We’ve tremendously enjoyed visiting friends in Monterey, CA this week. We started the trip with a slow, meandering drive up Highway 1, stopping to see elephant seals and pick up fresh lemons from a roadside farm. Our close friends Brian and Anna welcomed us into their home with open arms. Their four precious little girls embraced our daughters and they all immediately ran off, playing on their bikes, reading together, and constructing crafts.
It’s been a wonderful week watching the kids play, visiting the Aquarium, taking long walks, and enjoying great meals and conversation around the table.
We celebrated our daughter’s 9th birthday with a specially requested lemon meringue pie instead of cake. Wow, 9 – probably half of her time in our home is gone. Just like that. I remember my days caring for a toddler and newborn thinking I’d never get a minute to wash my hair. Now the kids run off for hours playing and giggling, giving me time for experimental cooking. Their growth continues as we watch and enjoy, marking the transitions. She’s grown into a sweet young girl.
Anna graciously allowed me to commandeer the kitchen and cook for everyone. As I pulled out the ingredients for the pies, I decided to make one following the original recipe and one with honey and unrefined ingredients. After our oldest blew out the candles, we served the kids’ slices and I asked the adults to taste-test with me. I honestly didn’t think my organic version was going to be a success. Surprisingly, my recipe won a unanimous decision! The fluffy and light meringue covered a deep yellow custard of bright, sweet, intense lemon flavors. Our stop at a California coast roadside farm yielded a birthday treat for the ages in Monterey.