Life certainly is bitter sweet.
I’ve been very fortunate; I’ve had a pretty wonderful life since the get go. My parents have been phenomenal in my upbringing, development and life. My family have always been small but close, supportive and ‘special’; the way each family can be in their own unique way. The friendships I’ve made have been sincere, real and are still enduring the test of ‘time’. Nothing has ever really made me stop in my tracks or played heavily on my mind and future.
Since my last blog post, I’ve had lemons thrown my way, and can now honestly say I’ve tasted the full face-scrunching bitterness life can serve. I’ve had to deal with my Mom being diagnosed with lung cancer, watched her struggle through chemotherapy and then sadly witnessed her sudden passing in August. My ‘hunky-dory’ life is in the process of changing drastically; things will never be the same from now on; not even the recipes Mom has left behind.
With the bitter dealings I’ve had, there have been sweet ones too. They haven’t taken the bitterness away as such, but they have made it a little less difficult to ingest. Before we get into the tasty makings of my Dad’s lemon meringue pie, I feel I need to give thanks for a few things; after all it’s the sweetness that makes a lemon meringue pie pleasantly tasty!
My first thanks goes to the fantastic parents I’ve been blessed with; my Dad has always been my right-hand man and pillar of strength (even in his weakest moments). My Mom was always my inspiration; she kept me grounded and encouraged me to always do what I love.
Another person I’m grateful for is my lovely boyfriend; he’s picked me up from my saddest moments, held me up when I’ve been too weak to stand the moment and loved me unconditionally (yup, he’s my knight in shining armour).
My family, near and far, have been an incredible support system, and have really proved this in these recent events. They dropped everything in their lives to help Dad and I as soon as the news was out! They filled the house up with love, helped Mom while she was going through chemotherapy, kept us on our toes and made for light entertainment.
Nobody could ask for a better sister (from another mother… and father). Yup, I’m grateful for the friendship I have with my soul-sista-come-BFF. Although she couldn’t be by my side when the dreaded moment happened, her daily messages really gave me strength and helped me through those initial mornings I’d wake up to my new reality.
I’m also grateful for all the family friends we have (this includes neighbours, friends we’ve had for many years and my friends from school days). They really made sure my Dad and I were fed, functioning and ‘coping’. My workplace has also been great, understanding and accommodating; it’s very rare to find a company that is so caring and compassionate; especially since I am a newbie!
Lastly, but not least, I’m so thankful for our two furry kittens; they truly brought humour, love and comfort in such a dark moment, and continue to fill our hearts with love and home with life.
When life throws you lemons, you certainly do taste the bitterness, but at the same time learn to appreciate the sweetness that follows. It offers you the best chance to get in the kitchen and bake yourself (and others) a lemon meringue pie!
Here is Dad’s fluffy-light humble lemon meringue pie…
1 Packet Marie Biscuits
1 Tin Condensed Milk
62.5g Castor Sugar
2 Large Lemons
¼ tsp Cream of Tartar (optional)
6 Tbls Icing sugar (optional)
Pinch of salt (optional)
1. Crush biscuits as finely as possible.
2. Add the caster sugar (leave 2 tablespoons of sugar aside) and butter (make sure the butter is soft).
3. Beat egg white of one egg to stiff peak stage.
4. Mix the egg white with the biscuit.
5. Put in a flat, round medium sized baking tray.
1. Squeeze ½ a cup of lemon juice from the 2 fresh lemons.
2. Mix condensed milk, 3 egg yolks and the ½ cup of lemon juice thoroughly together; until evenly blended.
3. Layer the mixture on top of the biscuit base.
Egg White topping:
1. Beat 4 egg whites until just stiff.
2. Once at stiff peak add 2 tablespoon of castor sugar, beat for a little while so sugar mixes in.
3. Layer on the top of the lemon filling lightly.
Preheat oven on a moderate heat (160°)
Put the pie in for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Take out and set aside to cool.
Once a bit cooler, place in the fridge to further set.
For a crunchier topping:
- 1Beat 4 egg whites up and when they start looking frothy, add the ¼ teaspoon of Cream of Tartar and a pinch of salt.
- Beat up egg whites a bit more until it starts making peaks (soft peak stage).
- Then add 6 tablespoons of icing sugar (one spoon at a time) and beat up until stiff.
- The original recipe’s white topping will form a soft layer skin.
- If you choose to use the crunchier option, you will have to add certain things to your ingredients list, which has been noted in the ingredients list as optional.