In 2011, I started college at a small Virginian university called Eastern Mennonite; in 2015, I return. Unfortunately, this means I have left Chicago and consequently, The Chopping Block, although I’ll take with me many lessons (and recipes).
My move back to Virginia has provided me with an opportunity to reach out to other college students who are working toward making meals for themselves on a regular basis, perhaps for the first time. My roommates and I had a poor culinary history in years previous. One of them once asked me how to tell if water was boiling, a rather clear sign of a lack of familiarity with the kitchen, and I can remember at least one jelly roll disaster I attempted in an earlier semester. I hope to begin this one armed with knowledge and experience I gained at The Chopping Block, as well as a few new tools and gadgets.
This semester I made a few things ahead of time, so that right when college stress began, I would have some goodies to fall back on for breakfast or a quick lunch. I found TCB’s recipe for lemon curd, which is one of my favorite spreads for an early morning bagel or muffin, and had to try it. This one isn’t too sweet and has the perfect lemon tang. The morning before I left my parents’ house for my final semester, I quickly whipped up a batch, and even had enough to leave some as a late Christmas gift for Mom and Dad.
Zest of three lemons
1 cup fresh lemon juice
8 egg yolks
Half cup sugar
1 stick butter
Whisk together all ingredients except the butter in a saucepan.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
Once curd is thick enough to hold marks of the whisk and bubbles appear, remove from heat and stir in the butter. Pour the curd in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, directly touching the curd so it doesn’t form a skin. Refrigerate for at least 1.5 hours before serving.
I also grabbed a tin of Mom’s granola as well as home-canned goods from last summer’s garden.
The Chopping Block always offers exciting new classes that make great gifts for college “chefs,” regardless of skill-level. Keep an eye out for a menu or skill that you or someone you know might benefit from learning about; I know they’ve helped me.