Sunday, February 20, 2011

lemon bars and Cannery row

I managed to get thru 85%  (I know this EXACTLY because of my Kindle) of Cannery Row before we met for book club on Thursday night.  I enjoyed it very much.  I like the way Steinbeck writes.  
There were only 6 of us present at Book club this month---last month there were 16.  It ebbs and flows.  I must say tho, that the discussion was much better with fewer of us--but of the 6 of us there only 3 had finished the book.  I will finish it, but I'm not sure the other two will.  While they appreciated  Steinbeck's writing style, the storyline was difficult for them.  It didn't hold their interest. 
If truth be told, I didn't love it so much that I had difficult putting it down, but I liked it well enough to want to finish it. 
At this book club,  The Lit Wits, we also feed the masses who show up, be it 6 or 16.  And most of the time we try to cook according tho the theme of the book.   This night we had clam chowder and salad and hard rolls and lemon cake for dessert.  We were all enjoying the chowder and saying how good it was and our host Heather had to 'fess up' and admit to using Campbell's Soup.  How funny is that?
It was really good and the evening was such fun!

On Friday morning, I made some lemon bars.  I was inspired by Cathy from Wives with Knives.  Her pictures just looked so good!  And,  as you know if you read my post from yesterday,  I have my grandbabies this weekend and I wanted to make lemon bars for my daughter-in-law.  I was exchanging one for the other.  Babies for lemon bars.  Sounds like a fair trade, dont' you think?  I also gave her my Kindle for the weekend, so she can read a book I have on there.  (I will finish Cannery Row--Scouts honor)'s not like I'm going to have time to read anything  this weekend anyway!

I have a 'go to' lemon bar recipe, that I usually use, but after seeing the pictures from Wives with Knives, I thought I'd try Cathy's recipe, which is Ina Garten's recipe.   It had much more fresh lemon juice.  Like 1/2 cup more.  Plus fresh lemon zest, which mine does not have.    These were very tart.  Very tart.  But I liked them very much.  Very much.  I am repeating myself---to make a point--they were very good.
The only thing I did wrong was:  I used a 8x12 pan instead of a 9x13.   So, they were a bit thicker than they should have been.  Perhaps they should have been baked  just a tad bit longer than I baked them.  But other than that, they were really good. 
A perfect dessert....with steaming hot tea or hot coffee...I want one now! 

Luscious Lemon Bars from Wives with Knives  (and Ina Garten)

For the Crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 pound granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp kosher salt

For the Filling:
6 extra large eggs, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbs grated lemon juice  (4-6) lemons
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar fro dusting.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Combine the flour and salt, and with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed.  Dump the dough onto a well floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9x13x2 inch baking sheet, building up 1/2 inch edge on all sides.  Chill.

Bake the crust for  15-20 minutes, until very lightly browned.  Let cook on a wire rack.  Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and the flour.  Pour over the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the filling is set.  Cool to room temperature.  Cut into squares and dust with confectioners sugar.


Brenda said...

Debbie, lemon bars are one of Joe's favourite things. He wishes he was at your house right now, lol! Have fun with the little ones. I'm waiting for our snow storm. :o( ALL our snow had melted. We have grass in our yard again. So of course it has to snow. Oh well, the good news is it won't last long, not at this time of year. Enjoy!

bermudaonion said...

Those lemon bars look fabulous! I'm sure you're having a fun weekend with those babies!

Karen said...

These look yummy. I used to make lemon bars and take them to work many years ago. The guys just loved them.

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Debbie!
Thanks for leaving this link at the bottom of my blog post. I sure wish I could figure out how to do it.

As for those lemon bars, oh goodness, I'm puckering from here:) A perfect complement to any John Steinbeck novel:)

Thanks for sharing...

Cursuri Engleza said...

I absolutely love anything that includes lemon itself or just lemon flavor. And these bars look incredible. And I bet they taste even better. God, I can only imagine the great scent flowing in your kitchen while making them.

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