Hope in a jar

Posted by Anita on 06.06.08 6:42 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**About 6 weeks ago, I dedicated my Black-Bottom Pie post — our entry in the “A Taste of Yellow” cancer-awareness event — to two special blog-friends:

…to our hostess Barbara, in her ongoing efforts to remain cancer-free, and to our friend Briana. Many of you know her blog, Figs with Bri, where she posted Wednesday about her recent setback: breast cancer has metastasized to her lungs. Since then, her site’s gone dark and her email account is offline. We’re keeping Bri and her husband Marc in our thoughts and prayers, and hoping for the very best.

Since then, there’s been a lot of news.

The best news of all is that Briana’s site — Figs with Bri — is back online. (The outage had nothing to do with her illness, although the timing certainly could have been better.) More good news: Barbara’s LiveStrong Day event was so successful that she had to split the roundup into two parts!

Unfortunately, all the news wasn’t so uniformly sunny. The results of the PET scan that Bri mentioned in her pre-crash post showed that her breast cancer had spread to her lungs, lymph nodes, and several areas in her bones. Classified as Stage IV cancer, Bri’s prognosis is definitely challenging, but it’s a challenge that she and her family are rallying to meet.

Some names you surely recognize — Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi, Shankari of Stream of Consciousness, Manisha of Indian Food Rocks and Garrett of Vanilla Garlic — have put their hearts and brains together to build a fundraiser page to help Bri’s family defray the cost of her treatment. If you’re touched by Bri’s story, you can simply donate out of the goodness of your heart. Or — much like Menu For Hope — you can buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win some pretty fabulous prizes (which are in turn being donated by dozens of Bri’s blogosphere pals).

To raise awareness of the fundraiser, this month’s edition of Click!, the food-photography contest, is dedicated to Bri. And, just like Barbara’s LiveStrong Day event, the theme is — appropriately enough — Yellow, the color of hope.

One of the very first posts I ever remember reading on Figs with Bri was Briana’s luscious-looking Meyer lemon curd with an adorable smiling lemon-face on Marc’s homemade label. A quick glance at the recipe left me stunned: How did I not know that making lemon curd was so simple? Why had I been forking out a small ransom for store-bought curd, when I literally had the best ingredients right in my own back yard? With both a lemon tree and a bergamot tree in our little orchard, this was a recipe I needed. You can bet I bookmarked it.

As luck would have it, our bergamot tree took its sweet time ripening this year, so by the time I was ready to make citrus curd, Bri’s site was down. I ended up cobbling together a recipe from a few different sources, sad that I’d never printed out the post that I’d so admired before it disappeared. Checking back with Bri’s page now — the one that made me drool, then laugh, then smack my forehead — I realize that my version’s not so far from the inspirational source. When I spread it on a slice of freshly toasted Acme pain de mie in the morning, I’m reminded of the sunny day I made it, and of the strong-hearted woman who inspires me.

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

Fresh Citrus Curd
Click logo 1/2 cup fresh citrus juice
2 tsp finely grated citrus zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
6T unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Add the butter and cook over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk.

Carefully pour the curd into a sterilized jar and cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Curd can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week.

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Comment by bri

Thanks so much, Anita (and Cameron) for your loving support, and sweet post in my honor. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing community brought together through nourishment.
xoxo, Bri

Posted on 06.06.08 at 8:01PM

Comment by Chris P.

Peace and hope to you and your friends. I’ve seen cancer a couple of ways recently, and had the great pleasure to be at our elementary school when Lance Armstrong paid a visit to my daughter’s class last week. They took part in a LiveSTRONG curriculum focussed on supporting one of the 4th graders in the class who was celebrating his 2nd year in remission from childhood leukemia after a bone marrow transplant. Lance and the LiveSTRONG team do an amazing job and his optimism and fight is contagious. But its the individuals like you who form the army which works together to fight and beat cancer. More power to you all!

Posted on 06.06.08 at 8:35PM

Comment by barbara

Great photo Anita.

Posted on 06.07.08 at 4:44AM

Comment by bee and jai

thank you, dear anita, for your support and for your beautiful CLIK entry.

Posted on 06.07.08 at 6:14AM

Comment by Lori

Totally with you on the curd thing. Make mine all the time. My favorite use to be lemon and now it is passionfruit curd!

Posted on 06.07.08 at 8:44AM

Comment by becky

the photos in this post look amazing. i think what you and others are doing for your friends is truly admirable. my heart goes out to them!

Posted on 06.07.08 at 11:06AM

Comment by Sara

I’m so moved by the whole community’s compassion for Bri and her family. I’m going to do whatever I can to help.

That curd recipe sounded so easy I had to try it right away, and now that its finished I’m pleased to say you were right, so easy and delicious!

Posted on 06.09.08 at 9:21AM

Comment by Jamie

I love this photo. You did such a nice job!

Posted on 06.09.08 at 10:04AM

Comment by Lynne

Great photo!

Posted on 06.10.08 at 11:44AM

Comment by Anita

A note on the photo for Click! readers:
The image was shot using natural light in my garden, in front of the bergamot tree that grew the fruit used in the curd. I love this shot both because of the setting, and because the dappled light really captures what it feels like on a sunny day in our yard. And it just glows with hope.

As with almost all of my shots, this was taken with a Canon 30D dSLR through my favorite 100mm macro/portrait lens. If you want to get technical: f4, 1/200, 640iso.

Posted on 06.06.08 at 7:01PM

Comment by Dhi

I love this shot the most of all the 20 photos there. Love the nice little story about the bergamot tree, the setting, lightings… everything. Great job An!

Posted on 07.06.08 at 8:03PM

Comment by Sophie

This looks so appetizing! MMMMM…. By the way you have a COOL foodblog!!

Posted on 02.23.09 at 7:03AM

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