Mother's Day Lemons and Lemonade

My toddler didn't get the memo about being all sweetness and light on Mother's Day - quite the opposite.  He was sick, clingy, threw tantrums, refused to eat except when in my lap eating from my plate of food.  In my experience, this is generally how celebratory days go.  As in, they hardly ever end up feeling picture-perfect and often involve fights or disappointments or exhaustion or all of the above.  

I did get to spend some solo time in the kitchen while my son napped, which gave me the opportunity to take the two lemons we grew over the past 16 months (in Seattle during our two rainiest, coldest winters in recent memory!) and make lemonade (along with lemon zest biscotti).  I prepped most of the ingredients and, after nap time, we had family kitchen time.  

I want Dean to understand the entire food system, so even though we live in a 1940s town-house style condo with a small back patio, we grow food.  We have pots of herbs, kale, lettuces, and strawberries.  Yesterday we went out back together to snip some mint.  Back inside we juiced our two Meyer lemons, steeped raw honey and mint in hot water, and voila - local lemonade!  Next up - mixing ingredients for biscotti.  We experimented with buckwheat flour and eggs from our farmers market (except we forgot to add them into the dough, there they still sit on the counter), raw honey from our co-op, and our own lemon zest.  The results were delicious and I felt no qualms about sharing afternoon sweets with my little boy.

Motherhood is plenty full of lemons, but with a little patience and creativity, it's not too hard to make lemonade.  For a few moments yesterday, in between tears and snot, destruction and frustration, we sat together in a brief moment of afternoon sun and shared an illusive, instagram-worthy moment of pure contentment, beauty, and joy.  

Buckwheat Lemon Zest Biscotti                                                                                               (adapted from the well blog recipes)

  • 125 grams buckwheat flour
  • 120 grams almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 small/medium eggs (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3 tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a medium bowl, mix together the buckwheat flour, almond flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and honey for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beater with a rubber spatula and add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat together for 1 to 2 minutes, until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beater. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in almonds.

Divide the dough and shape 2 wide, flat logs, about 10 inches long by 3 inches wide by 3/4 inch high. Make sure they are at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake 40 to 50 minutes, until dry, beginning to crack in the middle, and firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes or longer.

Place the logs on a cutting board and carefully cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place on two parchment-covered baking sheets and bake one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven until the slices are dry, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Honey-Mint Lemonade                                                                                                             (adapted from

  • quart mason jar
  • 2 Meyer Lemons
  • 2 stems fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 3 cups hot water

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Rinse the mint and juice lemons to make 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Add boiling water to mason jar and stir in raw honey. Add mint leaf stems.  Steep for 5-10 minutes covered. Add lemon juice to jar. Serve at room temperature or pour over ice cubes to chill.