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a dinner party story

Earlier this week I told you that we were having, Karen, my long-time friend, who was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and her husband, Bob, over for dinner on Friday night.

As of Thursday night, I had not a clue what I’d make for dinner the next evening. I wasn’t too worried, I knew I’d figure out something, so I went to bed.

In the wee hours, the house phone rang.

That really is the worst thing, isn’t it? Nothing good can come of that, no good phone calls occur at 3:53 AM!

I rolled over, grabbed the phone and looked, through very blurry eyes, at the caller ID.  “Starnetpaetec” is what it read. I immediately pressed “Talk” and then “End” and said a choice curse word or two.

Starnetpaetec, whoever you are, what the heck? It’s 3:53 AM, what could you possibly think you could sell me at that hour?!?

Thank you for ending my much-needed sleep for the night.  Yep, that was it. For the next hour, try as I might, I was not able to fall asleep, too many aches and pains in my leg prevented it. Finally, I relented and decided to get in the Jacuzzi tub to relieve the pain.

And that is where and when I came up with my menu and shopping list for the dinner party that was, by now, only 12 hours away.

I love to read books or peruse magazines in the tub. I had a stack there already and pieced together the menu from the February issues of Food & Wine, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Today’s recipe comes from Southern Living.

Southern Living 2-13

On the cover this month, there is a gorgeous Lemon Bar Cheesecake.

Lemon! Yay! Inside, there are several recipes using lemon curd to make different desserts. Lemon Curd! Triple YAY!

The thing is, there was a new way of making the lemon curd that intrigued me. Using the microwave. I was curious as to just how that would turn out as compared with the usual stove-top method.  Turns out, pretty darn well.

Personally, I will probably use the standard method from here on out, because I found having to go to the microwave every minute, and then every 30 seconds, to stir it, more annoying than just standing there and stirring constantly, as you usually do. That could be attributed to the fact that I’m a bit ADD and find it difficult to keep track of all those time intervals.

post it

Need proof of that? I had to put a Post-it note on the microwave to keep track of the times I stirred it.

5 minutes and 90 seconds

Seriously! If I didn’t do this, God only knows how many times I would have cooked and stirred this for 1 minute, could have been 4 or 10 – most certainly not the correct amount!

But, if you’ve been afraid to try making lemon curd before, stop being afraid and make this recipe. It works perfectly and you’ll finally have homemade lemon curd you can be proud of!

The rest of the recipes from the dinner will be posted throughout the week to come, including the dessert I used this curd for.

jar of curd

Microwave Meyer Lemon Curd

3 to 5 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs

zest and juice from 3 Meyer

Remove enough of the zest from the lemons to equal 2 tablespoons, then cut the lemons in half and squeeze to get 1 cup of juice. I only used 3 lemons, but they were from my tree and were on the large side.

butter and sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended.

add the eggs

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until just incorporated.

add the juice

With the mixer running, slowing add the lemon juice and zest. Once the liquid is incorporated, stop the mixer.

curdled

The mixture will look curdled.

transfer to glass

Transfer mixture to a large microwave-safe bowl or a 2 quart (8 cup) glass measuring cup.

Microwave on HIGH in one minute intervals for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave after each minute and stir. Continue to microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals for another 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. (It took me another 1  1/2 minutes, but microwaves vary)

Place plastic wrap directly on top of the curd, to prevent a crust from forming, and chill 4 hours or until firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups
Recipe from Southern Living

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