Lemon Curd and Swiss Meringue – Day 15

The halfway point. I’m already feeling it. Probably because I don’t have any backup posts now. Now I have to write every day because I’m not caught up and I’ve lost a little of what I should write about. This always happens.  I do have a few things I know of, but I like to see what inspiration strikes me at work.

Today it’s two areas that a few months ago I would have said no way and no how was I ever going to be able to make them. I definitely would have said it a year ago. I don’t know why I was so worried.

Whisking lemon curd away

I’ve always wanted to make lemon curd, but everyone warned me it was time consuming and you could really screw it up. And I would have never tried a different type of meringue.

Lemon curd has got to be one of the easiest things to make. Oh sure, it takes a bit of time, but it’s like super easy to make. Seriously, I will willingly make it for anyone that wants some, provided they spend the money on the ingredients. It does use a fair amount of eggs, butter and lemon juice/zest….. <—see, zest!  But in a double boiler, bain marie, it’s a breeze. I make it almost every week. And the exploding lemon flavor is heaven. Seriously, I love lemon tarts now. Not that I would have ever balked at it before. In fact, now that I know how to make it, I want to make it for my family.

Filling a piping bag

Swiss meringue

Swiss meringue came after my standard meringue fell quite quickly at work. I’m not an expert at it and it was causing trouble. You either have a touch for it or not. I can’t say as I have a touch. So research began and swiss meringue became the solution. The first trial was too sticky and gooey, but an improved recipe { Rethinking Swiss Meringue: Lighter, Fluffier, and More Stable} made this marvelous concoction that I want to spread and eat and just consume.

It worked every time I made it and lasted days, much to Lucifer saying, “no it won’t” and “see how much time it takes you to make!” Gasp and horrors, 15 minutes for three to four days of it lasting versus 5-10 minutes each day… Gee, I wonder which one was more functional?

A finished lemon tart with swiss meringue

That being said, my swiss meringue has been separating lately. Too much humidity? Too much beating? Not enough sugar? Something is off and it irks the heck out of me. It was decent for the weekend. And I sent out a couple luxurious desserts to guests late at night. I got to plate. I loved it.

Sometimes it’s the silly things I’m afraid of, but Chef seems to think I’m up to the challenge and in the scope of things, I’ve ruined very little. The roulade cake not cracking for weeks was an issue, but I have it solved. I should probably modify the kitchen bible.

I love that I have lemon curd and meringue in my head and I can whip them out without even questioning myself. I love that food becomes almost ordinary in fixing it. Someone says, “can you do —-?” and I can say, “Why yes I can!” Skills…..

“June, you’ve got skills…”   from Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz

I guess I have ’em.


A Day of Rest – Day 14

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Today is my day off, finally. Five days on last week, one day off, then five  more. I am wiped. My brain is fried, my body is sore, and I have zero oomph left in me. It was a long week. With being responsible while a coworker was still off till Friday and just a general already tiredness forming from late days. Restaurant life is hard. But it’s good. But it’s hard. You are constantly on your feet, on the go, on pitched floors, lifting heavy items, scrubbing every night, cleaning house so to speak, directing traffic….. People would ask why you would want to live the life. I honestly can’t tell you today. Not because I don’t like it, but I wonder why I like it. I even asked my dad today if I was crazy as I fell onto a blanket on the couch.

Why do I get such satisfaction with putting in the long hours and the constant feeling of crazy? Why do I enjoy even the cleaning? What is it about this life that is so good? I honestly don’t know. Maybe Coffeeman knows the answer. He’s been doing it for 18 years. He knows a thing or two as he’s seen a thing or two…… cue farmers insurance music…

I am happy. I tell people all the time how happy I am even when I am wiped. One of my lovely ladies said I looked more relaxed in writing yesterday. “But I’m exhausted!” I complained.

“You still look more relaxed,” she replied.  I am. Much more, despite getting early morning texts that the kitchen didn’t get closed properly after I clocked off. That irked me to no end. I literally came home in tears to my father saying I have to stop being so emotional about work, or to at least turn the tears to pissed off anger. That I can do. It’s nice to know my boss has my back. All of my bosses. It’s nice to know that we all get the same frustrations and try to work through them to create a more cohesive environment.

It was good to have the day off, and tomorrow off. That being said, I’m still thinking about work and the week ahead.  I’d like to come up with some interesting desserts though I feel a little tired to even do that.  I have ideas floating around in my head. Pumpkin cakes with a cream cheese buttercream frosting….. lime mousse with a raspberry coulis….. something to use the banana sorbet up with. I think it would go with a nice fall spiced something. Or coconut…. I want elegant and delectable. Something that can be plated beautifully.

But I have one more day off. Maybe I should take that day and just not think so much.