When life gives you lemons, make Italian lemon olive oil cake. If you want to get fancy, make this cake and build a trifle.
Yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary. Every year, we look at each other and know we would do it all over again. We both believe we are blessed in this marriage. It’s sometimes gushy, but mostly it’s fun, not a word to underestimate in a relationship.
Marriage will have a few lemon moments, but remember, lemons are cleansing. Enjoy the process and allow the lemons to enhance your relationship and, with enough sugar, be wonderfully transformed.
I could say so many thing about him, what we have in common. God, love, food, technology, organic gardening, creativity. The television shows we get hooked on together (Castle, Downton Abbey and Monk reruns). The way we celebrate birthdays and holidays (food, wine, restaurants, gifts and child-like anticipation).
We are never ho hum about big moments and we both agree that life is for giving. We would probably write an identical wish list, and it’s scary that we often have the exact same thought at the exact same moment. One look across the room or one nudge under the table and we’ve just had an entire conversation in code.
We fit. We trust. We don’t compete; we complement. We protect each other and our marriage by refusing to let stress and drama destroy us. We are humbled because we are vulnerable to each other. If one of us wants out, it would be over. People think it takes a strong passion to stay together. My parents passionately broke up fifty times. I forgave that, but carried caution with me into the world waiting to marry someone I could trust my heart with.
As I was running yesterday morning, I started thinking about the last run I did 13 years ago as a single woman the week of the wedding. It was emotionally brutal. I had clocked in hundreds of mile on that stretch of beach, and it knew me, my troubles, my thoughts, because that piece of the Pacific ocean absorbed everything I needed to get rid of. That day the beach took the worst of it. I had a major family disappointment and nothing could be done to fix it.
This was all the more reason that I knew I was marrying the right man. He doesn’t do drama, and I knew I wasn’t marrying him to reenact a family dynamic in order to get it right. I probably did need fixing (we all need to heal from something), but I didn’t choose a civil war reenactment plan. I was stepping off into healthy, a new universe of stability, peace, and real love. The kind of love that knows it’s not about fleeting feelings and emotions. It’s love that runs deep, eternal, and kindly.
We view love with the same lens. Love is a verb and we’re careful with that. Love involves feelings, but sustained love requires intentionality. We both know this. It’s the reason we can say with sincerity that we haven’t struggled with our choice to say yes.
Let’s face it, he would miss the food!
How Good Was This Cake?
This is a super easy cake that you can mix by hand and have ready for eating in under an hour.
Our dog Eeyore who is 15 years old has never jumped a counter for food. He took six pieces of this cake off the plate, and even after I scolded him, he went back for more. Did he love the lemon or the moistness the olive oil brought to the cake?
Olive oil is an interesting ingredient to bake with. Normally, I test the taste of a cake by microwaving a tablespoon of batter. This fooled me because in that bite all I could taste was the olive oil. However, when I baked the cake, the olive oil moved to back and there was only a slight nod to it, but it made a wonderful textural difference. I made a second cake using only grape seed oil and while it was good, we all agreed that the olive oil cake won out.
Tell me do you pucker up when you think of lemons or do you embrace the sour along with the sweet?
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 lemons, zest and juice (can use a lemon and a lime)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- GLAZE INGREDIENTS
- 1 tablespoon strawberry lemonade or any citrus juice (or water)
- ½ cup of confectioner's sugar, (more if it is too runny)
- Sift baking soda, baking powder, flour together. Set aside.
- Zest lemons into the sugar. Use your hands to break down the zest. Add eggs and sour cream to sugar.
- Mix dry mixture into the sugar mixture. Add in olive oil, and mix.
- Pour into a 9 inch cake pan.
- Bake for 27-33 minutes at 350.
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR GLAZE
- Mix together until glaze forms. If it's too runny, add more confectioner's sugar. If it's too thick, add more liquid. Pour over the cake while it's still warm.