Home. Nothing says I am home quite like waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Actually, no matter what the time of day, you are guaranteed to find a fresh cup of Thornton Coffee somewhere in our house. This might have to do with the fact that my mother owns a coffee business. (Yes, she makes coffee for a living, can you believe it), or it could simply be that my family is made up of coffee addicts. Either way, it works for me.
Besides the coffee, being at home comes with some other added benefits. I get to sleep in, spend the day in my jarmies and enjoy a pantry that is overflowing with sweet treats, (seems like coffee isn’t the only addiction my family has). Also, I get to watch the beautiful night sky. In Cape Town I get to watch the city lights, at home I get to lie in the grass and watch the stars. I can never fully grasp how incredible they are. Not only that, but star gazing is an effective way for me to gain some perspective. I am small but God is big. He is bigger than my thoughts. He is bigger than my problems. And he is way bigger than the finance test I stressed about last week. The same God who created this masterpiece is the one who determines my future. If that isn’t an exciting thought, then I don’t know what is.
Although living on a farm comes with many added bonuses, by far my favourite of them all would be the people. You have heard it all before that “home is where the heart is” and I guess this makes sense if your heart is with your family. This holiday I came home to a relatively empty house. With just my dad and I at home, our evenings are pretty standard. I can look forward to watching re-runs of every crime investigation program you can think of, eating all the chocolate we can handle while nestled by the fire for warmth (although I don’t believe it is always cold enough for a fire, it does give us points for a cosy atmosphere). Home, what is there not to love?
This week we also welcomed the start of spring and the promise of new life. So, I did the obvious thing and celebrated by whipping up a batch of lemon bars. I am a fan of lemons and spring felt like the perfect excuse to use them in a recipe. These turned out a lot better than my first attempt. Be careful not to keep them in the oven too long, that said make sure not to under cook them either. Give it a try!
Lemon Shortbread Bars
Ingredients for the crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
2 cups. all-purpose flour
1 cups castor sugar
pinch of salt
Ingredients for the lemon filling:
6 large eggs
3 cups sugar
4 T. grated lemon zest
1/2 cup. fresh lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
additional castor sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 180°. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray.
2. To make the crust combine the butter, flour, castor sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix with a large spoon or your fingers until well combined. Press dough evenly into your prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is slightly golden brown.
3. While the shortbread is baking, prepare the lemon filling: Beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour mixture over the hot, baked crust and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
4. Let them cool completely, then sift additional castor sugar over the top.
Did you know: These keep very well on the kitchen counter for a few days. They are also good at a slight chill. Store some in the refrigerator and pull them out about 10 minutes before serving. They also freeze well.