It has been a whole 4 days since I was on Lorraine, and I have begun to ‘come down’.
There have been heaps of people coming up to me as I go about my day, with slightly pained expressions on their faces, offering ‘commiseration’. I do try and tell them I’m fine. But no one seems to believe me. And I am fine. Properly. Not in the English sense, but the Canadian. Trust me, if I wasn’t fine, you’d know about it.
There is one exception. I did get a little used to one perk. The cars.
‘Mrs Shapir, a car will be arriving to pick you up at 6:45’
‘Mrs Shapir, if you just ring this number, a car will come to take you home’
I may sit in the backseat whilst Hubbie takes the wheel, just to try and recapture the bliss. With dark glasses and a sun hat on. Might as well go for the whole meal deal. Hm. We may need a nicer car.
So, yes. Back in the real world. And a look at the very very full calendar on the front of the fridge reminds me that we are having Goddesses round for dinner on Thursday. These two lovely ladies are coworkers of mine, they are terribly glamorous, and I can place my hot pink lipstick addiction firmly at their door. They are wonderful company, and most decidedly deserve a feast of Shelley Standards*.
One is a fussy eater, though. Chicken is really the only decent option. Being a weeknight, and right after work, a good ol’ roast dinner seemed the best choice. As I am new at this bloggy business, I was all gung ho and ready to take some stunning shots of my chicken, steaming out of the oven; slathered in a fragrant mixture of za’atar and rapeseed oil, nestled on a generous bed of succulent roast potatoes, served with roasted cauliflower with a caper, pine nut and parsley sauce.
But the potatoes took longer than planned (as they do every single time I make them), and the fizz had already been popped, and, well, I got sidetracked. We were like heathens and tore into dinner so quickly, the camera was left forgotten on the sideboard. Bugger.
I had made the pudding before hand, though, and did manage some photos, so lemon bars you shall see, and the recipe you shall have. Sticking with my Canadian layered theme, this is another gem from my Dad’s regular repertoire of divine morsels. When we last visited, he always had something home baked ready, and although I attempt to live up to these standards, the loud recriminations from my offspring at store bought proves I am sadly lacking.
The moaning stopped pretty quick when they saw these bad boys on the table after school, though.
1 1/2 cups (375g) Flour
1/2 cup (125g) butter, softened
1/4 cup (62.5g) granulated sugar
1 cup (250g) sugar
6 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 (374g) cups icing sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon, chopped roughly
Bottom layer: Pop the oven on to 175 C. Mix all three ingredients in a small bowl and combine with fingers until crumbly. This step is very cathartic, and I enjoyed it whilst listening to Woman’s Hour. Press in to a 22 cm square pan. I used a slightly larger rectangular pan, and the bars are much thinner than my Dad’s. The thicker ones have a chewier texture in the middle layer, and the thinner ones are a bit bitier. Personal preference required. I remain undecided.
Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
Middle layer: Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add the rest of the list in, and mix it until totally combined. Spread over the bottom layer, and back into the oven with it until it is golden brown, about 30 mins, a bit less if you have gone with the thinner version. Leave it to cool totally on a rack before moving onto the icing.
Lemon icing: Cream the butter, add in the icing sugar, then add in the lemon juice. Add more sugar or juice as you need for the right spreading consistency. Mix in the zest. Spread over the second layer, and cut as you like.
MMmmmm. Just writing that has made my mouth get that sour tingly feeling. I may have one with my coffee for breakfast.
*Shelley Standard- this will be come clearer, as time goes on. But basically, it means I must over cater, throw in a couple curve balls, pimp every recipe I go near, set a proper table, and always use cloth napkins.*