Ann Marie was going through a trying time when she discovered a used edition of “Luscious Lemon Desserts” by Lori Longbotham. Purchased for $2 at the Friends of the Library bookstore, it has been the greatest investment of her culinary life.
When Ann Marie completed her college degree earlier this year, graduating cum laude from Athens State University, she was 53. She finally achieved her academic goals and was seeking a new career. But the job market sucked.
Lemons. Life, during this exciting time, gave Ann Marie lemons. An optimist at heart, she thought about making lemonade. But when she stumbled upon Longbotham’s cookbook, she preheated the oven and never looked back.
Her first venture was triple lemon cheesecake. She moved on to Philadelphia-style lemon ice cream, chocolate lemon sorbet, lemon tart, lemon coriander cake, lemon-chocolate ganache and the list goes on.
“It kept me busy so I wasn’t thinking about how the job situation would work out,” Ann Marie said. “And it felt good to share the treats with friends, who were very appreciative.”
“Souffles are hard,” she replied. “Hmmm.”
I knew immediately I had presented the lemon aficionado with another challenge from which she would not back down.
Ann Marie will eventually find the perfect job. In the meantime, she will spend much of her spare time in the kitchen, finding satisfaction in every lemon squeezed and transformed into an indulgent creation.
Me? I will be cheering her on, and patiently waiting for my next sample.