Guava Shortbread

March 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s finally light again when we walk to dinner. I’ve contemplated not wearing a winter jacket for a couple of days in a row. The grassy expanse of the Battlefield stretches before me while I stretch, my run highlighted by low sunlight and a delicate breeze. The birds have started chirping again. At the risk of having spoken too soon, spring has finally arrived, calm in its early beginnings but bringing with it a cheerful liveliness, a feeling that, at last, the dregs of winter are over. I’ve started dreaming of beaches and salty oceans, of tearing crabs apart, fingers drenched in butter and feet still sandy, of dining on outside patios in the twilight, of citrus-specked drinks with straws.

Meanwhile, there’s still quite a bit of work ahead of me — and some cold, winter adventures as well. My summer activities have been limited to browsing recipe journals, dining slideshows, and travel articles. First there was a grapefruit curd inspired by a trip to Morocco on 101Cookbooks, and then there were whole fried mullet in the NYTimes Athens slideshow. And then the desire for a jar of lemon curd all to myself, to be standing in a kitchen full of windows, to be eating my mother’s strawberry shortcake. It’s around this time that I really start missing the busy morning markets and the fresh produce — the happiness of the farmers’ market finally coming back to life after endless weeks of pears and apples.

The last time I was home, my mother picked up a jar of guava curd for me. It was sweet and bright, yet surprisingly mild. I spread it between two layers of tender shards of shortbread dough, resisting the urge to press the grated shards into each other, which resulted in a soft, delicate crumb and a subtly tropical jammy center.

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