I caught a sale on lemons and bought a couple of bags. You can wash them and toss into the freezer for future use. I did this with one bag.
With the second bag, I removed the outer peel first. The fragrance that was released as I broke through the skin was wonderful. The oils of the fruit are in the colored part of the skin called the ‘zest.’ Some I used fresh for my lemon bars. The rest I just left on a plate to dry out on its own. When it was completely dried out, I chopped it up to store in a jar to add to future recipes that need a shot of lemon flavor.
I was reminded of that word ZEST is also defined as ‘living life with a sense of excitement, anticipation, and energy.’ It is seeing life as an adventure so that one has enthusiastic motivation in challenging situations or tasks.
The concept of zest involves performing tasks wholeheartedly. Zestful people simply enjoy things more than those lacking this quality.
The apostle Paul reminded us that as believers we are add zest to our service of Christ. “Whatsoever you do, so it heartily as to the Lord and not unto man, knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance for you serve the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Like the fragrance released from the lemon peel, our zestful service to Christ will draw others to desire what we as believers have…eternal LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I’m sharing today my recipe for Lemon Bars. A tbsp. or 2 of lemon zest really adds to the flavor of this cookie. When I was done, I tossed the leftover lemons down the garbage disposal to freshen it up, too. No waste.
Here’s hoping that you, too, have a ZEST for living! — Confectionately Yours, Sue
Lemon Bar Crust
2 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter, melted
Combine and press into an 9×13 pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or just until edges are golden. Pour filling over crust. Return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The filling should look firm & ‘set’. Remove from oven & allow to cool. Sift with powdered sugar and cut into squares. Store in fridge.
Lemon Bar Filling
1 tsp. baking powder
2 c. sugar
1 T. lemon zest
4-6 T. fresh or frozen lemon juice
1/4 c. flour
powdered sugar to sprinkle on baked cookie
Beat together all ingredients, except powdered sugar and pour over crust. Proceed as above.
Note: One lemon will yield 3 tablespoons juice. Fresh frozen juice can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Please don’t use the bottled kind. It does not taste as good. This is also one of those recipes where those whole frozen lemons and the zest can be used.
Sue Murphy is a Xenia resident may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Christian radio segments share about her journey and her passion for baking. Find other recipes and more at www.Confectionatelyyours.info. Find her cookbook at Parker’s General Store on the courthouse square in Xenia.