Since I have not had a chance this week to go to the grocery store for supplies, I found myself short on breakfast options this morning. Fortunately, I always keep several boxes of muffin mix on hand and I quickly whipped up a batch of lemon poppy seed muffins. Suddenly I found myself thinking back to a time when I was about 5-years-old and first discovered how much I love things flavored with lemon.
There was a lady in our church (I think during the San Gabriel years) who baked me a birthday cake. It was my first experience eating lemon cake with lemon frosting. I fell in love and the love affair with lemon has lasted all my life. It became traditional for my birthday cake to be a lemon one. Over the years I've shifted my preference for gobs of gooey lemon icing to a lemon glaze over a lemon pound cake. It's wonderful (the recipe is on my website), and was a particular favorite of Bebop's, too. I usually make it once a year, between my birthday and his. That never happened this year because of his last illness, so I haven't had my yearly lemon fix for 2005.
It's not just lemon flavor that I love; I also love the scent of lemon. I bought a tiny highlighter yesterday at a teacher supply store and was surprised to discover that the ink is scented with lemon. I buy citrus air freshener (usually orange, but that's close enough). I love lemon scented dishwashing liquid and furniture polish. I've recently become addicted to Diet Coke with lime, which grew out of my initial hankering for Coke with lemon. Lemonade, lemon sherbet, lemon ice, lemon meringue pie, etc. Given the choice between chocolate and lemon for the rest of my life, I think I would choose lemon.
Don't you ever wonder why some things have such appeal for one person and no appeal at all for another? I know some people who despise lemon and all of the things I just listed above. To me it smells clean and fresh and tastes like a bite of spring.
Maybe it all started with that birthday cake long ago. I wish I could remember the lady's name. It's slipped out of Mother's memory, too. It was a highlight of my early years and little did she know that she would be remembered 40+ years later for a wonderful cake she baked for a little girl once upon a time.