Worst. Baker. Ever.

OK friends, here is the deal.  I am one hell of a cook.  I can flat sling some food in a kitchen.  I can chop and dice, I can julienne and chiffonade, I can saute, steam, braise, broil, flambe, and sear your socks off.  But for all that's good and holy, puh-lease don't ask me to knead, form into a dough ball, or have to turn on my fabulous upright Kitchen Aid mixer, cause it is not going to end well.  My rolling pin smashes things in plastic bags for crusts and tenderizes poultry.  It does not roll out dough on my watch.  Every single fabulous baking thing we have (spring form pans in multiple sizes, tart pans for days- including those sweet little mini ones, a dozen pie plates, a dozen different bread pans, bundt pans, the list goes on and on) all belong to my husband.  He is a Begzada of baking, a Fürst of flour, a Knight of kneading.  I can do quick breads and fillings like a pro.  Other than that my baking skills are so bad that it is starting to be embarrassing.  Seriously.

Today is my amazingly awesome daddy's birthday and while we are all celebrating as a family this coming weekend, I thought there should be something to mark the day.  Something with a candle for heaven's sake.  He is not a cake guy, which is unfortunate cause I can fill a cupcake with some goodness.  He is more of a pie guy.  I decided I could brave a chocolate pie if I didn't need to do any crusts on my own as Steven was loading a kiln and in no place to do a crust for me.  I went and bought the sweetest little tart crusts, made a scrumptious chocolate custard filling and then began the meringue.  People how hard is meringue, I ask you?  It's like 4 ingredients.  All whipped until "stiff peaks form and it is glossy".  OK not so much with mine.  They turned into a train wreck and came out looking like this.  I know, right?  The meringue wouldn't spread, it wasn't glossy.  It tasted like meringue, but it sure didn't look like it.  It's the thought that counts, right?  Oy.  


In other news, Thanksgiving came and went (Thank the Lord that's over.  Now just one more month to go) and it was a bunch of yuck and a couple of yeas.  There were two totally awesome things that happened.  One is that my parents moved into a fabulous house that is about 6 blocks from me and 1/2 a block from my sis and I am SO excited that they are finally close I can hardly stand it!!!  The house has a pool and I have BIG plans for summer over there.  BIG PLANS PEOPLE. They involve all sorts of grilling out and summer cocktails in the pool.   They will be kicking us out before it's said and done.  That's my plan anyway.  

The other fantastic thing was that I was able to see my college room mate whom I haven't seen in about 18 years.  She and her beautiful daughter were flying out of Louisville after visiting family for the holiday and we were able to catch a few precious hours together.  It was like no time at all had passed.  I swear we picked up where we left off and remembered in those moments of laughter how much we loved to be together.  My heart was so full at the end of the night.  

I began thinking about my oldest friendships and those people that are nearest and dearest to my heart.  There is something profound about someone that knows you and all of your crap baggage from all of your life and still loves you for who you are.  Someone that has allowed you to really become who you were destined to be while nurturing all of those crazy things about your heart and spirit that you attempt to reinvent is an uncommon gift.  The older I become, the more precious these relationships are to me.  When I look back at the span of friendships I have, I am so completely humbled and grateful for all of those souls in my life.  My heart is so full.  I also feel so lucky to have been at the places I was when I was (UE with the amazing people there, Stage One with amazing people there, the YMCA with the people there).  I am sure everyone thinks this, but they really were magical times for the short time we were together and I have forged lifelong friendships from all of those places.  I'm a lucky girl. 

The coming weeks involve me attempting to find the Christmas Spirit enough to at least decorate.  That's as far as I can get right now.  Also a few evenings with friends that I really am looking forward to.  In the meantime, if you are a pie master, please share your secrets with me.  I need help, people.

   
        

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3 comments

  1. I'm going to go with "over worked" meringue. I assume you were making "french" meringue (sugar added directly to egg whites). I find it unstable and not really the best for pies...Macaroons and Daquoise, yes! I prefer Italian meringue which is made with sugar syrup. Then there is Swiss meringue which is made by gently heating the egg whites in a bain marie until the sugar is disolved then whipping. This results in a marshmallow-like meringue that can be used for frosting.Perfect on an angel food cake!

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    1. See? This is why we're friends (well that and our mutual love affairs with Dorothy Parker and Karen Walker). Mmmm marshmallow meringue... Yes I think all of what you suggested happened. Possibly some oil still on the sides of the bowl, overworking, French meringue, yes to all of it. I should have called you. I will next time. Xoxo

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  2. Also, if your mixing bowl wasn't completely grease free you could have the same problem.

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