Handle With Care

Here I was, thinking it was almost spring. 
I got bold, even walking my dog without a coat, exclaiming to passerby, “feels like spring!”
I thought greedy thoughts, about fresh strawberries and rhubarb, about green grass and flowers.
It’s been snowing intermittently for the past three days.
It’s cold and grey, once again.
And to be honest, not a one of my town’s inhabitants is surprised.
This weather is all too typical.
Our spring is fragile, tender.
Tonight, we may even have an ice storm.  I look outside right now and see flakes pouring down , whirling in strong gusts of wind.
But what is there to do but to enjoy the brief spans while we can? 
 Snow comes, melts, flowers spring forth, life begins again. 
 I’m patiently waiting.
In like a lion, out like a lamb.
These cookies are as fragile as Ithaca’s first sign of spring.
They’re crispy on the outside, and filled with a gloriously honey-laden curd.
They’re a relatively healthy little treat, one that is so light that it melts on the tongue.
I’ll enjoy these little snow caps for now, as I wait for those outside my window to melt.
Honey-Ginger Grapefruit Curd
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg yolk
1 egg
big pinch sea salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
juice from a 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated and pressed through a strainer
Reduce the grapefruit juice by half in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer and allow to reduce.  Juice will still be thin- don’t worry.  Allow to cool for 2 minutes.
In another saucepan, whisk the eggs, butter, salt, and honey together.  
Slowly drizzle in grapefruit juice while constantly whisking, until all is incorporated.  
Stir in lemon and ginger juice.
Heat over low heat, whisking all the while, until curd has thickened (enough that when you drag a spatula across the bottom of the pan, the track stays clear for at least 3 seconds), butter has melted and incorporated, and the whole shebang looks very shiny and thick.
Remove from heat and press through a strainer. Discard any bits.
Chill until thickened. 
Enjoy spread between cookies, in yogurt, or by the spoonful!
Simplest Meringue Cookies:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar, pulsed in food processor for 30 seconds to make superfine sugar, or 1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Combine your egg whites and cream of tartar in a very clean bowl and begin to whip.  
Once they are foamy, slowly add about a tablespoon of sugar.  
Continue to add in the sugar very gradually until all the sugar is gone and the meringue has reached stiff peaks.
Place the meringue in a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe small stars, or use two teaspoons to portion out little mounds.  
Bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating regularly to prevent overcooking in any one place.
Turn off the oven.
Once done, the meringues should still be white and should easily release from the parchment paper. 
Allow to cool in the oven; prop the door open with a wooden spoon.  
Allow to fully cool, then sandwich some curd between two and enjoy!

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