A week or two ago I went downstairs to use the treadmill and caught sight of a package leaning against my glass front door. I assumed Phillip had purchased some sort of electronic box without telling me, but when I picked it up I saw MY name. And then I saw Elizabeth's name. And my day, which had been slowly swirling down the toilet, started to look up.
Inside were the running mixes she promised me (seven CDs, to be precise, and do you know how much running that is? I don't even want to think about it) and jellybeans and a handful of books I'd been wanting to read. And some roundish orange things.
Those are called oranges, you are saying as you read this, and wondering if maybe you should worry about my role as Chief Cheung Nutritionist. But they were shaped kind of funny. And they didn't quite feel like oranges. But they were orange, so I assumed they were some kind of cooler-than-me California oranges. I AM a Pacific Northwesterner, where there is only enough sun to grow, perhaps, one single orange all year. So what do I know?
Then I read Elizabeth's note, wherein she called the enclosed fruit lemons. Lemons? Since when are lemons orange? Has my Pacific Northwest upbringing steered me so completely wrong in the citrus department?
I left them on the counter, not entirely sure what to do with them.
A few days later Future Pastry Chef Sister stopped by. And I remembered I was in charge of bringing Treats to my meeting that night. The stars, it appeared, were aligned. I managed to talk Future Pastry Chef Sister into making lemon bars with me, only we were going to call them "Lemon" Bars because, seriously, they were ORANGE. Lemon-shaped ORANGES.
While FPCS started the crust, I squeezed out the juice. When I had enough for the recipe (which, by the way, is this one, because FPCS and I know the Smitten Kitchen is where God orders his baked goods) I decided I should probably taste it. Just to see. As soon as I'd recovered from the tartness turning my brain inside out, I declared the mysterious citrus the most lemony-tasting orange in the world.
FPCS did all the work while I putzed around, musing about lemon-shaped oranges and the thrill of unexpected packages, and entertained the girl who needs constant entertainment.
And then FPCS was all, "Let me show you my smooth FPC skillz" and demonstrated how to cut a piece of parchment paper to size by rubbing the edges with the dull side of a knife. "Oooh!" I exclaimed. "The blog will love this!"
I forgot to take a picture of the crust. I know you're crushed. We watched the Real Housewives of New York City while it baked. Those women are not to be believed, people, not at all. And why certain ones of them consented to a second season is BEYOND ME. Oh, here's what it looked like when we poured the lemon mixture on top.
And this is what it looked like when it came out of the oven.
Funny, the treats always look better when Smitten Kitchen takes the pictures. Possibly the picture quality is not the fault of the treats. Actually, I thought they were quite good. We used the full recipe, with a thicker lemon layer. And even though we cooked them 5-10 minutes longer, they were still sort of soft in the middle, kind of hard to handle. Not too hard to eat. And, dare I say it, RATHER LEMONY.
I still have half the pan in the freezer. I might include them in my Happy New Neighbor Baby delivery, which I think is going to take place on Monday. Gulp.
Anyway! Receiving a Surprise Package so completely made my day that I thought it'd be fun to send my OWN package. To YOU. Or one of you, at least. I have enough, to quote Elizabeth, "random crap from my house" to fill up a flat rate box no problem. Do you want a present? My random crap is your treasure! (I will not be sending mysterious citrus, in case you are curious, and, now that I am thinking about it, doesn't California have some kind of law banning fruit travel? Or something?) ANYWAY. If you think Random Packages of Stuff are cool, leave me a comment and I'll do a DRAWING. Look at me getting all Official!
OOH. And if you leave a comment on my post at Parenting tomorrow, I'll enter you TWICE. Because I LOVE YOU. How's that for bribery?! (Which, incidentally, is what that post is about: what do I use to bribe my husband to get up in the middle of the night with the baby? GO FIND OUT!)