Friday, June 6, 2008

Meringue recipe and midwestern accents

Good times/"wuder" ice were had by all! It was a really lovely visit. One highlight of the evening for me was sharing the Mary/marry/merry dilemma with Diana and Sarah: Diana and I grew up in practically the same part of Illinois and we both grew up thinking (and even learning in school) that those three words were homophones. We also can't distinguish (sound-wise) between the names Erin and Aaron. Context is all. =) The best part is that most midwesterners have no idea this is unusual and most English-speakers outside of the midwest don't realize we’re doing it ... but when it's pointed out the midwesterners are befuddled, the non-midwesterners are totally horrified and hilarity ensues. I still maintain—and Diana will back me up, I’m sure—that the Chicago accent is delightful in its newscastery goodness. After all these years of thinking we’re the bland “standard”, though, it is kind of neat to find out that there’s something we do with vowels that the rest of the English-speaking world finds unbelievable (even if it does open me up to teasing by my Philly family.)

Sarah is allergic to gluten and dairy, so I ditched the usual cupcakes and went with meringues. I’m really starting to like these! They are simple to make, but take a long time to harden.

The recipe is here, on our recipe database site. A few notes to add: I haven’t gone the full three hours for baking yet, because I’m too antsy and I like them still a little marshmellowy in the middle. Two hours is the limit of my patience. I let them dry and cool in the oven over night. I used a piping bag and large tips this time but a plastic bag with the corner cut out or two spoons work well, too. I add about two heaping tablespoons of good cocoa powder to half the egg whites to make the chocolate ones. I know there are ways to keep them from cracking, but I think of it as the “homemade” stamp. In this case, it was good that they cracked, because it made it easier to split the tops from the bottoms; while I remembered not to flour the baking sheets, I didn’t remember Sarah’s dairy allergy and, yes, buttered the baking sheets. D’oh! Sarah did a very liturgical job of splitting the meringues, though. Sometimes you’re sitting around chatting and you forget you’re hanging out with an Anglican priest and a very-soon-to-be Episcopal deacon. And then the meringue is professionally broken for you, and you think, “Sweet!”

Traveling mercies and blessings to Diana and Sarah! Diana is ordained tomorrow! Tomorrow my parents depart (three weeks! what is an enmeshed child to do?) and Sean and I will be at the shore, hopefully enjoying some Annie-caught flounder. Time to start packing!


Anonymous said...

We just found out that our little one year old (Addyson) is allergic to Milk. You would not believe how much stuff has milk in it!!
That dessert does look good! Maybe we should try it!

Anne E-A said...

Hi Joe! The good news about babies with milk allergies is that she'll probably grow out of it ... but until then, let me know if you guys try/like the meringues! The kiddos might like them a little less stiff--just decrease the baking time a bit. I'd wait until it gets cool out, though ... the open oven really heats up the house, and the egg whites hate summer humidity anyway. =)

novelgazer said...

In the past I've gone with the spelling "wooder"... the other way is good, but could be confused to rhyme with ruder.

But, speaking of water ice, it turned out to be the perfect summer dessert to accommodate our guests. Another favorite would also work: ice cold woodermelon.