After a spring shower the air is crisp, and the sunlight seems brighter. If we are lucky a beautiful Edenton sunset will follow. Our skies in Northeastern North Carolina offer such beautiful painterly displays that one can only be in awe of their beauty. With all of the amazing spring sunlight we are blessed with here I am inspired to create sunny, bright seasonal dishes.

The sunniest food that comes to mind is the vibrant tart lemon. It’s fresh, bright flavor always bring a sense of sunshine. Lemons and their zest are a key flavor to many recipes. Adding a little acid helps to create balance to a flavor profile and is often that missing touch to brighten a dish. I always keep lemons on hand and luckily they are easily found year round. Not only can this bright citrus be a special addition but the highlight of the dish itself from savory main courses to sweet desserts.

A favorite sunny spring cookie of mine balances a rich buttery crumb with a little zing of lemon, a crisp sugar crunch and the surprise of thyme. Thyme is an herb with nice lemon undertones and pairs well with citrus. And to make this cookie even more palatable it is quick and easy to make with few ingredients. It’s a lovely little lemon cookie to enjoy on your porch while admiring an Edenton sunset.

This week I have included my Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookie recipe.


Cheryl Orr is owner of the Cotton Gin Inn.