Thursday, July 1, 2010
The sigh of relief, as I finally settle down from a chaotic month. I catered a handful of parties, cooked for a large family for 5 days, a wedding of over a hundred guests, work at the restaurant, preparations for Spain and Morocco, and somehow gathered in a few "cool points" with friends whom have already forgotten that I live here. And I ask you this- who in their right mind would offer to cater a wedding for 100 people, outside, on Solstice Saturday, when I don't have any space in my volvo (due to all of my belongings still residing in the trunk.....minor detail), and I have no kitchen...? Thankfully I have good chef friends and family that let me rent equipment and kitchen space to make the day possible. I am forever in debt to them, I swear.
So I've retreated up to Bend and Portland for the next week to hike, play, eat and breathe before going back down to Santa Barbara to do it all over again. I am a HUGE fan of taking time out of life to re-charge. I think I'm even starting to figure out the balance of working hard and playing hard in life. The Pacific Northwest summer is the perfect escape for me to plug in my cord- strong coffee, dry sunshine, scenic utopia, endless trails and bike paths, a pastry by the name of Ocean Roll, and a plethora of ruggedly handsome Mountain men. Yeah, you can just hook me up to an I.V of that, thank you!
The last time I retreated was when I was in Big Sur in early March. My mom and I met there to celebrate our 25 years together (my birthday.) I am obsessed with Big Sur. I have been for a while now. I rented a friend's shack in the woods, way up above Highway 1. A potbelly fireplace, lofted bed, creaky wood floors, and a bathtub buried in the dirt under the redwoods. I took 4 bubble baths in 2 days.... The best part though was Clovis, the owner of my little shack. Clovis has lived in Big Sur for 50 years and she sent me home with stories of the California coast, an appreciation for bathing outside in winter, and a bag full of her limes with a recipe for Clovis's lime curd. It's now July, and I still can't stop making this curd. Just to dip summer strawberries and peaches in it, or fill a tart crust and top it with meringue, or just do as my mother and I do and ladle spoonfuls of this tangy-Goddess-of-a-dip directly into your mouth. God bless the curd!
Clovis's Citrus Curd
1 1/2 cups fresh lime or lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
whisk together all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
I love that this recipe is with heavy cream and not butter (as most curds are). I think it gives the curd a unique richness and milky coloring.
At the moment, I am strongly considering making a large batch of lemon curd, setting up a table in the sunshine, on a street corner here, and selling it by the cupfuls to these Oregon Mountain men. That's my kind of holiday vacation. Happy fourth!