Recipes: Here Comes the Kittens, Graduates, Brides and Heavenly Lemon Torte



The other day, my father stopped by my nephew’s farm to say hello to his great granddaughter.  This young preschooler is quite the little farm girl.  She helps her mom and dad with all aspects of farm work and has since the day she was born.

I am convinced that this youngster knew the difference between a plant and a weed before she could walk. There were many naps taken inside tractor or combine cabs when she was a baby and toddler. This preschooler has mastered farm tool identification, fishing, hunting, eating fish and wild game, taking eggs away from old hens, unflinching helping her dad rid the farm of unwanted critters and, if need be, steering a stuck vehicle out of its muddy prison.

She can be seen traipsing around wearing the farm kid uniform of a dirty face, hands and clothes smartly accented with boots or shoes glistening with sticky slimy blue-black Minnesota mud. Yup, she is pretty much the average farm kid.

One of her greatest loves is her farm cats. She loves those cats and they reciprocate the sentiment. Which is as it should be as both are adorable. The arrival of spring on her farm means the arrival of new kittens.  So, each spring she is inundated with same question over and over again, “Got any new baby kittens, yet?”

When my dad got to her farm, he found her sitting on the house’s front porch step holding and gently petting one of her beloved cats.  So, he asked her the standard question, “Got any new baby kittens, yet?”  She shouted back, “Not yet!.”  Then, with a flourish worthy of a great circus showman, she hoisted the cat high into the air and with great joy exclaimed, “But, this one is plump full!.”

Just like as new kittens arrive each and every spring on the farm, so too, do the special celebrations life such as graduations, confirmations, and bridal showers.  For those of you who are host or hosting one of these traditional springtime events check out my blog posts called, “Salad, Bar and Cookie Recipes for Graduation Celebrations” and “Graduation Party Recipes for Meats, Beans, Appetizers and a Couple of Punches.” These posts provide a variety of excellent recipe options.

However, Heavenly Lemon Torte is the recipe you are looking for if you want to serve a light, tasty, elegant dessert at a Bridal Shower.

Heavenly Lemon Torte

You must use a table top mixer to make this torte.  Hand mixers do cannot whip the egg whites stiff enough. 

Meringue Crust:
7 egg whites
1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of sugar

In a a large stainless steel or glass mixing bowl mix the egg whites, vinegar, vanilla and sugar together.  Then beat on high speed for about 15 minutes until mixture becomes very stiff.  Pour into an ungreased 9 X 13 cake pan.  Bake for one hour in a 300 degree oven. Turn oven off, after one hour, and leave crust in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

Lemon Filling:
7 egg yolks
1 cup of sugar
6 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 lemon rind

In a double boiler cooking pot, mix ingredients together. Cook until mixture becomes thick.  Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool completely.

Whipping Cream Topping: 
Whip one pint of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Cover cooled torte with one half of whipped cream.  Cover with lemon filling.  Top with remaining whipped cream.


Bloggers note: This recipe comes from the home of Karen Peterson and can be found in the cookbook, Trinity’s Book of Heritage and Recipes, Trinity Lutheran Church, Grove City, Minnesota.  

My great-grandfathers helped build this church and served on its first church council.  I was baptized, confirmed, bridal showered and was married here, almost 39 years ago, when Trinity Lutheran was still known as First Lutheran Church. It became Trinity Lutheran when all of the Lutheran churches in my small hometown of Grove City, MN, came together and united. 






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