When life hands you lemons, especially in the hands of the sweetest baby boy ever made, you make lots of lemon curd.
As I get used to looking through these new Mommy Glasses, things like lemon curd and grocery shopping and even brushing my teeth look very different. I don’t do them. At least not very often. (For those of you in close proximity, sorry about that last one.)
Why? Because my life is no longer about me. It’s about him. Sure, I need to invest in myself and do things that I love. And sure, he’s not always the absolute center of every world he enters. But my priorities have transformed.
I’ll gladly accept half an hour of steady back pain to help him fall asleep.
I’ll eat Ramen noodles (again) to make sure he isn’t rushed through his bath.
I’ll sleep in 45-minute increments to comfort him when he cries at night.
It’s my new normal, and I’m learning to be cool with that. Note I said learning…
Before he came, words like exhaustion, helplessness, inadequacy sounded like the word curd. Not something I was terribly interested in. Negative connotations up one side and down the other. And really, just say the word “curd” out loud. Go ahead. Weird and a little gross, right?
So is inadequacy. Well, maybe not weird but definitely gross. I walk around my house holding my baby and thinking, “I am going to totally screw this kid up.” I feel so inadequate, and the word alone makes my skin crawl.
But feeling inadequate is the truth. I can’t do it on my own. I can’t do it with the best collection of books and advice and recorded episodes of Supernanny. Why is that good? Because it’s about trust. It’s about dependence. It’s about surrendering what I want for my son and trusting my own Father with him.
Whether you’re a mom or not, you’re probably a woman who has at one time (or two hundred and seventy-four times) felt inadequate, felt like you weren’t enough, felt a little bit like a big ol’ lump o’ curd.
But remember, if we go through life stopping at the very word and not experiencing what it stands for, we miss out on a lot of things. Humility, selflessness, and freedom await us when we embrace our inadequacies and rest in the shadow of the Perfect One.
Now for a little lemon curd. For real, it’s straight up awesome. Tart, golden, luscious. It’s kind of like jelly. Only smoother. And made with lemons. And not really like jelly at all. Just put it on scones or biscuits or in a pie crust or just smothered on your face. It’s really really good.
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
The juice and zest of four lemons
1 stick of unsalted butter cut into pieces and kept cold
the tiniest pinch of salt
In a metal mixing bowl (or something heat-safe), whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until nice and smooth, about a minute or two. Pour the lemon juice into a measuring cup. You’ll end up with something around 1/3 cup, but add some water to make sure you have that amount. Add that, the zest, and the salt to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
Place the bowl on top of a saucepan that contains just an inch or so of simmering water. Whisk until it gets thick and coats the back of a spoon, about eight minutes. The color will haunt your dreams in the best of ways.
Take the bowl off the heat, and stir in the butter one piece at a time. I know. Seems a little extreme, but let the first one melt before adding the second. And third. Best keep the butter happy.
Put the golden awesomeness in a container, and place a layer of plastic wrap right on top of the curd so it doesn’t develop a film on top. Keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks, but I’m pretty sure it won’t last that long.