Food at the speed of life: Memories come from mistakes

I tried to make a chocolate cream pie once. It didn’t work. I was maybe 14 or 15 when I decided to make Mom a chocolate cream pie for her birthday. It’s what she often made herself for her birthday.

Since Mom’s birthday is in July, school didn’t interfere.

One afternoon, I pulled out the recipe. It had three steps. Simple. I thought.

Actually, even a call, at least once, to Mom at work for advice didn’t lead to the desired result.

The chocolate was supposed to be melted on the stovetop for the creamy part. I couldn’t get it to melt smoothly and, after an intolerably long time, moved on with some of the chocolate still in flecks.

Then, no matter how much I beat the eggs and sugar, I couldn’t get them to fluff up into meringue. The dogs enjoyed the treat, though.

I put the pie in the oven without meringue. The filling came out not creamy but solid, albeit soft.

I was thoroughly frustrated.

However, Mom ate it and said it was good. I guess that’s what moms are for.

Still, my brother liked the pie, too, so maybe it really wasn’t a complete flop.