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Easy Lemon Pudding

This lemon pudding couldn’t be easier. It’s made with just four ingredients: whipping cream, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

All you do is warm everything up, then let the pudding set. It’s like magic.

Elegant, simple, and with a velvety texture that is positively dreamy, this lemon pudding is perfect for Easter dinner, Mother’s Day brunch, and everything in between.

The recipe is a modern adaptation of a medieval drink called a posset, which was popular from the Middle Ages to the early 19th century. This was a hot milk or cream mixture thickened with acidic wine or cider. It was considered medicinal for treating a cold or flu. Syllabubs, another sweet frothy drink, are closely related.

History lesson over! Lemon posset is fast becoming a trendy dessert, especially in Britain.

The magic is in the thick cream, reduced slightly, and combined with tart lemon juice. The two interact to form an exquisite creamy consistency, especially after you strain out the little bits of zest.

Look through your cupboard for pretty stemmed glasses if you want to be fancy, and make this for your next party!

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Lavender Lemonade

For those of you suffering from sweltering summer heat, here’s a suggestion for a cooling drink, lavender-infused lemonade! Both lemons and lavender grow in abundance here (in California, and my backyard), so it was just a matter of time before they became acquainted.

Lavender is edible, though English lavender and Provence lavender are most often used for culinary purposes. Here’s the tip with lavender: it doesn’t take much. Use it sparingly, like rosemary (which would also be terrific in lemonade by the way).

Too much and your lemonade may taste like expensive soap. But just a little? Lovely.

Many thanks to my friend Kori Farrell who introduced me to this lavender lemonade!

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My Beauty Uniform

Clair Farley is a transgender advocate, actress and the director of economic development at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. She loves beauty products — especially if they’re Chanel — but she won’t pass up a good drugstore buy. “My femininity isn’t tied to makeup, but with it, the world sees me the way that I see myself,” she says. Clair and her husband, Jim, who is also transgender, live in Oakland, California, with their cats, Bert and Ernie. Here, we chat about her work, the best nude lipstick and the role makeup has played in her life…

Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Montana with an identical twin, Mark, and an older brother. My twin and I both came out as gay when we were 13 — our older brother came out later. As kids, Mark and I were inseparable and always had each other for support, which was so important at that time.

Was there a moment growing up when you realized you were a woman?
My first boyfriend and I went to a queer prom — which was surprising that they even had in Montana. It was a costume party, so I went in drag, which was a first for me. I had this bad wig — it wasn’t the best look — and my date said I looked like his mother. I remember thinking, ‘I want to be prettier than your mother!’

When did you start transitioning?
I came out as trans to my family during high school, but I didn’t start my transition until I graduated. My mom was not comfortable with my living as ‘Clair’ in Montana. It was before there was much transgender visibility in the media, and she thought we would be judged. So I moved to New York in hopes of finding a more accepting community. There, I started living full-time as Clair. It took a while to feel comfortable in my own skin, but as I met other trans folks, it got much easier.

Was your family supportive?
My dad was super supportive, but it took my mom longer to come around. She’d gotten used to my being gay, and it took time for her to readjust. Many parents with trans kids go through this. You have all these memories of someone, but in my advocacy work I try to remind families that you’re not losing anyone. The person you love is still the same, they just haven’t been able to fully represent themselves in the way they want to the world.