These hands turn 80 this summer.
These hands have picked strawberries, made jam, kneaded bread, rolled pastry. They have decorated birthday cakes, anniversary cakes and wedding cakes.
They have changed diapers, washed clothes, sewn dresses, mended seams, darned socks, stitched buttons, ironed pleats.
They have tied shoelaces, braided hair and wrapped presents.
They have stroked sweaty hair from fevered foreheads, wiped away tears, plucked thorns from fingers, applied bandages, massaged aching muscles and held the hands of the dying.
Despite arthritis, they carry on.
They sweep, and weed, and plant and water. They rake and prune.
They don’t know sign language, yet speak.
Tonight, when they have put down the secateurs, and washed up, they will pick up a fork. And enjoy a meal made by the daughters she raised.
My contribution to this Mother’s Day meal? Dessert. Of course. At my mother’s request it is pavolva. “And with the yolks,” she said. “Make lemon curd. No need to waste the eggs.”
Your wish is my command.
No-Waste Lemon Curd
I made a double batch of these pavolvas and piped them to form nests. The rims will help hold the curd and whipped cream. The berries will tumble off no matter what I do.
Here is the recipe for the lemon curd. It can be halved.
- 8 yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- finely grated zest of 2 limes
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
Heat an inch of water in a medium-sized pot on the stove.
In a medium, heat-proof bowl, whisk yolks and sugar together by hand until light.
Mix in lemon juice and rind, and place the yolk mixture over the pot of simmering water. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook the yolk mixture until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. This takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat. Stir in the pieces of cold butter, one cube at a time.
Place plastic wrap directly over the surface of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin. When cool, refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble mini pavolva nests, fill each pavlova with lemon curd. Add a dollop of slightly sweetened whipped cream. Top with berries or sliced fruit of choice.