A while ago, in the not too distant past, I ended up accumulating so many lorryloads of life lemons that I ran out of ideas on how to make good use of them. During one of many sleepless nights spent googling idly, I came across The MakeUpGirl blog. As soon the page loaded up, the blog subtitle stung me like those plumping lipglosses that were all the rage a few years ago. It said "When life gives you lemons, cut them in half and rub them on your elbows and knees."
Who would have thought I would find my satori in a beauty and makeup blog. But behind the frivolity lie a great truth. When you are dealing with life's crises it's easy to let your guard down and go to seed. First you cut down the frequency of your shampoos, then you forget to keep your fingernails filed and soon enough people in the street stop to give you their spare change. I only had to witness my mother making the effort to put on her favourite crimson lipstick and spritzing herself with her beloved Eau de Lancome during an all-time low in our lives to realise that taking care of your appearance is the first and best line of defence during life's emergencies.
But if you still have some spare lemons after taking care of your rough elbows, why not attempt to put them to good use in a zingy recipe that's guaranteed to shake off the blues, whether winter related or not? In case you don't want to let the lemon juice go to waste (you'll be using only the peel for the recipe), try mixing it with one part of tequila and one part of Cointreau. Shake together with cracked ice and pour into a glass rimmed with salt. When life gives you lemons, make margaritas, too.
Spaghetti al limone - serves four
320g spaghetti or linguine
zest of 1 lemon, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
300ml double cream
100g parmesan cheese, grated
Salt & pepper
Gently heat the olive oil in a large frying (or saute pan) and add the grated lemon zest. After a couple of minutes, stir in the cream, careful not to bring the mixture to a boil. Season with salt and turn off the heat. In the meantime, cook the spaghetti or linguine according to the instructions on the packet, while gently reminding your guests to make themselves busy with the margaritas. Once the pasta is ready, drain and stir into the cream and lemon mixture along with half of the parmesan.
Divide into four plates, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper. Lemons never tasted this good.