Today my brother was supposed to come for a late lunch. He is always late so we assumed when he said two o'clock, if we cooked for three o'clock it would be ok. So my husband ran around yesterday, bought a lovely joint of organic lamb, the accompanying vegetables etc.. This morning I searched on line for a great dessert recipe which would allow me to use up the seville oranges we bought in a fit of optimism 10 days ago, largely because Nigella always goes on about how wonderful they are.
Two things have gone wrong. First, it's now nearly 5 o'clock and my brother isn't here. We have eaten, although my husband is now really pissed off re lack of respect etc. But the thing that's really upsetting me (apart from the fact that I have a full days work to do and I haven't started it yet), is that I've now tried twice to make seville orange curd, and have failed both times. The first time, the eggs curdled and it wasn't my fault. My husband reached underneath me to get the lamb out of the oven to braise it, and the steam from the lamb hit my pan and poof! curdled eggs.
This led to a crying fit where the words "can't create life, can't even create pudding" were heard. Let no one say I can't make a drama out of life's little set-backs.
After a shower, and a read of the new novel by my favourite author, just released yesterday, I had recovered enough to think that it was worth a second try given the lifetime's supply of Seville oranges we have lying around. So again I measured and zested and chopped and squeezed and beat everything together. I had everything set up well, including a bowl of ice as recommended by Nigella in case things started to go wrong. Unfortunately the mixture was too big for our wedding-present double boiler, so I assembled a make-shift one of a big mixing bowl over a saucepan of water. I suddenly realised that the water was about to boil, let go of the mixing bowl to turn the heat down and the steam rose up from the side of the saucepan, hit the side of the bowl, and....the eggs curdled. I tried the ice trick but it was too late. Bugger. And it all looked so lovely and even had started to taste lovely - sharp orange taste, smooth buttery taste, little bite of the zest. Yum. This time I was able to laugh about it at least, as I poured my lovely-tasting but disgusting-looking mixture down the sink.
The good news is I recovered enough to make a pavlova out of the remaining egg whites and that looks pretty good. Sunk but good. My husband is looking forward to it. But I know that this is just the evil disintegration of my ability to create anything taking hold on my cooking skills. It's a good thing I don't cook most evenings as I get home too late, or my husband would be poisoned by now.