My word for 2021 is shift. Like everyone I know, I’ve learned a lot, since this time last year. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that change and uncertainty just are. Since I’m not in control of much more than which yoga pants, Zoom-appropriate top, and slippers I’ll wear each day, I needed to figure out how I could deal with all the change and uncertainty. That’s where shifting comes in.
For me, shifts involve acceptance and adjustment. I know I don’t have much control, but I have unlimited choices. I can shift.
Some of my recent shifts have been pretty significant. Some have been tiny. Some haven’t happened, yet. And I’m sure I’ll make a lot of shifts I can’t even imagine.
Tom says he doesn’t like sweets, but he keeps plenty of candy in his kitchen cabinet and ice cream in his freezer. And he really wanted a ‘just like Mama’s Eagle Brand condensed milk lemon meringue pie’ to celebrate his birthday. Since I’m not a baker, he even suggested who I should ask to make it. So, I had it all lined up, until our phenomenal baker friend had an accident and wasn’t able to bake.
Shift into Plan B. I mean, how how hard could making a meringue pie be?
WELL, first, it involved separating eggs. Anyone who knows me well knows I’m not a detail gal. Kinda, sorta, and enough are among my favorite words and states of being. So, egg separating has always been a major challenge for me. My late and beloved soul sister, Pickett, knew that best of all. But then I learned this trick. Mission accomplished!
Next, the recipe called for superfine sugar. Since I do love sweets, to me, all sugar is ‘superfine’. But who knew this stuff existed? Well, I do, now. And manoman, they are right. It does dissolve quickly!
Then there were the instructions, from several sources, about how important it is that the meringue is added atop very warm filling. Apparently, this helps prevent a watery layer between the pie and the meringue. So I set about whisking the egg white mixture, while the lemon filling base was baking.
It was bright white and shiny. I added the cream of tartar, as directed. I even added the superfine sugar a-tablespoon-at-a-time, as directed. And as the timer for the filling sounded, the mixture was lovely, but it was not fluffy and peaking. Just as I was about to start over, It Happened.
At that point, all of my grand plans to elegantly and creatively apply the meringue with a frosting tube went out the window. I just wanted to get that fluffy stuff on that baked lemon pie before it cooled. I was careful to make sure the meringue touched the crust and completely covered the pie. I hear that keeps the meringue from shrinking, leaving the topping exposed and the the crust from getting soggy. And we couldn’t have THAT!
As I’m writing this post, I’ve yet to cut the pie. So, who knows how it will taste or whether, God forbid, there’s a watery layer in there.
Who knows, indeed. One thing I do know is that I now have shifted our phenomenal baker pal’s phone number to speed dial.
What kind of shifts have you experienced or witnessed lately?