Lemons forced me down the path of insanity. Yes, Lemons...
Disclaimer: Although the story you are about to read is true, it could be said that some "artistic license" may have been used for effect. Just clearing the air on that one...
It started innocently enough. This journey down the path of insanity that I took yesterday. Somehow, several worlds collided and I was way down the path before I even knew what hit me. I have been trying to sort it all out and frankly, it had to be the lemons fault. I can think of no other logical explanation. So take a deep breath before going any further - you're going to need it.
This story has multiple starting points... One of my recent cookbook acquisitions is Rose Levy Berenbaum's Roses Heavenly Cakes. I have been dying to try something from this collection & have been "patiently" waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting for the right opportunity.
Flash forward a few weeks.... I was reading Soup Addict's Blog and developed a bad case of pan envy, which unleashed my latent desire to enter into the world of tart making... From that point on, I knew that a trip to Williams Sonoma was inevitable. (By the way, the inevitable did happen. I will spare you the gory details, but they got me... hook, line and & sinker. Oh, it felt soooo good.)
Flash forward a few days.... It was Sunday morning & I knew I "kneaded" to make some sandwich bread.
Flash forward one more time... During my Sunday grocery shopping the citrus section attacked me. I swear I never saw it coming. Those lemons kept jumping off the case and right into my cart. By the legions, I say. Uno, dos, tres, quatro, sinco, seis, seite, ocho. I don't remember inviting them into my cart, but when I got home there they were in all their lemony glory. Such beautiful little babies just waiting to be turned into something un-chocolately (I must be in the middle of my post-holiday chocolate revolt).
Now it is 2:30 on Sunday afternoon and I have "Ideas". B-I-G ideas. (I think there was some football game or something on that was occupying most of the rest of the world - I guess I was still under my rock). I will have you know that I used my special brand of Cher logic to justify every insane decision made from this point on. But in retrospect, I blame the lemons - pure & simple.
KAF Classic White Bread Recipe. No big deal - a few minutes to get this going then it is basically all rising & baking time from that point on. I am 'da pro. I can do this in my sleep. Snooze, snooze, yawn, yawn. Bread is rising, I need a real challenge. Besides, it's only 2:45ish at this point, I have tons of time...
OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH!!! I know! I have shiny new tart pans (both the long skinny one that resulted from bad case of pan-envy and some itty bitty baby tartlet pans that were just so cute I couldn't leave them sitting there on the shelf - it would have been criminal). Oops, sideroad again - sorry. The tart pans were just begging to be tried out, so I dragged out my handy, dandy cookbooks and started making some dough (pastry dough, that is). One thing should be noted at this point. All my past attempts at pie crusts have flopped miserably, so I am not sure where this new-found courage to make the crust came from. But it was there and I was fearless.
Sweet Pastry Dough on Gourmet.com and forged ahead. I must say that food processors have done many wonderful things to help pastry-challenged chicks like myself. At this point, I was thinking I can do this!!! I perservered, got the crust going (double recipe nonetheless) and into the refrigerator. HMMM. I started to think about what could go in the pastry. But I had plenty of time to worry about that later... Easy, peasy.
Up until this point, I had everything under control and if I could have left well enough alone, my story would be waaayyy shorter. But alas - leaving well enough alone is not something I do. So I had another bright idea! LEMONS. I could make a lemon cake. It was only 3:30ish. My dough was rising; my crusts were in the fridge. How difficult could it be to slip in a cake? And I was really having a hankering for Woody's Luxury Lemon Cake from RLB's Rose's Heavenly Cakes. At this point, my sub-conscious was fully aware of what I was getting into, but was so bound by denial that there was no saving me.