ALMOST A CULINARY EVENT
You know your dinner is a failure when your guests are smarter than you. Especially when the guest you are referring to is a non cooking male whose idea of gourmet cooking is to put a spoonful of peanut butter onto a slice of apple.
Of course, none of this was my fault. The blame lies directly on my husband, Rick. He had nothing whatsoever to do with the meal, but that is exactly why it is his fault. He has changed his eating habits the past year and shed a lot of weight. His meals consist of plain meat, rice or potatoes, and vegetables. Gone are all meals requiring imagination with a flair for sauces and sautés. It is his fault that I have not only forgotten how to cook, but that I also forgot all the meals that I can’t remember how to cook.
It was Easter dinner and I had decided to go simple. Ham, salad, asparagus, rolls purchased from the store, and boxes of scalloped potatoes. Nothing hard about that. I do still remember how to boil water, open packages and read directions. At least I thought I did, until it came to the strawberry pie.
I had purchased the pie crusts, so all I had to do was place the strawberries on the crust and cover with a sauce. The problem was, the sauce. My first hint that something had gone terribly wrong was when I poured it over the strawberries it came out in globs. I revisited the cookbook. Because of my husbands inconsiderate dieting, I had forgotten that there is a HUGE difference between TSP and TBS.
I may have forgotten how to measure correctly but one thing I do know is that kids will eat anything if it has enough sugar. I covered the globby pie with a mountain of whip cream, and scored big points for spoiling them with a huge piece of strawberry pie.
I remeasured the cornstarch correctly the second time around and the next two pies were perfect.
When it was time to serve my strawberry confection, I poured the whipping cream into a bowl, and proceeded to whip it into a frenzy. I beat it and beat it as it began to aerate and fill the bowl, but it would not thicken. I added some powdered sugar. Martha, our guest was helping me in the kitchen while her husband, Ryan, was visited with my husband in the living room.
Rick knew enough not to interfere with my culinary creations, besides, his diet made him uninvested. Ryan, however, was highly motivated by the outcome. He saw me add more powdered sugar.
“I usually add regular sugar,” he said. This was the second clue that he was a culinary illiterate.
“Well you would be wrong,” I smiled. “I have no idea why this won’t whip. I never have a problem with this.”
I picked up the empty carton to check the carton to see if it held a clue as to why it was defectivel Apparently my husbands dieting had reached it's skinny little tentacles into the grocery store. I had purchased half and half. Martha was much more polite than Rick was when I made this kind of mistake. She didn’t laugh very hard at all.
Ryan was obviously still invested in the whip cream. He politely, or was it smugly, suggested that I whip up some egg whites and pour some of the half and half in it to put on the strawberries. It was a brilliant idea for a culinary illiterate.
I carefully separated the yolks of two eggs and Ryan started to beat the whites. Everything was going perfectly, until the third egg. Martha picked that moment to jinx me with a warning not to let any egg yolk get in the whites. Of course the next moment egg yolk slipped between my fingers into the frothy whites taking them back to liquid form. Dinner would have been amazing if not for Rick and Martha. That's all I have to say!