First of all I would like to thank all of you for leaving such kind comments and sending emails after my last post. I surely did not mean to bring your spirits down and I forwarded each piece of advice and kind notes to M. Like me, she is deeply touched by your thoughts and prayers and was truly amazed by the generosity of bloggers and anonymous alike. I tell you, you guys rock!!
Life goes on and she is fully committed to enjoy the time she has and do the things she has been postponing for too long like coming to Pilates with me or dragging me out of bed to go strawberry picking this morning...I know she enjoyed bugging me after the ab torture I made her go through yesterday!! We got caught by the rain, but like many times in May around our parts, it pours ocean for 5 minutes and then the sun shines through as if nothing happened. We picked about 10 pounds of juicy red strawberries, so flavorful I feel the urge to put my nose in the basket every couple of hours. The house has taken on the delicious smell of strawberry jam, strawberry-rhubarb cake and macerated strawberries.
Everybody who knows me a little knows that I do not have a green thumb, and that is putting it mildly since I even killed silk plants one year (a blow torch was involved, ...don't ask). However, I have been tending to mint and oregano with good results in the past month, growing stronger and bigger everytime I cut them down a bit. I am also growing salad, parsley and baby's breath (thank you Barbara for the seeds) and we are passed the sprout stage. Yipee! Last week at the farmer's market I picked up a lavender plant as I terribly miss the scent of my childhood in Provence, and also a lemon-thyme plant....my new addiction. I don't know why this time around I seem to get it. B. thinks my nurturing instincts are kicking in at 30-something since we can't have kids, and that I need to make something else grow and thrive. A little far fetched although there is truth to it. First there was Tippy the dog, then Elliot the fish...both doing very well, and now seeds, sprouts and plants.
Back to the lemon-thyme, shall we?!! It looks like lemon and citrus are going to be frequent visitors to this site during May, and not only because of SHF. Lemon-thyme is a great complement to fresh fruit salad, simple cakes like pound cakes and yogurt ones. It is does not taste like thyme at all which is not unheard of in cakes but which would be a little harder to pass on when serving dessert, it is fragrant with lemon and lime tones at the same time. I made this dessert this afternoon to take to my neighbor C. for our usual get together on Friday afternoons for tea and dessert and talk about the plans for the weekend, although we realize there can't be a plan with the husbands and the kids adding to the pot! We almost finished the bowl of lemon thyme strawberries, happily scooping with our spoons (forget plates), while noshing on the cake at the same time. Happy happy!! What a needed moment after the weird week we've had (I can't say bad because I know some have it worse).
Ok, ok...I hear you...the recipe!!! Just a couple of words (yes, more!). The pound cake is my favorite ones this year, full of lemon, soaked in lemon and yet light on the palate. We eat it as a snack, I use cut slices for trifles or plated desserts, and some of you have emailed me lately that it is also one of your new favorites. I adapted it slightly from this book (from which I have been baking a lot from lately) and you can definitely halve the recipe if you don't want to be stuck with a big cake around the house, keep it well wrapped in the fridge for a week, or freeze it for up to a month also well wrapped.
Ultimate Lemon Pound Cake With Lemon Thyme Strawberries:
For the Cake:
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 TB lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 300F. Butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.Cream the butter and 1 3/4 cups sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the lemon zest.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Poke holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer.
Meanwhile, bring the lemon juice and remaining sugar to a boil over medium high heat in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Invert the cake onto a rack, positioned over a baking sheet and slowly pour the syrup over the cake, it will seep through the holes and into the cake. Let cool to room temp.
For the lemon thyme strawberries:
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup chopped lemon thyme
2 Tb lemon juice
2 Tb sugar (that is plenty to release the strawberry juices and the cake being sweet you don't really need much more)
Mix all the ingredients together and let macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use. Bring back to room temp before serving.
Update on conversions:
1 stick of butter is about 112-115 gr.
For weight, volume, cups, etc...click here.
Fresh, clean, sweet but not overwhelming and no need for whipped cream!
I may not be around this weekend but wanted to wish all moms out there a very very Happy Mothers' Day! My mom will have to wait for May 25th (French date for Mothers' Day) to have a her own special post, but I wanted to tell you all celebrating on Sunday that I admire your love, dedication and energy. Have I told you lately you rocked?!! Well, you do!