That title is a mouthful and that’s a lot of lemon, but it was a big week.
We all want life to be wonderful, birthdays to be special, and dessert to be the exclamation point on top of it all. At least, that’s what I want. Nevertheless, sometimes the timing is off. Way off. Things don’t turn out as we hoped.
Not bad, but the expected highlights were not there. We are left disappointed.
What happened took a departure far from the way we thought things would be. Been there, done that, more than I care to count.
Did I build it up too much?
Did I expect something I shouldn’t have?
Should I stop expecting anything, so I avoid this feeling of … disappointment.
I had a birthday last week, not a biggie, one I refer to as a “peak” birthday, just past the uphill climb and right before the downhill slide on Decade Mountain. Forty-five to be exact. I have no problem with age and growing older, I have earned every grey hair and
fine line, the goal is to savor each day and celebrate.
Two challenges: Limoncello Tiramisu and my husband being out of town on a business trip.
I had been planning the tiramisu for more than six months, collecting recipes for ladyfingers, candied lemon peel, and lemon ice cream to go with it. Admittedly, I am a lemonhead, though chocolate is a close second. So the stage was set, the lemon ice cream and the ladyfingers were made two days in advance (yes, I made the ladyfingers from scratch, it was my birthday after all), then the tiramisu and candied Meyer lemon peels were prepared the day before. The much anticipated birthday dessert was done.
Except it wasn’t, because the mascarpone cream broke, which meant the entire thing was an expensive, time-consuming failure. Although, the girls didn’t complain about the extra ladyfingers.
Matt was gone all week at a conference and super busy. I knew he would be gone on my birthday, which was a bummer, but he failed to even acknowledge it, thinking he was good until we would celebrate upon his return (the next day). Um, no. This led to a snarky email from me and a conversation I did not want to have on my birthday.
Yes, even after 24 years of marriage, we (both of us) still make mistakes and have to deal with being disappointed by each other.
So where do you go from here?
After tasting the tiramisu (5-6 times) in disbelief, dump it into the trash and start over. Ugh.
Lemon Pudding Cakes, anyone? This had been a close second in my lemon birthday dream.
Send the snarky email to a friend in an attempt to garner sympathy, but only one you are sure will not talk ill of your hubby and will expect the best from you. She agreed he was wrong, but still held me accountable for my response. Everyone needs a friend who will encourage them to put down the shovel.
Cry, if you feel like it. This kind of disappointment doesn’t bring a lot of tears, but even one or two can turn into anger or resentment if not released to roll down your face. Tears are not a sign of weakness, they simply testify to what we are feeling.
Forgive. Grace is like water for a garden, apply liberally, there are seeds just under the dirt.
Put flowers in some water and let your daughters and friend take you to dinner. During dinner, glance around the table at the rich blessings in your life, letting the unpleasant events of the day roll away with the emptied plates.
Savor the Lemon Pudding Cakes with Lemon-Lovers Ice Cream and Candied Lemon Peels. (Save the Rice Crispy Treats your thoughtful friend brought over for snacking later~thank you, Pati).
Re-read the cards and Face Book well wishes from friends and family just before your head hits the pillow, let it highlight everything.
Always expect the best—from your dessert and the ones you love—even though you risk being disappointed.
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 4 whole egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest -- finely minced
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice -- strained
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract -- optional
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- pinch salt
- In a saucepan, whisk egg yolks and milk until combined. While continuing to stir, heat over medium heat until just before simmering. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap on the surface of the custard. Place in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until well chilled.
- In another bowl, mix the lemon zest, juice, honey, and extracts with a whisk until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Once all the ingredients are well chilled, combine lemon syrup, custard, heavy cream, and salt in a mixing bowl or large measuring cup with a pour spout.
- Mix in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions; most take between 20-30 minutes.
- Serve immediately for soft serve ice cream or freeze in an air tight container for 2 hours for a firmer consistency.