Life Lessons From a Meringue Cookie

Several weeks ago in class we whipped up a batch of Swiss meringue for twenty meringue cookies we needed for a special dinner. After a classmate piped the twenty-plus-a-few-spares and slid them into the oven, I noticed the still over-filled pastry bag on the work table. Our Chef Instructor reminded us these little cookies keep well stored in an airtight container… so I piped out the remaining meringue. All of it. And baked it into many tiny star-tipped cookies.

These little meringues have been sitting on the top shelf of our kitchen for weeks now, and I don’t think they’ve been touched. In their defense, they have fierce competition. But each time I notice them they make me think for some reason.

So, just for fun… Life Lessons From a Meringue Cookie

  • Learn to take a little heat- sometimes for longer than you’d like. While heavy heat can turn you dark and bitter, sometimes enduring a bit of low heat can actually make you stronger and more resilient in the long run.
  • Stay firm under pressure. So many demands in life can begin to shape who you are and who you are becoming. Be moldable… but only into shapes which remain true to your intent.
  • Lend sweetness. Some of our personalities are naturally saturated with sugar and may be most fully appreciated in smaller servings. Others of us may more subtly hint at sugar, but it’s present all the same. There is a place for each… and everything in between. Know yourself and dose your corner of the world accordingly.
  • Age gracefully. Maintain your integrity, avoid becoming discolored by your environment, hold on to your sweetness… and always keep a little feisty bit of crunch.

Cookie, anyone…?


Why Terrified?

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of eating a fantastic dinner and spending a little time getting to know the neighbors on one side of my condo. They served an incredible dish of layered creamy polenta and kale that hasn’t left my head yet. Expect that recipe to surface probably this weekend when I have time to attempt to recreate it, with photos, in my not as updated or charming but fully functional kitchen.

And last week I was invited for tea with neighbors on the other side, and thoroughly enjoyed them as well! I’m feeling quite fortunate to be where I am.

China white tea

And a question arose in one of those meetings when the topic of my blog surfaced- why Terrified? Granted, I am borderline terrified over some of the foods that I have been eating lately: this is a week of classic French technique including pates, terrines, more forcemeats and aspic. And I’m a bit terrified that all these rich meals have the potential to wreak havoc on my waistline and triathlon finishes this season.

But the real terrified was born by leaving a stable life and career and completely starting again. This seemed obvious to me. But in getting to know even just my neighbors, I’m realizing that plenty of people take similar leaps all the time. And they don’t seem to be nearly as scared as I am. Looking out on a vast world alone can be terrifying, yes, but it also can be both beautiful and empowering.

So I probably won’t become the ‘Empowered Tastebud’ anytime soon. But I will try to give my terrified lenses a slightly new hue. And I’ll enjoy more tea and kale in the process!