Ode to the Lemon
March 15, 2013
Losing an hour of sleep is never fun, but springing forward always gets me excited. Excited for lemons.
I simply adore lemons. They’re fresh, crisp and clean. To me they represent everything good about spring: spring cleaning, bright colors, the emergence of sunshine. Goodbye winter, hello lemon.
There are many uses for the lemon. Practical uses such as cutting though grease and making the home smell nice. Beautifying uses like softening elbows and lightening hair color. Aesthetic uses as centerpieces arranged in a bowl on a table or sliced with fresh flowers.
[Fun Fact: Lemons ignited a fight in The Break-Up starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. In preparing for a dinner party, Brooke asked her boyfriend to buy lemons for a centerpiece. Holding up a bag of three lemons, Brooke asks, “What are these?” Gary replies, “You asked for lemons. What my baby wants my baby gets.” “There are three lemons. I asked for 12. Baby wanted 12.”]
Probably the best use for a lemon is in the kitchen. Tangy lemon curd screams spring as soon as it hits your taste buds. Kale tossed with lemon juice and olive oil makes for a healthy side dish. So many possibilities.
But nothing highlights the simple beauty and complexity of the lemon better than my grandmother’s Lemon Bundt Cake in a sweet, tart glaze.
Lemon Bundt Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. (Tip: Spray Bundt pan with cooking spray and turn upside down on a paper towel. After five minutes, the excess spray will drip off and will ensure the entire pan is coated. Flour as usual and your cake will not stick to the pan.)
Mix together the following: one package lemon cake mix, one small package instant vanilla pudding mix, zest of one lemon, ½ cup vegetable oil, one cup water and four eggs. Beat for an additional two minutes at a low-medium speed.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and allow to cool completely. Transfer to a serving dish. Mix powdered sugar and juice of one lemon to form a glaze and pour over cake.
Enjoy this slice of spring with your family and friends.