I’ve tried making meringues a few times but have yet to succeed. Because I made some crème brûlée today, I had six egg whites sitting in a bowl. It was chuck ’em or whip ’em. I whipped ’em. Clearly I didn’t whip ’em enough.
I made crème brûlée because Mirinda claimed I didn’t make it enough. I also made it because Sophie and Tom are coming over for a pre-Christmas Christmas lunch tomorrow and I needed a dessert. Ok, it’s not your traditional Christmas day dessert but then we’re not having turkey either. We’re having roast gammon with treacle crackling (or black crack, as I call it).
So, first thing this morning (though not first thing enough) I went into Farnham to post some calendars, pick up some currency and shop at Waitrose. This time of year is always horrid and today was no exception. Weekend people have no idea how to behave in a supermarket.
I raced around as well as I could given everyone was pushing their trolleys aimlessly and side by side up and down the aisles while barely dodging the numerous cages full of stock ready for replenishment duty. It wasn’t as pleasant as it usually is. Still, I was lucky in my choice of cashier and was soon paying for my load of goodies.
I could barely lift the bag off the counter it was so heavy. I knew I was in trouble, given I only have the one hand for lifting heavy weights at the moment. I have been threatening to buy a wicker basket shopping trolley for some time. I thought this might be the right time.
I struggled down to Elphicks to find they only had one shopping trolley. It was spotty with four wheels and cost more than I’d be willing to pay in order to never use it again. Which is why I want a wicker basket trolley. I’m pretty sure I’d use it more than once.
I went to Farnham Saddlers. They do all things luggage related and have a fine line in leather goods (as you’d expect at a saddler…though they don’t appear to do saddles). I’ve generally been quite frightened to go in because everything looks horrendously expensive and yet irresistible. Today I took a breath and struggled in. They didn’t sell shopping trolleys. I exhaled as I left.
My next stop was Robert Dyas. They had three very ugly four wheeled shopping trolleys; the kind you’d expect a 95 year old woman with no taste to use. Even so, for a one off I was tempted. They were cheap enough that I could chuck it afterwards. And then I spotted a foldaway trolley.
It’s not a shopping trolley but a trolley for moving heavy objects like delivery people use or removalists. It folded up really small and yet boasted of handling great heavy loads of shopping. I grabbed a couple of ocky straps and bought the lot.
Outside, hidden in a lane, I removed the yards of plastic wrapping and, surreptitiously, unfolded and locked the trolley into an upright position. It looked fine. I attached the ocky straps to the base and placed the bulging shopping bag on top. The straps stretched up and across the bag perfectly, holding it very securely. This is going to work, I thought.
And it sort of did. Clearly it was easier than carrying double my own weight in shopping but the trolley has two faults. The wheels are designed in such a way that when you push it, they are forced out and therefore secure; when you pull the trolley, however, they start to fold away and it becomes completely insecure. And so it has to be pushed.
The second problem is the length of the handle. Now I’m average – average height, average arms, average build – but it’s just slightly too low so I’m almost bending over to push it. It makes me think that someone designed it for the average person and then came up with a great idea of how to save some money by trimming a bit off. Making it just short of average.
Still, it managed to get me home without stretching my arm to beyond an average length. And I’ll use it around the house to move heavy things. AND it folds up quite small, something very handy when you live in a doll’s house.
Once home and before I commenced the brûlée making, I set the camera up for a bit of bird action. Naturally, all the action was where the camera wasn’t pointed but I did get some cute shots of a house sparrow.
And half a nuthatch…
But, all too soon, it was all about tomorrow’s dessert. They came out very well and should be set by tomorrow but the meringues…they are sad and pitiful…while the outside is crisp and sweet and lovely, the inside is gooey and tastes of egg.