Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ruth's Lemony Wisdom

Our neighbours are well into their 80s, and we have adopted them as a part of our "farm family".  We keep an eye on them, and when they are feeling poorly we drop in a lot under the guise of wanting to drop off eggs, but really wanting only to ensure they don't need any help.  

I am forever being advised by her, and sometimes I wonder if she is really the one caring for me.  On my last visit, after she chided me for not taking better care of my "froggy voice" - I tried to explain it was allergies but she was having none of that - she soon had me sipping on vinegar and honey.  It stung, but it actually did help my throat.

Recently she shared with me simple recipe for lemon squares, they are so lovely and lemony that I simply had to share. All of my Christmas tins will have Ruth's lemon squares this year.  
Ruth's Lemon Squares

What you need:
2 good sized lemons.
1 can of condensed milk.
1 box of graham crackers, and make sure they are square. 
Icing sugar

What you do:
Take an 8x8 pan. Put it to one side.
Now grate the rind off the lemons. Divide it into two dishes. Juice the lemons but put aside about two tablespoons in a separate dish.(that's for the icing later)
In a small bowl mix the condensed milk, the juice of the two lemons and the lemon rind of one lemon.  Whisk it well until it is smooth.
Place one layer of graham crackers in the pan. Put a layer of the lemon/condensed milk mixture on top. Continue layering - 2 more times. End with a fourth layer of graham crackers.
Now in a new bowl mix butter icing (butter and icing sugar) with the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. It should be a fairly thick icing mixture about the consistency of thick honey.
Top the graham crackers with the icing mixture. Then crumble a graham cracker on top for decoration and the remainder of the lemon rind.
Cover with wrap and refrigerate over night.
Cut into squares.

If you like lemon, you will love these squares! I am also thinking you could make them with coffee, and it would turn out a bit like tiramisu.

They will go well with my tea tonight, after all - I can't place them in my Christmas tins without trying one!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Sometimes it's good as a girl to disconnect and find the time to join with your lady friends for tea.  It's become more difficult since I moved to the farm to connect as many of my lady friends live in the city. However, we make the effort every few months to have a tea party.

It's amazing really how somehow, over the mini-sandwiches and the earl grey, you find the answers to issues that have been digging at you like a stone in your shoe.

The warmth, the support and the endless giggles leave you feeling on top of the world, and capable of handling anything. I suppose it's different for the men - I know the boys nights in our garage seem to consist mainly of beer, cards and not a lot of conversation. But I suppose in the end they do the same thing - they connect.

Over the years children have been added to the mix, and this has added a delightful element. To see our children connecting with one another is truly precious.  

This month, we were celebrating Movember - and my very talented friend took some whimsical photos of us with moustache props. It added a silly side to our tea and bought a smile to our faces.

I am quite certain that if faced with the issues of the world, a group of women could find solutions over a cup of tea.