When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Cookies

Dear Reader,

Are you lucky enough to engage in hobbies that you love? Or, or are you like me and have to cram your love of audiobooks, language-learning, and wandering into your morning commute? Finding time to do the things we love can be difficult, but often worth it. 

Talented woman (who regrettably isn’t me, pictured) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, summer 2016

I have a number of abstract life goals. One of these goals is to become more of a “renaissance woman” (speaking several languages fluently, knowing about fine art and architecture, etc.). My plan is to do this in baby steps. Step one, is to explore new hobbies. One hobby that I am particularly interested in integrating into my life is baking.

Ramen, Tokyo, Japan, summer 2016

When I travel I like to try foods that I would not normally find at home. Some of these dishes I end up loving, while others I only “love” for the experience (never again will I try jellyfish, the slimy Russian meat pudding ‘kholodets,’ or papayas [lol, sorry!]).

Eggs with Soldiers, Oxford, England, summer 2019

Traveling and trying new foods has also made me interested in baking international dishes that I may not be able to find at home. While I won’t be attempting to make crème brûlée anytime soon, I have started my baking journey with cookies. Specifically, at the beginning of each month I try my hand at baking and deliver my treats to a staff meeting at one of my part-time jobs. I embarked on this goal a few months ago and have already made oatmeal raisin and almond cookies. Today, I will end the summer with lemon cookies for the early September meeting.

I am not a baker, Dear Reader, but I am literate, which gives me a fair shot at following the easy-to-read lemon cookie recipe. After a busy day at work, I quickly went to the grocery store and collected all of the ingredients including a few extra lemons (just in case!). However, at home as soon as I began to pull everything out of my shopping bag I realized I forgot to buy a zester (a cheesegrater like instrument used to scrape the outside of citrus fruits), which was integral to the recipe. I was very upset, the staff meeting was the next morning. It was already later in the evening, raining hard outside, and I just didn’t feel like making a return trip to the store. 

Rainy day in Boston, Whole Foods, summer 2019

At this point, Dear Reader, I had to ask myself. What is the point? Baking is supposed to be a hobby, it’s not supposed to bring me stress. If your hobby starts to bring you stress, is it worth continuing? …. Maybe?? I talked with my ever-practical boyfriend who didn’t really see one more trip to the grocery store as a big deal (in fact he offered to sponsor my Uber in exchange for picking him up a few items), and maybe he’s right. 

The course of anything never did run smooth! 

Very imperfect, but very good tasting lemon cookies!

To give up at the first sign of trouble will make you less capable of dealing with obstacles (if only emotionally). If we think something is worth it, we shouldn’t make excuses to ourselves and allow external factors (the weather, …our willpower to leave the house, etc.) to stop us. It’s so, sooo easy to quit, Dear Reader. Life gave me lemons and I was about to say, lemons suit me just fine! But, if you want lemon cookies, don’t settle for lemons.

Love,

Raven

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