Monday, August 6, 2012

Everything is change. Lemony change.

It has been a busy year. The kind of year where one can forget one's own passions given the work load. Somehow, new passions have sprung up, and those lying dormant reignited in this humble recipe swap post.

For those new to the Recipe Swap, every month, I release a vintage recipe from an old cookbook, and twenty-some of us each remake it in our own ways, using the original recipe as inspiration for our own creations. This talented lot of food bloggers link their blogs below so you can see the collection of them. Please take the time see how we each interpreted this month's recipe; Lemon Sponge Pie!

On a snooty whim about seven years ago, in my Brooklyn kitchen, I made a souffle a day until I perfected it. It took me most of the month. (So Brooklyn.) Now, it kinda feels like getting back on a bicycle after not being on one for years, which was really helpful today, having not been in my kitchen for a month. That feels like years, in these parts. Strapped for time, out of ideas for interpreting this recipe, I took a bunch of lemons and the muscle memory of perfected souffle, and went to work. So quickly, in fact, that I didn't write the recipe down, in a linear fashion, anyway.
Lemon souffle.

Here's what I came up with.

Lemon Souffle
Burwell General Store

Grab a glass of wine. It is Sunday afternoon, and it has been a long week.
The best start to a souffle is to first respect the fact that it is simultaneously the most simple and complicated thing to make.
Separate enough eggs.
Whip the whites, gently but sternly.
Beat the yolks, but not too much.
Notice the change. Those were originally a bunch of eggs. Now, they are a result of the proper mixture of air and effort.
Add lemon, flour, sugar, salt, in proper measure.
Combine everything back together, carefully. Empty your head while doing this specific part. No shopping lists, no leftover upset thoughts. Just relax.
Butter a ramekin and coax the batter in.
Bake in a hot oven, about 400F and put the Do Not Disturb sign on the front.
It will rise if left alone. It will also fall in a fashion, sometimes desired.
Grab a spoon and eat it anyway, because sugar, cream and lemon cannot be a bad thing.
A scrawled guide, mostly unused.

I love these recipe swaps, and not necessarily because I create read-and-print recipes. In fact, the last few times, they represent time I've spent absent-mindedly doing something, in months where every moment of my day is scheduled, rescheduled and problem-solved. That's what I do for a living, so it is nice on occasion to do "nothing" but still have something to show for it.


  1. That souffle looks delicious! And you really can write some seriously funny recipes!!

  2. your writing is just great. I love learning about your snooty souffle-perfecting phase. I love your your unconventional recipe, your scribbles. And really -- lemon, cream, and egg cannot taste bad. That is the truth. Thanks as always for organizing. love the swap.

  3. Wow, CM, that is a beautiful post! I LOVE this "recipe". And I applaud your VERY Brooklyn souffle-a-day. Might be something I start on when I get home to Manhattan. Thanks for bringing the group back together again - it's been a crazy ride for me as well recently, but this swap felt like slipping back into my proper skin a bit.

  4. I love reading your posts. your writing is fantastic. i am so glad the swap is back and I think I'll apply your souffle "recipe" to my daily lift

  5. I think I love you even more now that I see what paper you recipe doodle on. I've got to step up by notebook game here. Thanks for inviting me to join in!

  6. This is gorgeous. I get intimidated by souffles. No idea why. Bet this smells and tastes divine.

  7. This is gorgeous. I get intimidated by souffles. No idea why. Bet this smells and tastes divine.

  8. Love your recipe Christianna! It is so liberating sometimes to not write down, step by step, what exactly we do in our kitchens! And your souffle looks perfect. I have always been intimidated by them (to make, not to eat ;)


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