I'd decided to hand-whisk the eggs this time, convinced it was the wronger kind of electric beater I used before, and spent a solid half-hour trying to whisk them into fluff when my mom blurted out, "Is this the white vinegar you used?" And held up a jug of white vinegar. I hesitated. "Yeah. And I broke your first whisk." I'd been wondering what the stringy bits were that appeared in the fluff. It was glue.
"This is water. See how it's next to the water? I put the white vinegar back." OH. That's one carefully measured 1/2 tsp. of water to not make the eggs whisk any better. She then, to my utter defeat, retrieved the same kind of mixer Tracey had used in New Zealand. The kind we'd never owned until now that I'd been dreaming of while hand-whisking.
But fourth times a charm. After whizzing the sugar and whisking those eggs it resembled something like the makings of pavlova. As I pulled out a cracked and oozing pavlova attempt #3 from the oven, there were higher hopes for the fluffy goodness I poured onto the cookie sheet. After an hour, I shut off the oven and announced, "It looks beautiful! Look! I'm going to leave it in overnight." As in, it's staying in the oven because that's what you do and it's what the recipe calls for and we have two ovens. I even thought, "It's in the lower oven. It's safer there." And promptly made a sandwich, read about psychopathic children in the NYT Magazine, and fell asleep on the porch. Mom even joined me for a few minutes. Fast forward.
"Jesse. Look at me. Hey, look at me." Ian nudged me awake holding his ipod touch over my head. Never a good sign.
"NO. I'm taking a nap."
"Come on, look over here."
"Noooo." I moaned pathetically. "Get away from me you little prick. You're videoing me or taking pictures and I want you to go away."
"I'm not taking video. Hold still."
"Huh. It says you're a 3.4- dark and handsome. It's an ugly meter app. You're only a 3.4. I must have hit the men meter. It says you're handsome in the dark. Hold still again."
"You're taking photos of me to test your ugly meter app?"
"3.4 again! I was a 10."
"On a scale of what?"
"Ten being the ugliest." (Ian is convinced he's smarter and more attractive than me. He's more everything.)
"3.4 again! Something must be wrong."
"Get away from me."
"OUCH!" He shrieks as I pull his leg hairs. "OUCH! Mom burned your pavlova!"
"Get out of here! What happened to the pavlova?"
"Hi honey. I just burnt it a little bit. We can probably scrape off the burned part."
"You cannot scrape it off. It was perfect!"
I run inside but she calls out that it's been put outside.
"That's where you put things to die, Mom! That's where you put your toaster ovens when they catch fire."
"It wasn't on fire." She calls. "I was making bread. Your dad thought it tasted good when he walked by and broke a piece off. He didn't know what it was. I'm sorry, Honey."
Before I dumped it in the compost bag my mom took some of the remnants to feed her worms. She keeps a worm farm in the laundry room.
Days like this I look at how my day went and it makes me just sit dumbfounded and go, really? That's how it is, then?