The first week of May marks two years that I have been sharing my recipes and life experiences with you all. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed. This article has become such an ever-present part of my life — what am I going to cook this week? What do I need to say this week? How do I compose my thoughts beautifully? Sometimes I have a plan, but often it’s a scramble … the “what are we going to have for dinner tonight” dilemma, but with an audience. I live my life at the last minute, and this article is no exception.
This article has provided me with so much over the last two years. I have used it to express my artistic nature and my oppressive emotions. It has also inspired me to pursue new goals. I have returned to college to study English and writing, hopefully to improve my craft through expert instruction and forced practice. Completing a degree has been a goal of mine for a long time, but until I found writing, I didn’t know what road to take to get myself there, or even what the destination should be. Now I have the beginnings of a plan, and that feels like quite an accomplishment to me.
With the sun beaming warmth down and the bare grass finally peeking out around the edges of the retreating slush, I can see green summer just ahead. This spring I plan to transplant some of the lingering wild strawberries still hiding under trees on the edges of our yard into a prominent patch just outside the kitchen window, so I can look out and remember that the strawberry patch is still bearing fruit.
The relatively balmy temperatures we have been enjoying has put me in the mood for lemon cake. The bright flavor of lemon is synonymous with summertime in my mind, and this tart but sweet cake makes me want to put on sunscreen.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
The zest of 2 lemons
The juice of 1 lemon
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-4 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan by lining it with parchment or greasing and flouring.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and Greek yogurt. Be sure to get all the lumps out — you want the batter to be silky smooth.
Slowly drizzle in the oil, while whisking continuously, until incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until homogenous and smooth.
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Tap the pan on the counter for a minute or so to force any air bubbles to the surface.
Bake for about 50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
To make the icing, simply mix the lemon juice into the powdered sugar. You might want more or less lemon juice depending on the consistency you’re after. For the optimal drizzling consistency, use about 3 teaspoons.
Allow the cake to cool completely (or even refrigerate for a while if you have time) before you apply the icing or it will melt.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy on a sunny porch.