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Baking Dessert Desserts Random Thoughts

The Best and Worst of Times

May 8, 2020

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it wast the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. — Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities

God I wish I’d written that. It’s not only brilliant, it’s so true right now. I’m seeing the best and worst of life. The yin and yang of Covid 19.

I can enjoy a Mother’s Day with at least one of my kids, but can’t hug my son like I so love to do. I melted to tears the other day when he was here and all I could do was touch the back of his shirt. I had no idea I needed hugs so badly.

I can revel in long walks in the morning and at night, and finally have time to work on my writing projects, but am not assured of a job when this is over – if it’s ever considered over.

I now have the time to travel, but am not supposed to go anywhere.

I am lucky so far to not know anyone personally who has become ill or passed away from Covid 19, yet so many lives have been shattered by death and illness during this pandemic. (I’m knocking furiously on wood as I write this.)

I see people in my neighborhood behaving like angels, unemployed, yet making masks for others and giving away items with a tender generosity of spirit that leaves me speechless. Then I see others, pushing past me with no mask, making no effort at social distancing. And I see piles of used gloves just dumped on the street, as if they’re someone else’s problem.

My sweet neighbors giveaway. I love them!

I think challenging times bring out peoples’s true nature.

I see, in the patch of clover at my front door, yin and yang again. Determined to create a little good luck, I searched that patch to find a four-leaf clover like my mother always could. But I only found a five-leaf clover. Years ago, my mom told me they were bad luck. Thankfully, right beside it was a four-leaf clover.

And I did a tiny bit of digging and discovered Mom may have been wrong. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, (every true journalists trusted resource) a five-leaf clover is said to attract extra good luck, as well as money.

Yin explains the five bucks I won on a scratcher a few days ago and my unemployment money finally showing up. And yang explains why I also just discovered I have an abscessed tooth with the possibility of a root canal in my future, eviscerating any hope of savings.

Something perverse in the universe just loves to laugh at my financial hopes.

And finally, now that I have time, I’m baking more, inventing desserts and dishes, with no one to feed but myself. Yin has brought me a few extra pounds, but yang has delivered this very easy, absolutely delicious, lemon dessert you HAVE TO try!

You can make it for Mom on Mother’s day with a box of Jello Cook and Serve Lemon Pudding and Pie mix, sour cream and a few other ingredients and it’s killer good. I even used pudding mix from June of 2016 (waste not, want not, but I’m sure Jello does not recommend that)and it was delicious. (Make sure you buy the lemon pudding and pie mix you cook, not the instant one.)Or you could make the pudding from scratch, which is always delicious, but not necessary if you want a quick dessert, perfect for a summer day.

Either way, I wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day. Please, enjoy the best of this time, try to forget the worst, and definitely, have dessert.

Luscious Lemon Pudding on a Buttery Round

Yields1 Serving

 ½ cup butter softened
 1 cup flour
 a dash of salt
 3 tbsp cold water
 1 package of Cook and Serve Lemon Pudding and Pie Mix
 ¾ cup sugar
 3 egg yolks
 3 cups water
 1 cup sour cream
 2 tbsp sugar
 2 lemon rinds (small lemons) or 2 tsp. of lemon rind
 2 tsp lemon juice

1

Mix the flour and dash of salt together and mix in the softened butter. Add the cold water until it comes together like a paste. Spread it into 8 four-inch circles. This amount should make about 8 circles about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and set aside.

2

Prepare the Jello Lemon Pudding and Pie mix according to the package directions. Add sugar to the mixture in a medium pan, stir to combine, then add 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Stir well over medium heat, then add the remainder of the water and bring it to a boil. The mixture will thicken. When done, cover the pan and set it aside to cool, then place the pudding in the refrigerator to completely cool.

3

Mix the sour cream, sugar lemon rind and lemon juice together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

4

When ready to assemble. Take one of the pastry discs, place it on a plate and cover it with 1/3 cup (or more) of the cooled pudding, top it with 1 to 2 tablespoons (or more) of the with the sour cream mixture, then top it with sliced strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Ingredients

 ½ cup butter softened
 1 cup flour
 a dash of salt
 3 tbsp cold water
 1 package of Cook and Serve Lemon Pudding and Pie Mix
 ¾ cup sugar
 3 egg yolks
 3 cups water
 1 cup sour cream
 2 tbsp sugar
 2 lemon rinds (small lemons) or 2 tsp. of lemon rind
 2 tsp lemon juice

Directions

1

Mix the flour and dash of salt together and mix in the softened butter. Add the cold water until it comes together like a paste. Spread it into 8 four-inch circles. This amount should make about 8 circles about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and set aside.

2

Prepare the Jello Lemon Pudding and Pie mix according to the package directions. Add sugar to the mixture in a medium pan, stir to combine, then add 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Stir well over medium heat, then add the remainder of the water and bring it to a boil. The mixture will thicken. When done, cover the pan and set it aside to cool, then place the pudding in the refrigerator to completely cool.

3

Mix the sour cream, sugar lemon rind and lemon juice together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

4

When ready to assemble. Take one of the pastry discs, place it on a plate and cover it with 1/3 cup (or more) of the cooled pudding, top it with 1 to 2 tablespoons (or more) of the with the sour cream mixture, then top it with sliced strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Luscious Lemon Pudding on a Buttery Round

  • Reply
    Bev Cieply
    May 12, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I’m glad to be connected her, Fran. I read the blog with your voice in my head and it feels like we are back in the dorm at Clarion.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 14, 2020 at 8:36 am

      Bev, such a sweet note! I’m so happy that I can connect with you this way. Thank you for reading and taking the time to write. I wish we were back in the dorm, knowing what we know now. Wouldn’t that be something? Stay safe! xoxo

  • Reply
    lafriday
    May 9, 2020 at 12:43 am

    I have often been astounded at how frequently good and bad things happen simultaneously—and this Covid-19 mess is exemplified in the opening paragraph from “Great Expectations.” I was thinking the other day about how many collective tragedies have been weathered in my lifetime, but this one is certainly challenging as it leaves us all fearful and suspended in time as to when (or if) we can resume “normal” life. I am glad you will have Andy with you on Sunday. As a childless mother for the third year in a row, blow him a kiss from me. Happy “almost” Mother’s Day, my dear friend. <3

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 9, 2020 at 8:24 pm

      Sweet Linda, Thank you for always reading and for understanding. I will definitely blow him a kiss (with mask on of course) from you, one of his most ardent cheerleaders. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day knowing your daughter loves you unconditionally and your friends do too!

  • Reply
    Mary J Tunno
    May 8, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Looks enormously good, Fran! I have an interesting story for you about an experience I had with one whacko a few weeks back as we experience this Corona craziness, but on the phone & another time. Cyber hugs from me & Aurie. 🙂

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 8, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Sounds interesting and disturbing all at the same time. I will call you tomorrow. Talk to you soon. Hugs back to yinz!

  • Reply
    Monica Muehsam
    May 8, 2020 at 10:45 am

    This looks SO delicious, Fran- I need someone to make it for me this Sunday. Have a Happy Mother’s Day! Virtual hugs

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 8, 2020 at 11:56 am

      It’s so easy Monica, they could totally do it! Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Reply
    The Seething Brain
    May 8, 2020 at 8:06 am

    That looks so yummy 🙂

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 8, 2020 at 11:55 am

      it’s so easy Camilla. Your husband would probably want to make the pudding from scratch, but it’s worth it either way. Really a nice combo. I hope you and PJ are healthy and happy!!!

  • Reply
    EmilyAnn Frances
    May 8, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Hi Fran. I agree that this quote from Dickens is brilliant. One of the effects this is having on me is that I am able to easily bypass th82ngs like what yoir neighbors are giving away in the photo. If it was a packaged necessity like toilet paper, a can of evaporated milk or a box of mac and cheese I might take one. I hope those pretty things cheer others up. It is still a nice gesture.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 8, 2020 at 7:29 am

      I totally get that. I was able to pass it up too, but it was so sweet.I walked past another house that had cereal and some other canned goods in a box and it said, take what you need…so some people really are being so lovely. Others…not so much. But c’est la vie.

      • EmilyAnn Frances
        May 8, 2020 at 7:37 am

        Agree with you. I think everyday we learn new meanings for kindness and brotherhood ( include sister, too). What is frightening to me are the new definitions and expressions of coarseness and ignorance.

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