls with our glorified bodies in the new Jerusalem. Sigh, God is good.

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