It was a nondescript, rainy February morning. I had two hours before I needed to get ready to leave for a pediatrician appointment. I had nothing I needed to do as far as housework was concerned, so I decided to can four pint jars of Meyer lemon curd. Meyer lemons had been a fantastic deal at our local wholesale club for weeks, and I’d found an unbeatable steal on eggs, so I had both waiting for me in the fridge.
What seemed like a relatively low-stress, if time-consuming, endeavor devolved temporarily into a complete fiasco. Something went abysmally wrong with my lemon curd recipe, and it simply wouldn’t gel. Ten minutes before I needed to get the children ready to go, I had a bowlful of soupy lemon-egg mixture and a hot water canner boiling away, ready to go. I switched off the canner, stuck the watery curd in the refrigerator, and prayed with all my strength to keep my cool as I woke James up from his nap and headed for the car.
I won’t bore you with the details of how my energy and patience was progressively whittled away during a doctor’s appointment with shots and a hungry toddler who, despite eating moments before leaving the house, insisted that she was starving the entire time we were gone. Suffice it to say that many prayers were uttered, even kneeling on the floor of the pediatrician’s office while I waited for the doctor, and, praise God, I don’t think either of my children had any clue about my inward turmoil and the fact that I wanted to burst into tears and throw in the towel on the whole day.
Back at home, Sophia ate, James fussed, and I prayed some more, and somehow, somehow, I got that curd to gel, and I got it in jars, and I got the jars canned. To my great relief, all four pints “popped,” though I wasn’t around to hear them, since I was nursing one baby to sleep while reading another down for her nap (two hours later than usual) while the jars rested on the counter.
A word to the wise, don’t attempt to make lemon curd—or can anything—while home alone with a baby and a toddler. But, if you must, or if you’re simply a little foolhardy like me, be sure to pray your way on through, and keep in mind that making memories and preserving peace is more important than canning curd.