Sunday, November 11, 2012

Starting our Year of Firsts

(Recipe for Lemon Bars will follow)

We are starting our Year of Firsts-firsts that happen now that Howie is gone.  After losing him, the first 'first' was what would have been his and Joan's 61st anniversary.  It fell the weekend we had his memorial picnic. It was a beautiful day-sunny, warm-not hot. So many stories. So many people we hadn't seen in years. The whole family wore red shirts so people would know who his family was, an idea used earlier in the year by our sister-in-law whose sister had passed. Red was the color of his beloved pickup truck.

Over the summer and fall we didn't have many firsts. Birthdays of the family, but those are more about each individual than about him.  Until now.  Joan's birthday is next week. Thanksgiving is the following week. His birthday is in the middle of December. Then Christmas.

What is weird to me (well, probably not really if you know me) was a small first we had a couple of weeks ago.  Dude and I had gone up to see his Mom. We chatted and had dinner and then our nephew came over. He stops over either on Saturday or Sunday, depending on his work schedule (and what parties may be happening). He and Joan will usually play a game of some kind-games are big in Dude's family.  We decided to play Rummy 500. This was the game that the four of us had played hundreds of times since I first met Dude. And Howie was my partner every single time. And we lost most every game.

Josh and I partnered up. I haven't played 4 handed Rummy 500 since Howie died. Sitting across the table, it was so weird to not see Howie, laying down his 8's and saying "8, skate and donate".  I got up once to go to the bathroom just because I thought I was going to cry.  But he was there-laughing at the jokes we told and at all the bad hands Josh and I had.

Yeah, we lost.

What does this have to do with lemon bars? Nothing really, other than Howie loved treats. He loved when all his kids came up to the lake house because he knew there would be lots of good things to choose from!

Lemon Bars

2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 sticks of butter, room temp

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
6 TBSP flour
6 TBSP fresh lemon juice
grated lemon peel from lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a  9x13 baking dish. For crust, mix together flour, powdered sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

For filling, beat the eggs and stir in the sugar. Grate the lemon into mixture, then juice the lemon. Stir well. Remove the crust from the oven and pour filling mixture on top. Bake for another 22-25 minutes.

Cool the bars, then shake more powdered sugar on top.

These got 2 thumbs up from everyone at work and I was asked to make these again soon.

Howie-I know you would have loved these.