First, The Side Story:

When life hands you lemons, forget the lemonade, vodka or tequila and salt. Here’s an idea…….Lemon Loaf Cake. (You can thank me later.)

Happy Easter. Pina, with her Sicilian candy, Torrone Siciliano, meets my very American Lemon Loaf Cake.

I’m a lucky woman. If I cannot join my kids for a holiday celebration, I am always invited to join neighbors Adriana and Bobby Scrima, and their extended family. I’ve been adopted. This Easter my kids were in Hawaii so I was asked to join the Scrimas for dinner.

Adriana and her family immigrated to the United States from Sicily forty years ago when she was 8 years old. Their story deserves a Post of its own but today’s TWDorie/BWJulia is about food so I’ll stay with that subject. Her mother, Pina, still cooks  in the European tradition. Her food is fresh, what’s locally available, and absolutely delicious. If Pina’s cooking, there’s not an empty seat at the table. This year, as usual, Bobby’s boyhood friend, Joe, his wife, Amalia and their 8-year-old son were joining us. What made Easter 2012 special was the presence of Amalia’s parents, Maria and Fernando, who were visiting from Madrid.

Tony, Adriana’s father, keeps me stocked with ground Italian oregano and sundried tomatoes.

Clockwise, Tony, Fernando, Maria and Pina. A four-language conversation!!! A joyful Easter.






As far as languages go, here’s the lineup, who speaks what:

Maria – Spanish

Fernando – French, Spanish

Pina – Spanish, Italian, and English

Tony – Italian

Amalia – Spanish and English

Joe – English, English and English

Adriana – Spanish, Italian and English

Bobby – English, English and English

Yours Truly – English and French

Although we considered charting who could understand whom, we decided to throw all those languages into a pot and let it boil. It worked.

Bobby, by the grill, with Joe. And, the English-speaking guys stand alone.

Lemon Loaf Cake, Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia

Usually, at Easter, I give my hosts chocolates and wine. This year I decided to bake this week’s recipe, Lemon Loaf Cake, a scrumptious citrus sidebar to the traditional pound cake. Developed by Ritz Carlton’s corporate pastry chef, Norman Love, I found this cake to be moist, firm and rich.

Just out of the oven. No added attractions. The color is nice.

You can find the Lemon Loaf Cake recipe at the sites of this week’s generous and knowledgeable hostesses: Truc at Treats (http://www.treats-sf.com/)and Michelle at The Beauty of Life. (http://www.ladystiles.blogspot.com/).  To see how other Doristas “zested” their lemons, go to http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/.

This cake is simply made and easily eaten. The most difficult technique is grating the zest of 3 large lemons! The other ingredients can be thrown together in ten minutes. Bake it for 60 minutes. That ubiquitous toothpick, to be inserted into the center, must come out clean. Although I sprinkled confectionary sugar on this loaf, it requires no special embellishments. Simply standing on its own or with the fresh fruit and sorbets we offered as toppings, this Lemon Loaf Cake is a winner.

Zest three large lemons.

Ready for the Oven.




Everyone tried, tasted, and had an opinion about my dessert.  In Italian. In Spanish. In French. In English. What I know for sure is that the English-speaking crowd loved it. My international friends wrapped up the leftovers, to enjoy a bedtime snack. Food has a universal language all its own, doesn’t it?


I want to whisk together a bowlful of gratitude to Marilyn, http://cookteachgrow.wordpress.com/about/, a Colorado baker who is part of the Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia group. Marilyn, aka Piebird, has just given me a Liebster Award, a fun recognition of food blogging sites. It’s nice to realize we high-altitude bakers are hanging together, Marilyn. Thank you.