Happy Anniversary & Pip’s Lemon Christmas

A year ago a very talented chef asked me to share a story at her blog for her blogiversary.  That chef was Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen.  My story was Adelle’s Teapot.  We had a great time working together, so I was thrilled when she asked me again for this years blog anniversary (click here).

Since my short story was going to be from the “universe” of my Three Things Serial Story novella, Suzanne went all out researching recipes of the era.  She even made the perfect table and settings!  So I want to begin with her beautiful work and then finish with my little story.  (Suzanne posted this on New Year’s Day, but I saved my reblogging for this weekend.  I’m still blushing about her kind words.)  

young-lucille-ball-pensive-peach

Young Lucille Ball as Pip

Now, here’s Suzanne from her post of last week…

Happy New Year Everyone.  On the first day of 2017 I wanted to do something special, not only are we starting a brand new year but this is my 5th year of blogging, in a few days will be the anniversary of A Pug In The Kitchen.

Last year for my anniversary post I invited Teagan of Teagan’s Books to guest post and I had so much fun doing it I decided I would ask her again to collaborate with me. Teagan’s books are special, she takes me to a happy place with characters that come to life, mystical, magickal and a little bit of the supernatural are woven into stories that are so beautiful I honestly can’t and don’t want to stop reading. Whether it’s her amazing serials or a novel she never disappoints.  

Teagan graciously penned this snippet with one of my favorite characters, Pip a flapper from the 1920’s. In doing some research of food in that era, citrus, specifically lemons were very popular so that’s what we did, incorporated lemons not only into this delightful snippet but also into a recipe for a lemony dessert.  I found a recipe for a lemon pound cake from the 1920’s that was served at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in their tea room.

The cake was a disaster, it stuck to the bottom of the pan and didn’t come out in one piece,  but I didn’t let that deter me. I managed to salvage the cake, turning it upside down (the top of the bundt cake was missing) and serving it with a lemon sauce — sort of like a lemon pudding cake.

when life gives you lemons...

Pound Cake With Lemon Sauce

You can use homemade cake or just go buy Sara Lee Pound Cake for this. The star is really this pucker worthy lemony sauce served over the cake. It couldn’t be easier to make and has only a few ingredients.

Lemon Sauce

Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious

2/3 cup sugar

2 1/2-3 tbs cornstarch

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

zest of 2 lemons

1 tbs unsalted butter

Whisk sugar and cornstarch in heavy bottom non reactive saucepan, add the water and cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens and starts to boil, add the lemon juice and zest and continue cooking until it comes to a boil again and immediately remove from the heat, add the butter and whisk until combined. Refrigerate until slightly thickened and serve. It can be made a day ahead just bring to room temperature before serving.

Did the delivery man join Pip?

 I hope you all enjoy what Teagan has written for us all and again wishing all of you a joyous, healthy, happy and prosperous 2017. Back to you, Teagan…

Now, wasn’t that just the most gorgeous table ever?  It feels anticlimactic, but here’s my little story.

Pip’s Lemon Christmas

lucille-ball-1937-stage-door

It had been a grand and glorious year.  However, it pos-i-lute-ly had ups and downs.  At that moment I was in one of the downs.  Even the long distance telephone call from my best friend Mona failed (miserably I might add) to cheer me.  She might not be sure where she wanted her future to go, but at least it was going somewhere.  All my friends were moving forward, going somewhere.  Me?  It didn’t look like I would ever get anywhere.

Not only was I going nowhere, I seemed to be going there all by myself.  Worse, it was Christmastime.  Even my Pops suddenly had to go up north on business.  I offered to go and keep him company…  Okay, so I begged. 

“Young ladies have no place at business meetings,” he told me in the stern, no nonsense voice that meant I wouldn’t get anywhere with my plea.

Idly, I looked at the lace covered table, lemons artfully arranged as a centerpiece.  I took one of the tangy fruits, tossed it in the air and caught it.  I pondered as I tossed the lemon. 

What would any self-respecting flapper do in such a situation?  Refuse to be a sourpuss, that’s what a flapper would do!

I decided as I tossed the lemon.  If all I had for Christmas was lemons, then I’d make lemonade — so to speak, especially after I found the bottle of hooch Pops had squirreled away.  I would have rather had the champagne I knew he hid some place, but that had been ages ago and I couldn’t remember where I saw it.

Gin will do just fine, I told myself.

Suddenly inspired, I gave the yellow fruit a final toss.  I went to the shoebox that held Granny’s recipes.  She had given me instructions for all sorts of citrus treats, and I was a sourpuss with a sweet tooth.

1920s-lemons-king-tut-brand

A little while later I was cleaning up the kitchen as it filled with citrusy baking aromas.  Just as I picked up the remains of my lemons, a loud knock pounded at the front door.  It startled me so badly that I ran to the door with barely a wipe to my juice drenched hands.

“Delivery!” the words came with another thunderous knock.

I threw open the door and the cool December air hit my face.  It was downright brisk, for Florida anyway.  There was a truck in the driveway and a young man with a name embroidered on his jacket — Ronny.  I took the package, barely looking at the guy who handed it to me.  My hands tore at the twine excitedly, even before I went inside.  Meanwhile Ronny the delivery man wrote something on the receipt clamped to his clipboard.

“If you’ll sign here, Miss?” he asked.

There was a card inside the package from my friend Mona.  The front of it said “I’m sorry you’re alone at Christmas.”  Hurriedly I stuck the edge of the note between my teeth and tucked the package under my arm so I could take the clipboard and sign the form.

Only then did I notice what a cutie the guy was.  He tilted his head all the way to his shoulder and read aloud the note while I signed.  As soon as I heard him speak the words, I blushed scarlet.  To make matters worse, he made a sympathetic aww sound that made me feel like a six year-old.

In my flustered flurry of motions, taking the note from my teeth, trying to stick it back in the package, and pushing my hair back… wouldn’t you know I touched a lemon coated finger to my face.  I yelped as the citrus stung my eyes.  It made tears stream down my cheeks.man_ray_tears

The guy sounded guilty when he pleaded to know what the matter was, as if he had caused it.  The only word I could manage to utter was, “Lemons!”

He pulled my hand away from my face and lightly sniffed it.  He gave a little chuckle that made me want to bean him.

“Yep, that’s lemons all right.  For a minute there I was afraid you got bad news,” he commented.  “But I guess being alone on Christmas Eve is bad enough.”

For some reason his comment made me lose my composure.  I burst out in real tears and sobs, no longer caused by the stinging citrus.  I plopped down on the porch and sat there with the package in my lap.  This upset poor Ronny.  He started blabbering apologies, clearly unsure of why he was asking for forgiveness.

“Look sweet cakes, you’re my last delivery.  Let me help you wash your face and get rid of that lemon juice before you put your fingers in your eyes again,” he offered in a contrite voice.

I insisted that it was okay, and with a sniffle, silenced my sobs.  Too embarrassed to look at him I turned my attention back to Mona’s gift.  Her card had fallen, but Ronny picked it up and handed it to me.  I took it from him and with a deep breath I spoke the words that humiliated me a moment before.

“I’m sorry you’re alone at Christmas,” I read the elegant script on the outside, and then opened the card.  “So you’ll just have to make your own party.”

Antique champagne Glasses

What?  Digging through the packing paper I found two sparkling etched crystal goblets.  I held up one of the glasses to watch the light play on it.  I looked at Ronny, feeling utterly bemused.  He returned my gaze with a twinkle in eyes that I suddenly noticed were a heavenly shade of blue.

Ronny picked up the other empty glass and playfully tapped it against the one I held.  I suddenly remembered where Pops hid the bubbly.

The end

***

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

86 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary & Pip’s Lemon Christmas

  1. Teagan.. Your talent has no bounds.. I loved reading your most wonderful entertaining story, and I am sure that chink of glasses will hold Merry Cheers for both, and a lonely Christmas never came to pass.. LOL

    Loved your beautiful narration and I could almost feel that sting of the lemon, and the flush of embarrassment rising my own colour.. 🙂
    Loved it.. Well done Teagan..
    I hope you have a Wonderful successful Happy Healthy and Abundant filled year..
    Love and Blessings
    Sue xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good afternoon dear Teagan – You deserve all the accolades you get. You are brilliant….and give so much in your blog. I have missed you during the last few weeks, but am now ready to get back on board….and by the way I love all things lemon, as did my dear departed Mother:) I wish for you this year, a year filled with much happiness…unexpected meetings and happenings that take you to new and exciting places. Always remember that out there in the world are people and places that don’t know you exist, and visa versa….but will play an enormously important part in your life…….The unseen magic of our world symbolised of course by the magical hummingbirds. janet . xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great to have you back, Janet. Losing a parent is a hard thing, no matter the circumstances. So I’m glad you took a break. I’m still sending good, healing thoughts your way.
      I’m a lemon lover too — all things citrus, but lemons particularly. 😀
      Thank you for these kind and very wise words. You are right. And I need to remind myself.
      Have a terrific Tuesday evening, a wonderful Wednesday, and a hug-filled week. ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will have to try Suzanne´s recipe dear Tegan… I love fruity pies & cakes… It seems it didn´t turn out as expected, but I am sure she enjoyed the consequent “lemon pudin” anyway.
    As to your snippet … I loved it… It reached me as the feelings and actions are very well described. So, I could almost see the events occur in a successive, as if I was “watching” a movie 😉
    You know how the saying goes: “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” (another one: “If life gives you lemons, keep them because hey: free lemons! ) … 😀
    Back to your story, I liked how her best friend appears -in a quite uncommon way- to celebrate with her.
    The gift represents their union… The main character wasn´t alone at Christmas. At the end, presences are expressed in different ways, sometimes more or less apparent or visible, but they show up, and that´s a beautiful thing! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Aquileana, I so enjoy your visits! Your comment is “a beautiful thing” to me. You’ve gotten to the core of this little story.
      Suzanne is a marvelously talented chef. One of the things I enjoy about her blog is that once in a while (as with the 1920s recipe she tried for this post) things don’t go as the recipe describes — and she shows what she did to remedy the situation. Since when I’m in the kitchen things often go wrong, it helps me to know that even the best chefs can get a recipe that was not all the original claimed.
      Time to get ready for the office… Have a terrific Tuesday. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the story, Teagan. Ronny sounds one cute guy! 😀 If only I had known Pip’s trick of lemon juice in the eyes all those years ago. ❤️
    Never knew lemons were so popular back in the 1920s. Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my favourites. Thanks for the introduction to Suzanne.
    Wishing you a huggable week.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year, Teagan and Suzanne. That was a sweet story – well lemony, but sweet. 🙂 I’m a fan of pound cake and the lemon sauce is perfect. How great that it’s an old recipe. 🙂 A very “tasteful” collaboration. Happy Anniversary to Suzanne and to both of you a wonderful weekend! Hugs! xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Teagan, thank you so much for the collaboration, friendship and inspiration. Thank you to everyone also for your kind words and anniversary wishes. I loved Adele’s Teapot last year and this year was equally wonderful. You never cease to amaze me with your talent and always inspire me to create. Mega hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzanne, this was huge fun for me. I look forward to doing more similar posts. I hope 2017 is off to a great start for you and Percy. Once again, happy blogiversary. Stay warm. I hope this snow storm hits me with only a glancing blow, and misses you completely. Mega hugs.

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    • Happy New Year to you too, Valentina! Yes, it’s a joy to work with Suzanne. And her cooking and photos are sublime. Your “Red, a Voyage into Colors” is terrific. Erm… my favorite color is green… hint, hint. Might we hope for more books about colors? 😀 Mega hugs.

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  7. Another great story, and the cake 🙂 I love lemons with almost everything, and when I see a lemon tree with fruits, I cannot take my eyes off. Happy anniversary to Susanne, and a wonderful New Year to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks go to Suzanne for all the cooking related parts. I’m lucky if I don’t burn water. It does sound lovely though. I’m pleased that you liked the story. Thanks for visiting, Catherine. Mega hugs.

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  8. Know what’s better than one amazing thing? Two amazing things! A wonderful collaboration! And not sour in any way shape or form, despite all the lemonyness. 😉
    What a delightful surprise to find in my mailbox this morning!
    Happy Anniversary to Suzanne and happy weekend to you, dear Teagan!!!
    Mega King Tut lemons which made me think of Steve Martin singing King Tut which made me already wide smile even wider hugs xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just wrote my apology to Suzanne for missing this wonderful collaboration between an amazing chef and a great writer. So glad you posted it again. Loved the story, love lemons like lemon sauce with my gingerbread strange huh. Happy New Year Teagan looking forward to more great stories from you. I gave my self Atonement, Tennessee as a Yule gift now just have to find time to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dyanna, I’m absolutely honored. I hope you enjoy “Atonement”. It’s meant to be a light, fun read.
      That doesn’t sound strange at all — it sounds delicious… lemon on gingerbread… Yum! Have a beautiful weekend. Mega hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice story Teagan , I read it on Suzanne’s anniversary post and enjoyed reading it again. I have lemon trees in my garden and love cooking with them. Every morning I have a glass of water with a slice of lemon and I will think of your lovely story when I drink it. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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