Monday, April 14, 2014

L: Lemon Squares

Peez, my great-grandmother (whom you'll hear about on April 18th), bakes the most wonderful things.  Breads, cakes, and her classics, Christmas cookies.  Well, "Christmas" in that she only makes them for Christmas.  Really, now that I have her recipes, I can make them whenever the hell I want.  But since I am all about tradition, no one gets Pecan Tassies or Crescents until December.

One of the cookies she made were Lemon Squares.  Though I'm sure many of you refer to them as Lemon Bars.  In the O'Regan household, it's squares, so suck it.

See?  Square.  SQUARE!

When I was in 5th grade, we had a dilemma at Christmas one year.  What came to be known as The Lemon Square Issue.  These were the days where my grandfather still drank, Peez (his mother) still hosted Christmas, and my uncle still lived in Chicago.  This was actually the last Christmas he was around for before he moved to New York and eventually Miami.

Mom and I arrive to Peez's, my uncle already there laughing his ass off with my grandfather and Peez freaking the hell out.  "What happened?" Mom asks.

"Your grandmother lost the lemon squares," Papa tells her.  Yes.  She lost them.  She made a massive tray of them and they just disappeared in her tiny house.  The five of us scour the whole house.  Back porch.  Garage.  Basement.  Front porch.  We almost pulled out the ladder to check the attic.  How in the hell do you lose Lemon Squares?

It became the joke of the day.  "We'll find the Lemon Squares next to Jimmy Hoffa," my uncle says.  Mom was outright ticked as those were her favorites.  Peez at one points pulls a handkerchief out of her sleeve to blow her nose (because apparently back in the day that's where women kept them, in their sleeve), and my grandfather grabs her arm, "Hey!  Here!  Check inside for Lemon Squares!"

Hours later, while opening presents (we have this on home movie), my grandfather walks into the front-room/fronchroom with a beer in one hand and a massive tray in the other.  It's the Lemon Squares.  "This is Peez's last Christmas present," he says to the camera.

"Where did you find them?!" Peez shouts.


We all died.  First place we looked.... and by we, I mean Peez.  She's four-foot nothing and couldn't see over all the other food.

Okay, it's kind of one of those you-had-to-be-there moments.  But it's legendary.

Peez has not made the Lemon Squares since then.


  1. I LOVE lemon squares--and that's what we call them too. And this story was priceless. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Actually, that story was hilarious! I love that she couldn't see the squares (which, by the way, look DELICIOUS)

  3. Awww, funny and quite endearing. :) My boyfriend's mother was just talking about making some lemon squares on our next visit!

  4. Oh, I love lemon squares! They are one of my all time favorite treats!! Great story :)