Wednesday, 11 February 2015

When life gives you lemons

Already hating this weekend - what with The Officially Most Romantic Day just around to corner with no-one to share it with? No-one to bicker with over an overpriced menu "specially designed for two" while witnessing 3 proposals (out of which none is to you?) Has Ryan Gosling still not called and asked you to be his Valentine? Have you been dumped? Jilted? Cheated on? Are you miserable? Alone? With a face like lemon? Don't worry - this post is for you. You're not alone.

Though every now and then I carelessly boast about the general loveliness of love, take my word for it: it isn't always easy either (though, obviously, nothing compared to your current misery). No matter what HBO series might lead you to believe, there are good men out there. And not all of them are gay, taken or mentally fucked up. 

Even this blog's merely 2-year-old history has gone through a bloody and messy break-up so I know what I'm talking about. Trust me, it does get better. But here's a time line you, too, might be looking at on your road to recovery.

Time it takes for your hair to start spontaneously turning into dreadlocks after you've lost interest in showering (and even picking up a hair brush seems like an superhuman effort): 3 days. Though, seeing how you're holed up in your home in the company of The Notebook and Celine Dion's "All by myself" and refuse to take any calls, you don't really have anyone criticizing you for it either. And your only contact with the outside world is that pizza delivery guy who never complains about the way you look (or smell). See, there is a man out there for whom you (and the PIN number of your VISA-card) are good - just the way you are!

Time it takes for your flat to turn into a maze consisting of empty pizza boxes, cigarette boxes and half-drunk wine bottles: a week. But jumping over them on your way to fetch more tissues (and open the door for that pizza delivery guy) qualifies as work-out. So hey, you've got yourself your very own gym! Another great reason to not leave the house and face other people (that and your hair...) ever again!

Time it takes for your unshaven legs to start resembling an Afghan rug: 2 weeks. Which is only convenient, should you have been dumped in the middle of the winter: no need for itchy thermal tights! Which means less laundry. Environment-friendly choice! Everybody wins!

Time it takes before you stop feeling like The Universe is using news headlines in order to send you secret messages convincing you that you two belong together after all. Oh come on, you know how it goes! A headline on how Iran has managed to build a copy of an American drone makes you think how a drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle and your life, too, is now unmanned after that emotional retard dumped you. But, if Iran can do that, maybe there's a chance for the two of you after all? (and that my friend, is one of the more rational examples...)

Time it takes before you stop dreaming about your ex dying a slow and painful death from gonorrhea that progressed to his brain, only to realize at his last lucid moment on his death bed (alone, of course) how you truly were the love of his life and decides to leave you all his vast fortunes? Well... I'll let you know when that happens. 

This, however, is the most important one: time when that next (and quite possibly the last) love of your life walks into your life asking for nothing more that being allowed to love you and take care of you (and maybe brush your hair and walk you into a shower)? When you least expect it. 

So, do yourself a favour and do not barricade into your home this Saturday. Celebrate the fact you've got such amazing friends and bag yourself an invite for a dinner at your food blogger BFF (you've got one, right? They are what gay BFF's were back in the 90's!)

But if you do decide to stay home and wait for Ryan to call you, celebrate yourself and feast on these. These lemony treats will do wonders to that face of yours (I think we all agree that Saturday is not the day to believe those memes according to which Ryan cries if you have carbs, right?) Hey girl, you're worth it 

Depending on their size this recipe makes 20- 24 tartlets. So, there'll be plenty to serve Ryan, too. And anyway, if he's too busy to turn up on the one day it really matters (making those box office hits, escorting old ladies across the street and saving kittens from trees), who cares! That just leaves more for you!

In case you have tartlet moulds, by all means use them. But of you don't (hey, even I don't!) a 12-hole muffin tin will do just fine. The tartlet shells can be made up to a week in advance - in that case store them in an airtight container. For lemon curd you'll find recipe over here, but the store-bought one is just fine. The frosting, too can be made well in advance.

Tartlet shells:

175 g butter
1 1/4 dl sugar
the juice of 1/2 lemon
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3,5 dl all-purpose flour

Beat the butter (at room temperature) with sugar and then add lemon juice and zest. Then add flour until you have a crumbly mixture. Press it together to a smooth dough, cover in cling film and chill for an hour. Or until the next day.

Divide the dough into 4 portions and keep the rest covered while working on one. On a floured surface roll into a 1/2 - cm sheet and using a cutter (or a cocktail glass) cut into round discs. Place them into the muffin tin's bottom and sides, prick and chill for another hour before baking.

Bake at 180° until the shells have a little bit colour on them - depending on the oven 6-8 minutes. Let cool in their holes before removing them. If the bottom as puffed up and the sides sank, you can fix it using a pestle (or a shot glass - don't even try and tell me you wouldn't have that?)by pressing the bottom down and running it along the insides, smoothing the sides.

Let cool completely before filling.

The frosting:

400 g cream cheese
200 g white chocolate
4-6 tbsp lemon curd (depending on how lemony you want it)
(a couple of drops yellow food colouring)

2 jars of lemon curd

Melt the chocolate in Bain Marie and whisk in cream cheese and lemon curd. If you want a nice, yellow tint, add some food colouring. Let set in the fridge.

Spoon 1/2 tbsp of lemon curd into each shell and top with lemon frosting. Decorate with meringue crumbs. Or caramelized lemon zest strips. Or blueberries. What ever you feel like!




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