My first attempt at baking was printed in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life. I thought it was suitable for today’s Daily Prompt. I have updated it a bit.
I married a man whose mother loved to bake. Naturally, he assumed I would be just like her. I wasn’t. My mother served Jell-o, store-bought pies, or fruit for dessert. I took after her to the extreme. When it was time for dessert, I would get a can of fruit cocktail out of the fridge and say, “Have at it!” For some reason, that didn’t go over too well with my new husband.
After our honeymoon, we settled in a nice apartment with all the accoutrements any homemaker would need. Unopened gifts were our first order of business and they filled me with trepidation. Pots, pans, dishes and cookbooks reminded me of one thing I had failed to mention to my dear hubby. I didn’t know how to cook.
Unfortunately, that did not stop me from trying.
One day, while making spaghetti, Jim walked into the kitchen and caught me throwing wet noodles on the wall.
“What are you doing?” He asked as I peeled the noodles away from the wall.
“I’m checking to see if they’re done.”
Something akin to revulsion played itself over Jim’s face. “Do you do that with all the food?”
“Of course not!” I shook my head. “Everyone knows you throw spaghetti at the wall to see if it’s done.”
That night, Jim decided to teach me how to cook.
While I soon mastered “meals”, my true test would come when I made his favourite—lemon meringue pie. I followed the recipe diligently. Eggs whites were separated with the skill of a professional. My meringue whipped into a perfect foamy froth and before I knew it, I had created my first dessert. The oven was ready. I slipped the pie inside and waited to present my husband with something I knew would be just as good as his mother’s baking.
My anticipation grew as delicious smells emanated from the kitchen. The timer on the oven sounded and with oven mitts at the ready, I carefully reached in and drew out my perfect pie.
Only to have both sides of the foil plate I had used, fold in half, dribbling my beautiful pie all over my oven door!
My husband came running at my cries and stared at the door, then at me. He didn’t say anything. He turned the oven off, retrieved two forks from the kitchen drawer, sat down in front of the oven door and proceeded to eat his pie.
Instead of tears, there was laughter. Instead of anger, there were giggles. I joined him on the floor and we ate the entire pie off the oven door, knowing that in years to come this would be a story to share with our children.
Today, I make a mean lemon meringue pie, with a proper glass pie plate and I’ve learned a valuable lesson that has kept my marriage strong for 41 years. Compromise is always a good alternative to anger and there are no troubles in life that can’t be solved with a piece of pie!