Posts made in March, 2013

Meyer Lemon Dynasty

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Desserts | 2 comments

Meyer Lemon Dynasty



I  cherish our Meyer Lemon tree and when I see the last of the fruit on the tree I finish up strong.

Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter than regular lemons and have a darker rind. They are a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange.



Lemon curd is simple to make and keeps in the coldest part of the refrigerator for about a week. With an extra dose of work it could be packed away in jars.








Eggs, butter, sugar, and the precious lemons.








Combine the yolks, sugar, juice, and zest in a bowl over simmering water.








Whisk, whisk, and whisk for about 10 minutes








until the curd is pale, thick and doubles in volume.








The curd is cooked until a line can be drawn on the spoon or spatula.








Remove the bowl from the heat and drop bits of cold butter into the curd.  Whisk until all the portions are incorporated.








The curd is perfectly tart, creamy, luscious and radiantly sweet!










Imagine the prospects.





















or a couple of silver spoonfuls every day for a week!

Meyer Lemon Curd


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup juice, (about 2 lemons)
  • Zest from lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut in chunks


  1. To make the lemon curd: Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and zest in a metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until smooth. Set the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch, and continue to whisk. Whisk it vigorously for a good 10 minutes, until the curd has doubled in volume and is very thick and yellow. Don't let it boil. Remove the bowl from heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of chunks at a time, until melted. Refrigerate until the custard is cold and firm.
  2. Makes about 2 cups
  3. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  4. All Rights Reserved





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Resurrection Power

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 in New | 1 comment

Resurrection Power

Jesus in the center of this holy week floods over me with a hope like no other—assurance of an almighty victory--determined before the battle began.

"You will not grieve like people who have no hope."

1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT









The natives of the Fiji Islands have a hopeless custom known as "calling to the dead."

The one who has suffered the death of a loved one climbs to a high tree or cliff.

He mentions the name of the deceased, and then cries out desperately,

"Come back!  Come back!"

The eerie echo of grief fills the air.

Those who have suffered the loss of their soul mate, companion,

or beloved child can sympathize deeply.

The Christian does not need to climb to the top of a cliff,

because Jesus climbed the hill of Calvary.

You don't have to cry out, "Come back!" from a high tree, because Jesus cried out,

"Father, forgive them," from a wooden cross.

The resurrection power of Christ over death and hell brings a Christian--

hope in this life and the life to come.

 "Pathway to God's Treasure: Ephesians"  -- Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce Rose


  Perfect Love

Amazing Love

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A Simple Surprise from the Garden

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Pasta | 2 comments

A Simple Surprise from the Garden

The farmers’ market vendors have Swiss Chard stacked up to the sky in winter and spring. Green, red or rainbow chard are tucked into CSA boxes too-- I love the versatile broad leaves to wrap around legumes and grains like stuffed cabbage rolls or in soups and stews.















MP planted green chard and we have plenty of it in the garden.








We devoured this simple dish of the fantastic greens with on hand items!

I didn't line the ingredients up for the usual photo shoot-- because there was no real plan.







A cast iron skillet is always loyal and perfect to sauté an onion and garlic.  I  couldn’t decide whether to carefully chop it or slice it--it sort of just got hacked up.

For real?  Slice it for pretty sake.








Season with salt and pepper adding crushed red pepper to give it a punch.








Optional white wine and a can of diced tomatoes are added to simmer while you







prep the chard.  I didn't even remove the ribs.  They were so tender I chopped them up as well.







Cover and simmer while you cook the pasta.  Rigatoni seemed right because I had a half box in the pantry.








Chopped Kalamata olives and toasted pine nuts with a shower of Parmesan cheese finished the pasta which went straight to the table-- in the skillet.

Please try!

Rigatoni with Swiss Chard and Olives


Rigatoni with Swiss Chard and Olives


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (about 8 cups)
  • 8 ounces rigatoni
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes; sauté another 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and the tomatoes to combine. Pile the chard on top of the vegetables and sauté until wilted. Stir in the olives. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook until the tomatoes and chard are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile cook rigatoni according to the directions; drain (reserving ½ cup pasta water). Toss pasta with the chard mixture adding some reserved pasta water to loosen if necessary.
  3. Transfer to a large platter and serve with pine nuts and cheese.
  4. Serves 4





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The Boy Returns…

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in New | 5 comments

The Boy Returns…


Nearly nine years ago I knew someday we would  have a knock on our door.

Today we greet a guest to our home for Spring Break.

Meet Federico Papa.

In 2004 when Federico was 10 years old his parents, Stefano and Corinna arrived with Federico and his younger sister, Laura to vacay in our home for 3 weeks.  MP and I jetted off to Reggio Emilia, Italy in a well orchestrated house swap.

Fast Forward to 2013

Federico has graduated from the equivalent of 12th grade and is spending a gap year near Chicago as an exchange student.  Federico is living the life of an American high school senior—even anticipating the upcoming prom.









As we played in their converted Italian farmhouse and garden, we exchanged e-mails with the Italian family amusing themselves at our home base in California.

This is one of the stories MP sent to the  (I am sure) flummoxed children.

Today we heard a small voice near the garden calling for Laura and Federico.











Do you know this vegetable? He says that he is weary of lying in the garden for weeks.  He says he is your friend and wants to play in Federico’s room and sleep in Laura’s bed. We will not allow him into this house without your permission!











He does have a familiar medal around his neck--he says he won in a competition. This overgrown courgette claims he beat Federico in an important race and that he is "stronger and faster" than Federico.

He also says Laura is a cry baby and only plays with Barbie’s.









Please look at the pictures and tell us if we should be kind to this fellow and let him sleep in Laura’s room tonight.


coco & poppy

August 2004









Silly poppy.




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Second Spring

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in New | 1 comment

Second Spring

-- R. Scott Sullender 

We should not "borrow from the future" by living in fear of the next life stage. Neither should we live in the past by "idolizing" the life stage just completed. Live fully in the present. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Look for God there. However, in order to fully embrace the present, we must regularly let go of the past, and one of the most significant losses that we must periodically let go of is the loss of our youth.








As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;

Psalm 103:15 (ESV)

Bring it on!

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