Who said that being around children keeps you young? Whoever they are, I plan to apprehend them and serve them the rubber mat of coconut pudding I made last week. My employment situation is somewhat up in the air right now, and I am filling in for an absent paraeducator. The young man I am assigned to, a sweet, anxious lad with multiple needs that I fear are not going to be met by conventional schooling, had this to say, “I love the way your veins stick up so far from the skin on your hands.” He said he wanted to poke at them a bit. Hey, mi vein, su vein; have at it. Then, upon studying my face, he offered this, “You know how skin gets really stretched out when you are old?” Yes, I may have heard something about that. “Well, I like that,” he finished up, while looking at my skin with affectionate awe.
It hasn’t been the best week, and not just because of the audible dying screams of my collagen. I am scattered, unsure of myself, perplexed, as always, by how I got here. By Friday I knew one, and only one, thing for sure: (Oprah knows a bunch of stuff for sure, but I like to keep it simple) that I needed a dessert that was sunny, upbeat and citrusy. I wanted something that was Little Orphan Annie in a bowl, that sang to me that the sun will come out tomorrow and for once, it won’t damage my skin.
When my girls were little, I made lemon mousse about twice a month. I spent their babyhoods wracked by persistent exhaustion, but the wearying era was overlayed – slathered – in scrumptious, mood-elevating desserts. Since I had such high output, I bundled a fair amount off to my husband’s office which, at the time, was full of bony, sugar-addicted women.
Since I have been on a meyer lemon mousse kick lately, I thought I would use them for this mousse, a recipe from the dearly departed. Martha Stewart publication, Everyday Food. Really, you won’t believe how this dessert will perk you up. Just a note: I cut the sugar in half. If you use regular lemons you might not be able to reduce it quite as much.
P.S. This dessert served a dual purpose, since it was my dear friend Kirstin’s birthday. A gorgeous blond should have a gorgeous blond dessert to mark her special day. Happy Birthday Kirstin; you are a constant source of culinary inspiration and fun! You brighten my day.