When Friends Hand You Lemons

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From 4th grade (April 2000, which was when I first moved to America) to my senior year of high school, I lived in Venice, California in a small house with a huge front yard. Our front yard was easily twice the size of our actual house (albeit it was a tiny house), thus it allowed my grandma to grow numerous plants from seeds that she snuck into America illegally. Some of the plants on that yard included a guava tree, a mango tree that never quite grew past three feet tall or bore any fruit, a pomelo tree, an apple tree and of course the quintessential American home plant, the lemon tree. Because our trees produced bountiful fruits, I have never had to buy a single lemon (or guava) in my life. Thankfully lemons are not that expensive, which eased the pain of losing a lemon tree when I came to college.

Like many things in life, I took that lemon tree for granted. I am only able to appreciate it now when I actually utilize lemons almost daily and frequently use it in baking and cooking. Not once did I make lemon curd or use lemons in my baking (aside from the occasional lemon zest) when that lemon tree was just outside my house. So I told myself that if I ever had such an abundance of lemons ever again, that I would make sure to use them creatively. Well, it didn’t take long for the plethora of lemons to arrive! During this winter season, I received so many lemons from friends with lemon trees (some that I still haven’t used!). I didn’t realize how eager people are to give away their lemons because if you have a tree, it’s not likely for you to use all of the fruit it bears! I promised myself that I would finally try making lemon curd and that I would somehow use that lemon curd for something pretty darn cool. And that’s when I remembered this Lemon Meringue Cookie recipe from Joy the Baker that I remember starring on my Google reader a long time ago. I believe that the lemon curd recipe she used is actually from David Leibovitz (whose blog I also admire and follow) and it was delicious!

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I made sure to bust out my bright yellow, lemon-colored bowl for my egg whites to be mixed in.
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I always love the way egg whites + air = this fluffy white substance called meringue.
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I took out my piping bag and some of my piping tips and tried to find one that was closest to a star tip. Unfortunately my only star tip was rather small and so my meringue cookies really didn’t look like stars, but whatever because they were still cute and delicious. I do confess that I had a bit of trouble piping the meringue batter onto my baking pan because it seemed kind of wet.
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They did bake just fine though! Note that this was my first time baking meringue cookies (I’ve only incorporated it into a batter for cake) so it was an exciting experience!
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And that lemon curd was just seriously plain delicious. I may have had spoonfuls of it before I was able to get them on the cookies. But don’t worry, I washed the spoon!
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Aren’t they just the cutest things ever?! I followed Joy’s suggestion to freeze them before serving, except I actually just stored them in the freezer in an airtight container. It was like eating a light ice cream sandwich…but homemade and obviously better. They kept in the freezer for about a few days until I noticed a decline in the quality of the cookies. Easy, fun and delicious! Oh and there was plenty of lemon curd leftover to my stomach’s delight :)

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