When I was little, I never really cared much for Spring. I hated mud, hated rain, and couldn’t wait for Summer vacation – not to mention I thought Spring smelled like dog shit – and so just wanted Spring to be over already. I’ve changed my mind about Spring. Maybe it’s because now I pay a heating bill, or that school is now a choice, or that the smell doesn’t bother me so much anymore. Maybe it’s because I have a greater appreciation for the birds and their songs, and for the blooming flowers sewn by my own hands. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure glad it’s here!
An April Day
by Henry W. Longfellow
When the warm sun, that brings
Seed-time and harvest, has returned again,
‘Tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
The first flower of the plain.
I love the season well,
When forest glades are teeming with bright forms,
Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell
The coming-on of storms.
From the earth’s loosened mould
The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives;
Though stricken to the heart with winter’s cold,
The drooping tree revives.
The softly-warbled song
Comes from the pleasant woods, and colored wings
Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along
The forest openings.
When the bright sunset fills
The silver woods with light, the green slope throws
Its shadows in the hollows of the hills,
And wide the upland glows.
And when the eve is born,
In the blue lake the sky, o’er-reaching far,
Is hollowed out, and the moon dips her horn,
And twinkles many a star.
Inverted in the tide,
Stand the gray rocks, and trembling shadows throw,
And the fair trees look over, side by side,
And see themselves below.
Sweet April!–many a thought
Is wedded unto thee, as hearts are wed;
Nor shall they fail, till, to its autumn brought,
Life’s golden fruit is shed.
Lemon Curd Squares
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For the filling:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
3 Tbs. light cream
To make the crust, preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish, preferably glass.
In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, salt and cinnamon. Pulse briefly until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the dough forms moist crumbs and sticks together when pinched, about 1 minute. Press the dough into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared baking dish, lightly flouring your fingertips if necessary to prevent them from sticking. Bake the crust until pale golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the filling, in a bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, salt and lemon zest. Add the eggs, lemon juice and cream and whisk until just blended. Carefully pour the mixture over the baked crust.
Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly when the dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes, or longer if using a metal pan. Transfer the pan to the wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes. Run the tip of a small knife along the inside of the dish to loosen the crust from the sides, then let cool completely.