Friday, September 18, 2015


Dear Loves,

Another lemon, another tart, another Lemony Snicket book.  My young cousin first mentioned to me Lemony Snicket, maybe 12 or even 13 years ago now.  She said, at her then age of eleven, "you are gonna love Lemony Snicket!" 

My friends, you are gonna love him, too!  I read somewhere that his novels are postmodernism for children- well, that statement alone piques one's curiosity, doesn't it?  What I love is the many literary references, and his candor about life's vagaries with his readers.  Lemony Snicket makes me want to read, and he makes me want to write. 

I am reading his book for Big People now (We Are Pirates), and I don't yet know what I think about it, but I will tell you that the fourth in his 'film noir' styled mystery series entitled All The Wrong Questions is due out any day now.  Visit his entertaining website here, and try a small taste of his writing, from The Wide Window, Book the Third in A Series of Unfortunate Events, Harper Collins, 2000:

But even if they could go home it would be difficult for me to tell you what the moral of the story is.  In some stories, it’s easy.  The moral of “The Three Bears” for instance, is “Never break into someone else’s house.”  The moral of “Snow White” is, “Never eat apples.”  The moral of World War One is “Never assassinate Archduke Ferdinand.”  But Violet, Klaus, and Sunny sat on the dock and watched the sun come up over Lake Lachrymose and wondered exactly what the moral was of their time with Aunt Josephine. 
 The expression “It dawned on them,” which I am about to use, does not have anything to do with the sunlight spreading out over Damocles Dock.  “It dawned on them” simply means “They figured something out,” and as the Baudelaire orphans sat and watched the dock fill with people as the business of the day began, they figured out something that was very important to them.  It dawned on them that unlike Aunt Josephine, who had lived up that house, sad and alone, the three children had one another for comfort and support over the course of their miserable lives.  And while this did not make them feel entirely safe, or entirely happy, it made them feel appreciative. 

Here is a song that sums up some of the message of Lemony Snicket's Unfortunate Events series.
And here is perhaps not exactly what you want, but something you might need- a recipe, to celebrate the upcoming Lemony release:

Lemon Tart No. 8

 (adapted in part, from Smitten Kitchen's Whole Lemon Tart, and Martha Stewart's Citrus Tart)

For the crust:

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup almond flour
1 egg yolk

Whirl all of this together in a food processor, or whatever you like to use to make a crust.  Press it into and up the sides of a tart pan- an 11 or 12 inch diameter pan works well.  Pierce the crust with a fork and then bake it at 350 for 15 minutes.  It will be far from fully cooked- this is good.  Take it out of the oven, and press it down with the bottom of a measuring cup or something similar, to make room for...

The Filling:

1 whole lemon, sliced thin, seeds removed
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 whole eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a blender, or food processor, pulverize the lemon slices with the sugar.  Then add the butter- blend it until smooth.  Add the eggs, salt, and cornstarch- blend again, until smooth.  Pour it into your crust, and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool to room temperature before finding out that it is darned good.