It's All Fun and Games | Meringues
It seems that many minds were in the gutter yesterday. (Ok, two minds were in the gutter…)
A friend texts a photo of a cast-iron skillet she is giving away. “For YOU! It’s a big one. Maybe 12 inches.” And I respond with the very clever “Words every girl wants to hear.” he he ha ha …
I text a photo to a different friend (a social butterfly I am!) of a book I’m reading, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. She asks if it’s an innuendo. I tell her it’s not and somehow this amuses her more.
I tell you all this for no other reason than I think you should know the level of maturity you are dealing with. Shake a crooked zucchini in my face and I will make a joke and you will regret your actions.
Also, if you are giving away any cast iron skillets/crocks/cauldrons, can I get first dibs? K thx.
It’s meal prep day, which is not unlike the Crossfit Games over here. Eggs are getting whipped into custardy submission and I’ve got one eye on the timer. I’ve never really given any of this much thought. I mean, I like to eat, if I want to eat I need to cook (unless I want to eat out all the time, which my bank account does not want me to do). So imagine my surprise (real astonishment, you guys) when I discovered that not everyone is spending their Sunday’s doing this.
Sarah meal preps. Sarah and I pass recipes back and forth like trading cards. She introduced me to butternut squash and spicy chicken pasta and we recently had a conversation on the upsides of sticky sesame cauliflower (so yum!) and the downsides (brown food is not photogenic).
Another friend will occasionally make chili or pad see-ew or prepare little jars of oatmeal to get her through the work week. Her approach is utilitarian. No fluff, nothing complicated (except that pad see-ew, I haven’t figured out how she does it!). But it seems most of you are just winging it, night after night. Potato, potahto, right?
I do want to talk more about our individual eating habits some time. Maybe next time, even! But I am verging on starvation at this moment, despite having sampled spicy roasted sweet potatoes, and creamy lemony chicken soup (which calls for that custard of whipped egg yolks), and last week’s hummus, and some blue corn chips. I am a bottomless pit.
Before I go, though, can I just tell you what I did with the leftover egg whites? I originally thought they would make for a yummy omelette later this week but then I thought how great and easy (oh, just you wait) it would be to whip up meringues! You’re thinking I’m a show-off and I assure you I’m not. Meringues are as easy as it gets. Egg whites and cream of tartar get beaten into creaminess, and then sugar is added, all the while beating at the highest speed your mixer will go. Soon you have glossy, firm peaks filling your bowl and with a spoon you plop little mounds of yumminess onto parchment and into the oven it all goes for 2 hours at a low temp. You could add vanilla, too, and I wish I had, but I forgot and I’ll have to live with that.
6 egg whites equaled roughly a cup of liquid. After beating for 5 minutes, I had about 6 cups of meringue. I couldn’t waste this, so I filled one rack in the oven and realized I could fill the second rack. But the second rack would have to be moved to make room and this is a very simple thing to do, but again, starvation is setting in and I attempted to move the rack with the meringues still on it and dumped one tray onto the bottom of the heated oven. And now you’re thinking that that’s what I get for showing off.
An hour later - I just checked on the meringues. The oven seemed to be lacking some heat. The oven was, in fact, turned off. Send help.
Two hours later - Some of the meringues are burnt. As is my ego.
Now that you see just how easy and simple and fool-proof meringues can be, I am sure you are already clearing out the calendar to spend your evening making them. And if you learned from my mistakes, you won’t even have to scrape meringue from the bottom of your oven.
Rather than write out the recipe here, I’m sharing Food52’s brilliant method that will make use of any quantity of egg white you have. Please note this handy tip they provided (that I had failed to read): Unless you have a convection oven that allows you to bake successfully on more than two racks at a time, limit yourself to 1/2 to 2/3 cup of egg whites per batch.