I don’t care what the calendar says. Ever since I moved to the northeast from California I’ve been convinced that February is the longest month. It’s been too long since the festivities of Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) and New Years. Valentine’s Day is cute but honestly probably best left to young children. St. Patrick’s Day is a blast but still to come. While the days are becoming imperceptibly longer it still seems as though there are far too few hours of sunlight. And it appears as though there are colder days during this month or maybe the thrill is gone and we are ready to put away our winter coats. By February we are already going through the mountain of gardening catalogs dreaming of the flowers and vegetables we will plant in late April or early May. Nope, no doubt about it. February is the longest month.
This weekend we have two events that should warm us up inside and out. Lily’s Cafe in Stonington is having a Valentine’s Day bash complete with all you can eat tapas, live music, and beer and wines. I love Spanish food and being as our 25th anniversary is very soon, you bet we will be there breaking our diets and enjoying the good times.
We also have a long awaited event – the opening of The Seasons of Stonington Restaurant. I join others in being thrilled that we will have another restaurant choice while we await the coming of Spring, the tourists, and the opening of the rest of the eateries.
One way to increase your intake of vitamin C and to fight off those long month February blues is to have a Lemon-lime Bar. I enjoy the tart-sweet taste of this pudding like delicacy perched on a shortbread like crust. It also seems that no matter what the season is, one can get plump and juice-filled lemons and limes. This recipe is simple and delicious.
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoons grated lemon zest (2 to 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon grated lime zest (4-6 limes)
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer fitted. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Press the dough into the greased pan.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon and lime zests, lemon and lime juices, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Hey, between having these two festivities and the possibility of eating a lemon-lime bar maybe February isn’t so long after all. I might just end up getting Bob a Valentine’s card!