Friday, April 6, 2012

Oh the Joy of Spring

Living in California my whole life spoiled me when it came to the weather. I had absolutely no idea what to expect 11 years ago when I moved to Texas. Since then I have learned much about the seasons in Texas. Like the hotter than Hades heat that kicks up in June and stretches it's sultry (I say sultry because I am trying to behave like a Southern Lady) hand deep into the fall at which time the chance of ice and sleet always seems to only be a few hours away. Don't believe me? Just ask any Texan about our crazy weather and they will most likely tell you, “Texas has four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.” Therefore, when Spring rolls around for it's brief annual visit, we like to get out of the house and soak up as much as we can. Getting outside is not hard to do as the wildflowers blanket the highways and roads all over this big beautiful state. Taking a drive through the Texas Hill Country will make you quickly forget about the merciless heat that is around the corner. Yes, the cool breezes, the colors, and the smells - it is all so breathtaking that even the morning commute is quickly forgotten. The summers can be pretty tough if your not used to the heat, which is why Spring is so cherished in these parts. I consider it a blessing to have been born in a beautiful state like California but I must say it's been an absolute pleasure to be raising our family in this gorgeous big state of Texas, too. Yes, there are many ways to survive the weather in Texas, but I prefer to look at it as a fun amusement park ride where I learned years ago to keep my arms and legs in until the ride comes to a complete stop - stopping to smell the flowers, that is. I'm jus' sayin!

I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Lady Bird had a very special gift when it came to beautifying our lovely town. It would have been an honor to have met this Southern gem and in her honor, I am sharing her famous Lemon Cake. This recipe is all over the internet and it appeared to be one of the specialties the First Lady served in the White House.

3/4 cup butter or margarine (at room temperature)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
8 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Lemon Icing
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine (at room temperature)
1 lemon, grated rind only
1 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons cream (or more, until spreading consistency)
yellow food coloring, if desired

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored; blend into creamed mixture. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; resift 3 times. Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture in thirds, alternating with milk. Beat the batter thoroughly after each addition.

Add vanilla extract, lemon rind and lemon juice; beat 2 minutes. Bake in greased 10-inch bundt pan in preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 1 hour or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. You can also can use three 9-inch round cake pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Double the frosting recipe for a layer cake.

Lemon Icing: Combine ingredients and beat, adding cream until desired consistency.

"The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances."
~ Robert Flatt

On this Easter Sunday… Forgive someone. Tell someone you love them. Let your light shine.
~ Author Unknown


  1. So true about the 4 seasons in TX. I'm trying to enjoy Spring because I know the heat and humidity will be here soon enough. The Lemon Cake looks beautiful and delicious. Hope you have a Blessed Easter.

  2. Thanks Steph -Are you in ATX? We really need to meet up sometime We can grab Maggie and go have happy hour somewhere. Hope you and your family have a blessed Easter as well.

  3. I'm in SA, but I love to visit Austin. I'm looking to make garden center run there some time soon. Would love to meet up with you guys. If you are ever in SA, let me know. Hope the Easter bunny is good to you:)

  4. That is one gorgeous cake! Hope you're enjoying our week of spring. It's actually been lovely this week- here's hoping the heat doesn't descend next week. I love the description you gave of "almost summer, summer, still summer, Christmas." Too True!

    Let's catch up soon. Let me know if you can get away for lunch!