Sometimes great food memories don’t happen in your own kitchen, they happen a block away at your best friend’s house.  One of my best friends is Kathy.  In our grade school years after class sometimes we’d go to each other’s house to goof around when we were supposed to be doing our homework…perhaps you can relate.

Now Kathy and I shared a great love of music and when we grew up there was no shortage of new bands with great hits.  Kathy would always buy the albums before anyone and she would have the lyrics memorized before the rest of us even knew the titles of the songs.  So in our “tweens” we would race to her house after school to listen to the latest release, especially when it was from the Beatles.

Another reason to race to Kathy’s house was if her grandmother was there.  Not that her grandmother was a fan of pop music, but because her Grandma K was one of the best cooks/bakers EVER!  My fondest memory is of her donuts.  She would have them ready to go right before we scrambled in the door…then plop, plop, in they went and  instantly came bobbing up in the bubbling pot like life preservers in a choppy sea.  Then deftly she’d whisk them out, douse them with sugar, and we’d enjoy the world’s best after-school snack…fresh, warm, homemade donuts and  a tall glass of cold milk.  We’d sit at her kitchen table and wallow in the yeasty, doughy, sugary goodness.  Then in our lovely sugar coma we’d listen to hmm…maybe Paul McCartney singing Yesterday.

And that brings us to this post…I know, it took long enough.  I was reading in a magazine recently that Paul’s oldest daughter, Mary has just come out with a cookbook called Food.  In the article she tells how the family converted to vegetarianism and that her mother, Linda Eastman, always made sure that they had simple, tasty meals that were long on flavor and short on fuss.  Mary seems to be following in her mother’s footsteps, not only because she’s a great cook, but because she is also a much admired professional photographer.  So reading that article made me think of her dad, which made me think of listening to the Beatles music at Kathy’s house, which of course made me think of donuts…have I lost you yet?

It’s obvious that Mary has many great food memories and recipes to share and I can’t wait to take a peek at her cookbook.   Her lemon cake recipe in the magazine reminded me of a loaf my mother used to make many years ago, so I pulled out my mother’s recipe and decided that this is what I’m going to be serving at Sunday’s supper for my family and friends.  It seems like the perfect ending to a Spring meal.

Lemon Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 - 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A light lemon loaf perfect alone or with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.

Ingredients:

Loaf:

1/2 cup unsalted room temperature butter (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest (approximately zest from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (approximate juice from 1 lemon)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup half and half or milk

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Directions:

Loaf:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a standard loaf pan.

In a large bowl, cream the room temperature butter and sugar together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla till frothy. Whisk in lemon juice and lemon zest.

Slowly beat the egg mixture into the butter mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Then gradually fold the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture alternating with the half and half or milk till combined.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes till golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

While loaf is baking prepare glaze.

Glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Add optional lemon zest if you'd prefer more lemon flavor.

Place loaf on cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes then remove loaf from pan and spoon on glaze.

Enjoy!