I must say, sometimes my timing is brilliant. Accidentally, of course, but brilliant nonetheless. Take yesterday. There’d been a recipe in the Sunday papers for panettone. Now I have a bit of a panettone addiction. I can easily eat quantities of it that would frankly stun you, in a single sitting. A sensible person would probably, therefore, steer clear of panettone. But I decided to make one. If it went well, I reasoned, it would be less pricey than shelling out a tenner for a Tesco finest panettone
twice a day. And better still, if it went badly, it might put me off for good.
So I set off on my culinary voyage, naturally without reading the recipe through beforehand. So the six egg yolk part rather took me by surprise. I was taught to cook by my grandmother, who lived through two wars and still treated eggs as though they were being rationed. They were the equivalent of wantonly adding gold leaf to a recipe. Nevertheless, I did actually have six eggs for once, so in went their yolks. But what to do with the whites? Again, my grandmother was in my mind. ‘Waste not, want not’ was her mantra, again a legacy of war.
I have a lovely hazelnut biscuit recipe, but that takes another two whole eggs, so my whites would still be twiddling their thumbs. Aha, meringue. And lemon meringue. And lemon meringue pie. That would definitely take up a whole load of egg white.
So I made a lemon meringue pie to go with the panettone (sort of) and, despite not having enough lemon curd and having to supplement it with raspberry jam, it worked really well and was so delicious I don’t have a photo to show you. All gone. The panettone, meanwhile, is good – but I think Tesco’s finest is better. Alas.
And the good timing? Child Three had a friend over and her mother now thinks I am a total domestic goddess, as the house was full of the drifting scents of vanilla, orange water, sugar and lemons, the kitchen was tidied and every surface was groaning with delicious dishes. Result! Clearly it’ll never happen again, but I’ll enjoy the glow while it lasts.