On Sunday, I was supposed to make magic happen. That was the plan. Sunday dinners should be something else, that’s the rule. I’d been looking through cookbooks, contemplating what my something new for the week would be. My mind was set on dessert, and I wanted it to be something fresh since I’m in a summer state of mind. Finally, I decided on rhubarb meringue. I had no idea what it was, but I found it in two different books so I figured it had to be an established dessert. Plus I thought it was about time to make another meringue, I can’t live on that lemon pie forever.
“I’m making you rhubarb meringue!” I proudly announced to my boyfriend and got myself going. It wasn’t hard at all, just chopping up some rhubarb and whipping up the meringue. Nothing new, been there, done that. In hindsight, it did seem like very little sugar in the recipe, but I saw no reason to question the cookbook authorities. I put the rhubarb in a pie dish and put the meringue on top and shoved it all in the oven. Then I waited. And waited. And waited.
The meringue got a little beige, but it was far from the crisp look I was after. Finally, my patience ran out and I decided it was ready, so I arranged it neatly on my favorite dessert china, the one with flowers I only use for special occasions. I gave a plate to my guy and watched him intently, eager to find out what he thought about this gift of love. He was very quiet. I took a bite too. The meringue was foamy and tasted egg. Very much of egg, actually.
“It’s pretty mushy” I said “pretty mushy and really very egg-tasting. I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
“No, it’s good” my always supportive man said “it tastes like omelette”.
“So I made rhubarb omelette for dessert. I’d say that qualifies as a failure.”
“No, it’s good. I like omelette.”
“You want Ben & Jerry’s instead?”
One thing I have learned through my cooking life is that although failure sometimes happens, giving up is not an option. There were still a couple of good rhubarbs left on Monday, and I was determined to give them a better fate than the other. This time, I decided it was justified to pull out another safe card: my favorite pie crust with oats, butter, cream and sea salt. Keen on completely erasing yesterday’s failure, I also decided to go all the way and for the very first time make my own vanilla sauce. I did have an ice cream bucket in the freezer, just in case the vanilla sauce would turn out as porridge, but I didn’t have to open it. I’m not trying to create a get back in the game-story here, but it was a real slam dunk. Word on the street (like my street, specifically in my apartment) is “freaking awesome pie and possibly the best vanilla sauce ever tasted”. I had redeemed myself.
So yes, I might make the occasional omelette instead of meringue, but when it comes to plain old pie and vanilla sauce, I’m nothing but a natural.