Embracing life’s lemons: therapy through citrus

When life gives you lemons, why stop with lemonade? After all, the zesty fruit can be the key to hundreds of decadent desserts. Just ask my friend, Ann Marie Lang.

Ann Marie was going through a trying time when she discovered a used edition of  “Luscious Lemon Desserts” by Lori Longbotham. Purchased for $2 at the Friends of the Library bookstore, it has been the greatest investment of her culinary life.

When Ann Marie completed her college degree earlier this year, graduating cum laude from Athens State University, she was 53. She finally achieved her academic goals and was seeking a new career. But the job market sucked.

Lemons. Life, during this exciting time, gave Ann Marie lemons. An optimist at heart, she thought about making lemonade. But when she stumbled upon Longbotham’s cookbook, she preheated the oven and never looked back.

Ann Marie has since made many trips to Costco, spending a small fortune on this beautiful, zesty produce, butter, flour, eggs, sugar and cream. Real cream.

Her first venture was triple lemon cheesecake. She moved on to Philadelphia-style lemon ice cream, chocolate lemon sorbet, lemon tart, lemon coriander cake, lemon-chocolate ganache and the list goes on.

“It kept me busy so I wasn’t thinking about how the job situation would work out,” Ann Marie said. “And it felt good to share the treats with friends, who were very appreciative.”

Grateful and borderline greedy. I even sent her a recipe for lemon souffle that I found online.

“Souffles are hard,” she replied. “Hmmm.”

I knew immediately I had presented the lemon aficionado with another challenge from which she would not back down.

Ann Marie will eventually find the perfect job. In the meantime, she will spend much of her spare time in the kitchen, finding satisfaction in every lemon squeezed and transformed into an indulgent creation.

Me? I will be cheering her on, and patiently waiting for my next sample.

About minndixiemom

I'm a Minnesota native with an Alabama heart, reflecting on the past while looking toward the future. My husband, David, and I landed in Huntsville in the late 90s through my former career in TV news. We have two amazing girls, Serina and Sophia, whom we are raising with God's guidance and grace. Besides faith and family, my passions include writing, walking, recovery, and the outdoors. By day I'm the Director of Development for WellStone, Inc., North Alabama's largest and most comprehensive mental healthcare provider.
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3 Responses to Embracing life’s lemons: therapy through citrus

  1. Love this post and the metaphor it illustrates. Good luck to Ann Marie. I know she’ll eventually find the perfect job, and when she does I hope you let us all know!

  2. Ann Marie Lang says:

    How great is that? Thanks so much Stacy, and to you too Karen, its nice to have friends like you!

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