Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lemon Bars (Page 691)

  • Date: Friday, January 11, 2008 -- 10pm
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Kitchen: Vigleik and Shihchi's Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Vigleik and Shihchi
  • Recipe Rating: B

It's getting harder and harder to find desserts I haven't made yet that can be produced reasonably quickly with easy-to-find ingredients. I hadn't made the lemon bars though, so I picked them to make at V and Shihchi's place last weekend. These lemon bars were tasty, but not the best lemon bars I have had (or made). There were several strongly positive qualities about them: one, the shortbread style crust was very tasty. It was buttery and flaky with a bit of sweetness, and it held together nicely. The second thing I appreciated about these lemon bars was that they were nice and thick. Often lemon bars are these thin little things with just a tiny layer of lemon filling. I've never understood that. The lemon filling is the whole point of the bars, so there should be a lot of it. These bars were nice and thick, and that pleased me. The downside is that while there was plenty of filling, it wasn't quite right. V and Shihchi both felt it was too tart and could have used some more sugar. I didn't mind how tart it was, but I found it not very flavorful. You could taste the lemon (obviously) but it didn't shine out like it does in a good lemon curd. Perhaps the filling needed some more salt, or even a splash of vanilla to enhance the lemon flavor and not just the tartness. The other thing that was odd was the texture of the filling. Usually lemon bars have a nice, smooth filling. This filling didn't have that silky smooth texture though. It had a very slightly curdled feel to it. This may have been from over baking, although I actually baked them for less time than indicated, so I'm not sure. All that said, I liked them. However, I have made better lemon bars, so I likely won't make these again.

This recipe isn't online.



I am sitting on the sofa on this fine Sunday afternoon, in my gym clothes, covered with dried sweat. Matty is in town. I say that by way of explanation. Left to my own devices I manage to get to the gym about twice a week -- three times on a good week. It's not that I wouldn't like to go more often, or even that I don't enjoy going to the gym. I just have motivation problems sometimes. Especially on days like today. It's cold out there! Wouldn't it be nicer just to stay home? Matty, however, suffers no such motivational difficulties. Exercise is a daily activity and when it is too cold to run outside (as it has been lately) that means the gym is a daily activity. This is a fine trait. It explains, for instance, how I spent 4 years trying to do a pull-up without making significant progress, and them managed to do one only 6 months after Matty made a work-out program for me.

I really enjoy reading those magazine articles about drastic weight loss (no, I am not interested in losing any weight, but I still find them fascinating!). Anyway, if you read those things, people always say, "I couldn't have done it without (insert name of person here)." It seems that diet and weight loss are often more successful if you have a partner in it. This makes a lot of sense to me. Matty strives to exercise every day. He doesn't care if I stay home while he is at the gym. But I always find myself headed to the gym with him. What am I going to say? "That's ok, I'll just stay home and eat Sour Patch Kids on the sofa while you run your 7 miles. Have fun!" So I go, and I am inevitably glad I did as soon as I get there. It's nice to have someone kick my ass into shape!

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