This past week I encountered a new and wonderful experience. Lemons were growing on my daughter’s patio. From the moment I rounded the corner approaching her house, I could smell them. They were divine! From their bright yellow to their intoxicating fragrance, everything about them was perfect. Every day I enjoyed them as I passed. It seems silly, but it is the little things in life that often bring unexpected joy.
By the time I had passed them for a few days I knew that they needed to be part of a yummy creation. After discussing a few options, we decided to make lemon poppyseed bread and lemon blueberry bread. Katie’s lemon trees yielded over a dozen perfect lemons. We only used four for our baking, so there would be many left to enjoy in a bowl in the middle of her kitchen.
While you won’t be able to taste or smell these tantalizing citruses, I did capture them in photos for your visual pleasure. Maybe you will be inspired to buy some lemons as we head into the coldest months of the year. They are guaranteed to add cheer to any kitchen. Perhaps you could even grow your own. Baking these tasty treats secured a positive response from my son-in-law. It is important to collect what I call “mother-in-law points.” I am still new to this role, but it is super easy considering my son-in-law is so lovable. When I tell him this he responds, “What’s not to love?”
Lemons have always been a consistent ingredient in the food I cook. My youngest used to love to suck on lemons and make the funniest faces. He craved the laughter of his audience. Some find it odd that such a sour fruit added to baking or on the top of fish creates such a likable combination. Alone the lemon does not attract the taster, but when combined with seemingly ordinary ingredients, it enhances and delights. This is so often how life works. A suspiciously sour person can be agreeable when combined with sweeter companions. The day that seems ordinary brightens when life-giving words are shared. A seemingly sour situation can turn to one that creates a delightful outcome.
On this winter day, consider adding the brightness of some lemons to your kitchen. Below is the recipe we used for the lemon poppy seed bread. Enjoy.
Lemon Poppyseed Bread
Recipe by Leah Simpson
Inspired by Katie’s lemon trees
Prep time: 20 min
Baking time: 50 min
Ingredients for bread:
1 1/2 all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
4 tablespoons of poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
zest from one freshly grated lemon
(save the juice of this lemon for glaze)
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of yogurt
1/4 cup oil
Ingredients for lemon glaze:
1/3 cup of butter (melted) Lemon juice from two freshly squeezed lemons
3/4 cup of powered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
zest from one lemon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray large loaf pan.
Combine dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, salt and cinnamon.
Add zest from one lemon. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs. Whisk until completely mixed.
Add dry mixture into yogurt mixture until the batter looks lumpy. Don’t over mix.
Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees or until a knife comes clean from the center of the loaf. Cool.
Prepare lemon glaze while the bread is baking.
Add sugar, vanilla until it liquifies.
Add the fresh juice from freshly squeezed lemons.
Stir until smooth.
Cover and store in refrigerator while bread is baking.
Add more powdered sugar if you prefer a thicker consistency.
Slice warm bread. Add cool lemon glaze. Enjoy.
Best served with coffee and a favorite companion.