Friday, February 26, 2010

Making Memories from Mayhem on a Rainy Day


I had two hours this morning before I needed to get ready to leave for a pediatrician appointment. I had nothing I needed to do as far as housework is concerned, so I decided to can four pint jars of Meyer lemon curd. Meyer lemons have been a fantastic deal at our local wholesale club for weeks, and I found an unbeatable steal on eggs, so I had both waiting for me in the fridge.


What seemed like a relatively low-stress, if time-consuming endeavor evolved temporarily into a complete fiasco. Something went abysmally wrong with my lemon curd recipe and it simply wouldn’t gel. Ten minutes before I needed to get the children ready to go, I had a bowlful of soupy lemon-egg mixture and a hot water canner boiling away, ready to go. I switched off the canner, stuck the watery curd in the refrigerator and prayed with all my strength to keep my cool as I woke James up from his nap and headed for the car.


I won’t bore you with the details of how my energy and patience was progressively whittled away during a doctor’s appointment with shots and a hungry toddler who, despite eating moment before leaving the house, insisted that she was starving the entire time we were gone. Suffice it to say that many prayers were uttered, even kneeling on the floor of the pediatrician’s office while I waited for the doctor, and praise God I don’t think either of my children had any clue about my inward turmoil and the fact that I wanted to burst into tears and throw in the towel on the whole day.


Back at home, Sophia ate, James fussed, and I prayed some more, and somehow, somehow, I got that curd to gel, and I got it in jars, and I got the jars canned. It looks like all four pints have “popped",” though I wasn’t around to hear them since I was nursing one baby to sleep while reading another down for her nap two hours later than usual while the jars rested on the counter.


A word to the wise, don’t attempt to make lemon curd—or can anything—while home alone with a baby and a toddler. But, if you must, or if you’re simply a little foolhardy like me, be sure to pray your way on through, and keep in mind that making memories and preserving peace is more important than canning curd.



  1. Has anyone ever called you an over-achiever? Because I would have been plopped down in a chair knitting, not trying to can homemade Lemon Curd! Congratulations on passing your test of patience, and the beautiful jars of lemony sweetness!

  2. I have been absolutely FLOORED at the times when my patience and nerves and everything else have worn completely thin, and I ask God for some grace. He has never, ever let me down - though it's up to me to use it! I have found myself drawing a breath to snap about something, and I must then remind myself that I don't have to respond like that.

    However, I've not been driven to my knees at the ped's office! Whew, what a day! Blessings to you!

  3. Lenetta - To be more accurate, I wasn't driven to my knees, I was already on my knees playing with the kids on the floor ;-) But, nonetheless, prayers on knees were said in the pediatrician's office.

  4. And this is why I have already started making plans for babysitters/backup when it comes time to can this spring or summer and my husband isn't around. I tried to make strawberry jam this past summer, with a son who *just* broke his arm....unfortunately, I DID snap. I yelled, I cried, I pleaded, and begged. Now, I look back and feel so sorry for my poor son, and how I responded to him. What isn't a lesson in grace is often a lesson in selflessness and a conviction of my own selfishness. The only thing I struggle with is forgiving myself for those wrong actions.

  5. Andrea - Forgive, forgive, my dear! I can't tell you how much more often I fail in restraining my temper and other emotions! Let's just say that my temperment matches my red hair, and it takes a lot to keep it on an even keel.

  6. Bethany - I think any hint of red hair blesses us with a matching temper, I'm an auburn red, and my husband teases, saying that it gets redder the madder I get. Add to that, I've still got massive post-partum hormones/breastfeeding hormones and sleep deprivation going on, I'm just not a pretty person. I try and try...*sigh* but I always seem to mess up even worse. I figure by the time I'm 30 in 2 years, I'll have this under control. ;)

    And as an aside...we have a 2 bedroom condo as well (but we've got a basement...). What are you going to do if you get pregnant again soon - does James sleep in your room now, or with Sophia? If he does, any hints on how to move the kids in together without major disruption?

  7. Andrea - It is a hard battle to contain our tempers, but well woth the effort ;-)

    James sleeps in our bedroom right now, in his crib. (It's easier not to have to go into the nursery at night to feed him). But, he has *just* (crosses fingers) started sleeping through the night the past week, so we will probably be moving the crib back into the nursery very shortly. Then, he and Sophia will share a room. If we have another baby, that baby will sleep in our room for at least 6 months and then move into the nursery, as well. If necessary, we will use a trundle under Sophia's bed or have two kids share a bed (they would be too young for bunks.)

    I'll let y'all know how room-sharing goes!

  8. Thanks Bethany! :) I have to admit, I sit there and try and figure out how to make it work here too. What were we thinking only buying a 2 bedroom home!? Sheesh! ;)

    My mom suggested a trundle once the kids are older too - especially if we're still here and have a third child. I'd prefer not to still be here, but you never know!!

  9. I found your blog through Nettacow! Wow-- great writing and I can relate! It's also lovely to see a fellow (faithful Catholic!!)west-coaster on here. God bless! .. and I love lemon curd. Hopefully you won't lose an appetite for it entirely, now. :)


  10. Thank God for prayer, and His grace!!! I wouldn't make it through a single day without either. Your lemon curd is such a beautiful yellow - my lips are puckering just looking at it!

    We too live in a small space (6 of us in 880sq. ft.), and a trundle really does work well. We actually had a bunk bed with a trundle under it to sleep our three oldest until our only girl got too old for that arrangement. Now all the kids sleep on futon (not the kind you have in the US, but the thinner Japanese style that you spread on the floor, and then fold and store in the closet during the day).


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