Sunday, March 07, 2004

Lemon Everything

Color, flavor, fragrance. Think lemon.

We were invited to take lemons from a neighbor's tree. He wanted us to take as many as possible, to come back and take more. He suggested we squeeze the fruit and freeze the juice for later use. He offered me an extra bag, and pointed out where were he could see dense clusters of heavy, yellow orbs. The tree was full, the ground was littered. I filled two canvas bags and walked back up the long road to the Tree House.

From Ruth's recipe I made lemon bars. The butter crust was faintly golden and crumbled delicately under touch. I filled the square pan with the lemon juice, egg and sugar mixture, which baked to a bright and bubbly yellow. Alex washed lemons in the sink and gathered them in a bowl. He took a sharp knife and sliced them open. The juice flowed with barely any encouragement and he added water and sugar, and mixed it all in the blue pitcher. I added lemon juice to chile, garlic, salt, and chicken, to grill for dinner. And in her home, Anne was washing lettuce and preparing a dressing with lemon.

Lemon Saturday. It was wonderful having my friend here. We talked about books and babies, movies and plans, places we've been and how we've been. It was wonderful that our boys played together; they kicked off their shoes and shared their thoughts. They laughed. Alex's lemonade was good; refreshing, and not too sweet. Anne's salad was refreshing too, and crisp and cool. The chicken came out flavorful and tender. Max, Adam, Alex, William, Jacob, Anne and I ate all the lemon bars.

Parts of the house were clean and some parts were not. We ate off paper plates, and I dropped one piece of chicken in the coals. Max got sad when the bigs boys wouldn't play with him, but he found a matchbox and sat at his table and made it in to an airplane with paper and tape. The kitchen counter was sticky with lemon juice. Anne brought good wine and we enjoyed all that the day gave.

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