When Life Sours and Tears Taste Like Limes

When life sours and tears taste like limes… CRY. Or decide that today is the day to eat pie.

I’ve been feeling like a sour lime of late. Normally, I’m an optimist who can find something positive in any situation. But somehow, my sunny outlook has gone dark, leaving seeds of uncertainty and melancholy. I will not let them germinate.

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Hope springs eternal in the kitchen… Make a graham cracker crust and pat it down firmly in a pan or pie mold to keep melancholy away.

Graham Cracker Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tbsp all purpose flour

 2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 stick unsalted butter (melted)

Combine first three ingredients. Add butter in a steady stream until mixed. Make shell in pie mold or pan, pressing graham cracker crust mix in bottom and sides until evenly applied throughout.

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My life savings paid the first year of my college tuition; the next year sort of took care of itself. Instead of believing those who cast shadows of doubt in my path, I persevered. At night while my classmates slept, I worked; and with each paycheck came the means to pursue my passion. Passion created Photochefs.com, a blog that allows me share my love of writing and cooking – a passion is as thick as Key Lime Pie Custard – with you.

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Key Lime Pie Custard

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

5 egg yolks

4 oz Key lime juice

If juicing your own limes, zest them first for Key Lime Whipped Cream and set aside for later. Mix milk, egg yolks, and lime juice. Pour key lime custard mixture in shell until it reaches the top of the sides. Bake at 200° F, until custard is set or approximately 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours. Top with Key Lime Whipped Cream, below.

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Complacency is to grow up in a small town and never leave. Like limes in a basket: sameness, roundness, green-ness… safety in being just like everyone else. But there was this pinprick in the back of my mind. Something was not right…. Like the feeling of an oncoming headache, building slowly, tiny stabs of pain, immune to aspirin and water.

Many lack the courage to dream of being more, and fall to the ground and hide under leaves and grass. Away from the warmth of the sun, growing hard, bitter, resentful… But some limes are meant for greatness. They grow from seed to sapling to tree and bear fruit; hoping that one day –  somewhere, somehow – someone will notice their efforts. A lime hopes that someone will see beyond its green skin and say, “Imagine if…”

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By itself, a lime is tart and its essence sharp and forceful to taste; but condensed milk, yolks, and graham cracker crust are good company. Baked in a hot oven, a lime gives its juices to balance sweet with tart, and custard adds creaminess to crispy. Left to our own selfish ways, we too become harsh and tart; but with the gift of love and warmth, a smile will emerge. The day will brighten and the mind will clear, as surely as the lime ripens.

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… But one lime heard the whispering in the wind. And listened to the buzzing of the bees. And it knew within its pith and seeds: that the day would come when it would become sublime, covered with Key Lime Whipped Cream.

Key Lime Whipped Cream

 2 ½  cups heavy cream

½ cup granulated sugar

zest of  5 Key limes or 2 regular-size limes, finely grated

Place all ingredients in bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside in refrigerator.

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… Until finally we are rejuvenated, for how sweet it is to be truly alive.